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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
This is a must read book. It is full of information and well written. The views are often not seen elsewhere.