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Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as "sublime madness" - the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this "sublime madness."
From South African activists who dedicated their lives to ending apartheid, to contemporary anti-fracking protests in Alberta, Canada, to whistleblowers in pursuit of transparency, Wages of Rebellion shows the cost of a life committed to speaking the truth and demanding justice. Hedges has penned an indispensable guide to rebellion.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Eric L, Montreal on 09-06-15
Excellent, important book
I liked this book very much. I had heard Chris Hedges in fairly long interviews but had not realized the breadth of his scholarship. Shakespeare, Melville, Plato, Faulkner, and others are all invoked to weave a rich tapestry of what it means to be a rebel, what makes some people become rebels, and how certain social or cultural contexts call for rebellion. Much of the book also consists in an exposition of how economic, cultural and institutional arrangements in the United States in particular, call for (non-violent) resistance/revolt/rebellion. In Hedges' telling, the United States is not a democracy at all: corporations in effect run the government. Through the government and also through private firms sometimes (often?) hired by corporations, Americans are being spied upon and vigorously brought into line if they take serious actions (eg Wikipeaks, Snowden) to threaten the corporate agenda. Hedges also describes how the U.S. has been a violent society from its inception and how this violence is still strongly directed towards blacks (viz the corporate prison system) at home. While the need for revolt is clearly documented for the U.S., it is clear that to some degree it extends as well to other countries, such as my own, Canada. Hedges is very clear at the same time that only non-violent action is ever likely to bear fruit for good in the long term.
Finally the reading is clear and engaging.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Christopher on 05-04-18
timely and powerful
tells stories of inspiring individuals that go against the grain. references those who have forged this path before. talks about "sublime madness", prisons, persecution of rebellion, and the rite of passage of all rebels.