Unspeakable by Chris Hedges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is somewhat unique in claiming, sometimes rightly so, that it talks about the topics that modern political discourse completely disregards.
It's not that the subject material (the growing disparity between the rich and the disenfranchised, the total consumption of wealth by military spending, the complete lack of regard for those who don't already have power) isn't real. It's freaking obvious. So obvious it's pervasive and stifling.
No. The point of this book is to say the quiet part loud.
Chris Hedges was a war correspondent -- and not just a normal one that sat in safe hotels waiting for safe tidbits to drop into his lap. He was out in the field and broke news about war atrocities. In other words, he made enemies by following his standard of morals and his sense of right. Throughout his career, and making mistakes that sometimes might not be considered mistakes, but simply the revolutionary idea of standing up for the ideal of truth, he soldiered on.
Whether it was speaking the truth about Iraq's involvement in 9/11, atrocities in Kosovo, prison riots in the States that were more about heating elements to keep the inmates fed, rather than the idea of anarchy, or whether it was about the real tragedy of the Occupy Movement or even Nelson Mandella, the tragedy of the anti-war movement of the '70s or the wry legitimization of war in the '80s under a guise, truth always seemed to die.
Hedges, like Chomsky, has a razor-sharp focus. He refuses to let the standard line get in the way of good reporting. You know, the reporting that we have now. The kind that comes out of money, that relies on big money, that bows before war efforts, corporations, banks, and the blindness of ideals.
He doesn't care what side of a line anyone is on. He has plenty to say about the Right and the Left, and much more to say about the underlying problems of the class divide, institutional racism, and the rise of the current fascism.
Make no mistake. It may seem like old hat now, but he was writing about this long before it became a common household theme.
For this, I can thank him for bringing up all this long before it became a thing on a lot of people's radars.
Suffice to say, we need more of this unflinching honesty and devotion to truth.
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