What Every Person Should Know About War
By Chris Hedges
(Free Press, Paperback, 9780743255127, 192pp.)
Publication Date: June 3, 2003
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Acclaimed New York Times journalist and author Chris Hedges offers a critical -- and fascinating -- lesson in the dangerous realities of our age: a stark look at the effects of war on combatants. Utterly lacking in rhetoric or dogma, this manual relies instead on bare fact, frank description, and a spare question-and-answer format. Hedges allows U.S. military documentation of the brutalizing physical and psychological consequences of combat to speak for itself.
Hedges poses dozens of questions that young soldiers might ask about combat, and then answers them by quoting from medical and psychological studies.
What are my chances of being wounded or killed if we go to war?
What does it feel like to get shot?
What do artillery shells do to you?
What is the most painful way to get wounded?
Will I be afraid?
What could happen to me in a nuclear attack?
What does it feel like to kill someone?
Can I withstand torture?
What are the long-term consequences of combat stress?
What will happen to my body after I die?
This profound and devastating portrayal of the horrors to which we subject our armed forces stands as a ringing indictment of the glorification of war and the concealment of its barbarity.
Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New
York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science
Monitor and National Public Radio. He was a member of the team that won the
2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times
coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International
Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller
American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is
a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute
and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York
University and Princeton University.