War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, written by the talented author Chris Hedges, gives us provoking thoughts that are somewhat painful to read but at the same time are quite personal confessions. Chris Hedges, a talented journalist to say the least, brings nearly 15 years of being a foreign correspondent to this book and subjectively concludes how all of his world experiences tie together. Throughout his book, he unifies themes present in all wars he experienced first hand. The most important themes I was able to draw from this book were, war skews reality, dominates culture, seduces society with its heroic attributes, distorts memory, and supports a cause, and allures us by a constant battle between death and love.
In Hedges' first chapter of the book titled, "The Myth of War," he talks about how the press often shows and romanticizes certain aspects of war. In war there is a mythic reality and a sensory reality. In sensory reality, we see events for what they are. In mythic reality, we see defeats as "signposts on the road to ultimate victory" (21), Chris Hedges brings up an intriguing point that the war we are most used to seeing and hearing about (mythic war )is a war completely different than the war the soldiers and journalists experience ( sensory war), a war that hides nothing. He states, "The myth of war is essential to justify the horrible sacrifices required in war, the destruction and death of innocents. It can be formed only by denying the reality of war, by turning the lies, the manipulation, the inhumanness of war into the heroic ideal" (26). Chris Hedges tries to get the point across that in war nothing is as it seems. Through his own experiences we are a...
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...is through love.
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is most definitely an effective book that gives personal stories and deeply insightful views and theories on war. Chris Hedges is a credible and extremely talented author. This book is definitely a piece of writing that helps open up our eyes about the ugliness that is going on in the world today. Chris Hedges' central message is to stop hating and start to learn how to love. This book is a deep, personal reflection on many wars by an award winning journalist. Every civilian, military member and political leader should undoubtedly read this book. War skews reality, dominates culture, seduces society with its heroic attributes, distorts memory, and supports a cause, and allures us by a constant battle between death and love. The moment we learn to forgive and love is when we can begin to recover and move on.
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