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Days of Destruction. Days of Revolt Hardcover – 28 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (28 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568586434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568586434
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Boston Globe "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation) is as moving a portrait of poverty and as compelling a call to action as Michael Harrington's 'The Other America,' published in 1962." Philadelphia Weekly "The tales therein--both the intimate personal ones and the big sociopolitical ones--are as unsettling as they are impossible to put down." Metro (UK) "Eloquently written and embellished by spare, desolate drawings from Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is accessible and deeply uncomfortable." Financial Times "[A] growling indictment of corporate America." Bookslut "Hedges carries the mantle of Upton Sinclair, Howard Zinn, George Orwell, and all the agitators in fighting for the soul of nations when so many have forgotten what that means. His eloquence is in the eloquence of the lives he presents, and Sacco lovingly animates them. It's rare that a book carries so much courage and conviction, forcing reflection and an urge to immediately rectify the problems." Associated Press "...provides close accounts of some of the country's most devastated communities, "sacrifice zones." It ends with a detailed history of the Occupy protests and a declaration that "the mighty can fall." Portland Monthly magazine "Days of Destruction is a riveting indictment of America's failures." Seattle Times "The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face." Bill Moyers "The journalist Chris Hedges is a unique force today, because of his fierce independence and candor. He's been writing about how politics is a charade aimed at making voters think the personal narrative of the candidate is the story although it never affects the operation of the corporate state. No matter which candidate wins, the money power in Washington reigns. That nails it, don't you think?" New York Times Book Review "Sacco's sections are uniformly brilliant. The tone is controlled, the writing smart, the narration neutral... This is an important book." Brooklyn Rail Rapid Transit, Oct 2012 "This searing indictment of our unsustainable society is unsettling. To keep our chance for dignity, we must do our part to champion the organizers and whistleblowers, committee members and protesters. Amen. Pass the word." Toward Freedom "[H]arrowing descriptions... Hedges tells the story, not only of the people but of the town, and despite the differences in setting, certain similarities show through: poverty, addiction, violence; but more than that, a long series of broken promises and mounting despair. Sacco illustrates these chapters with his distinctive, careful line drawings... [A]n excellent piece of journalism -- engaging, troubling, and in its own way, beautiful." Star-Ledger "As quixotic as the quest may seem, Days of Destruction brings the rhetoric and the reality into a nobler focus after a very disturbing tour." Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch "A powerful social and political exploration." Brooklyn Rail, Sept 2012 "Sacco brings his formidable skill to bear in Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt." Asbury Park Press "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a journey through contemporary American misery and what can be done to change the course, interpreted through the eyes of two of today's most relevant literary journalists... The graphics illustrate what words alone cannot, capturing a past as it's told, where there's no longer anything left to photograph." Public Books "[T]he radical disjunction between how Hedges and Sacco approach their subjects is fascinating and instructive. Hedges is at ease with the grand, sweeping Howard Zinn--moments of matchbook history... And if sweeping, historical connect-the-dots is your cup of tea, then you will find Hedges deeply moving. But if, like Sacco, you distrust all history that does not have a face, a name, and a voice behind it, you will find more to call you to action in the voices that speak from the decimated landscapes of America's deepest poverty, which we (like Dickens's "telescopic philanthropists") know even less well than we do the sufferings of peoples halfway around the world. Together, Sacco and Hedges might just have created a form that can speak across divides unbridgeable without the supplement of graphic narrative." Ian Chant, Geekosystem "As someone who's long been a fan of Sacco's international reporting, there's something truly jarring about seeing him turn his eye to the many Americans who are suffering and barely getting by... [H]ighly recommended for anyone who wants to see the comics medium at its strongest and most human." The Capital Times "[B]rilliant." - Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman "...a bleak, fist-shaking look at the effects of global capitalism in the United States." Globe and Mail (Canada) "This is a book that should warm the hearts of political activists such as Naomi Klein or the nonagenerian Pete Seeger. And cause apoplexy among the Tea Party and its fellow travellers... Sure, it's a polemic, but it's a polemic with a human face." LiteraryOutpost.com "Hedges gives us the commentary, the narrative; Joe Sacco provides us with a piece of graphic nonfiction to give us a visual. The combination is excellent and telling." PopMatters.com "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a harrowing account of the exploited American underclass... It is their stories that shape Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to be a mesmeric indictment of an America that has failed its populace... From the title alone it is evident that neither Hedges nor Sacco remain objective or shy away from the palpable condemnation of capitalism and the American government. Regardless, they develop an accurate account of the despondency that plagues and divides American culture. This is an imperative read in an era where widespread economic depression and grief reign supreme... Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is powerful and remarkable, arguably one of the best publications of the year." Ecolocalizer.com "One of the most significant books published this year." Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) "This is an important book." Ed Garvey, Garvey Blog "It is a fascinating journey... This book hit me in the gut. It will move you to engage in battle." Caffeinated Muslim "[R]ead Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to know what is happening in this country." The Stranger (Seattle) "... a scorching look at communities burned out not by foreign bombs but by American capitalism." Denver Post "...a unique hybrid of investigative journalism, graphic novel and polemic." Guardian (UK) "...a heartfelt, harrowing picture of post-capitalist America." Ralph Nader "[B]rilliant combination of prose and graphic comics." Seattle Times "The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face." -- Portland Mercury "As a portrait of poverty, the book succeeds stunningly well." Barnes and Noble Review "When their narrative culminates in Zucotti Park, readers will feel just as outraged as the protesters portrayed on the page." Straight.com (Canada) "The scenes in [Hedges'] new book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, unflinchingly depict the pockets of America in the worst shape, with the highest unemployment, poverty, and crime rates." WarIsACrime.org "[A] treasure." Grantland "The stories shift seamlessly from Hedges's passionate, on-the-ground reporting to Sacco's intricate landscapes and humanizing portraits, penned with the kind of fine, stark detail that is often lost in a photograph... Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a gripping and thoroughly researched polemic." By the Book Reviews "Chris Hedges... is the journalistic master of demonstrative evidence and never more so than in this book... Using the stark, black-and-white style of graphic novels, [Joe] Sacco presents... illustrations which, if they don't break your heart you're not really worthy of having one... You will want to read this one." Kirkus (Starred Review) "An unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed... Through immersion reportage and graphic narrative, the duo illuminate the human and environmental devastation in those communities, with the warning that no one is immune... A call for a new American revolution, passionately proclaimed." San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review"Days of Destruction Days of Revolt examines how corruption and greed have shaped the history of the United States in an unfortunate way... This is an excellent book for those who actually need a reason to revolt, and should be read by anyone seeking public office." Book Group Buzz, Booklist Online"Be prepared for an emotional experience without a happy ending. Be prepared to be defensive. Be prepared to be angry. Be prepared to be ashamed... [T]he book is accompanied by sections that area a graphic novel approach to the individual stories of the real people interviewed in these zones of despair. What is so overpowering, and discussable, in these biographies is that they read as much like a confessional as they do a history... Can there be anything more important to discuss?" OpEdNews.com"This is indeed an extraordinary, must read book." Curled Up With a Good Book"This may well be the most important book of the century, and yet Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt barely scratches the surface of our reality. But even that small peek into the system is mind-numbing. This book has the potential to wake us up--really Wake Us Up--to what is happening. The question is this: once we recognize the size and strength of the enemy, will we be so intimidated that we roll over and play victim? Or will we take a stand when and where we can, in small ways, alone or together, to start taking down the behemoth?" Michael Moore" ...I've been a huge fan of [Chris Hedges] for a long time. Please read his books. Pass his books around. This man...he's our 21st century Noam Chomsky, not that Noam isn't still in the 21st century."

About the Author

Chris Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He was part of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He writes a weekly original column for Truthdig, and has written for Harper's magazine, The New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, The Nation, Adbusters, Granta, Foreign Affairs, and other publications. He is the author of the bestsellers Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion, and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, among others. Joe Sacco, one of the world's greatest cartoonists, is widely hailed as the creator of war reportage comics. He is the author of, among other books, the American Book Award winning Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza, which received the Ridenhour Book Prize, and Safe Area: Gorazde, which won the Eisner Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book and Time magazine's best comic book of 2000. His books have been translated into fourteen languages and his comics reporting has appeared in Details, the New York Times Magazine, Time, Harper's, and the Guardian. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christine on 23 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really good book. It is a page turner. Chris Hedges is a good writer. Joe Sacco's drawings are really well executed and place within the book. It is a bit depressing though, although Hedges does end with a call to arms to save ourselves and the planet.I would definitely recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Liam108 on 26 Nov 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The American Dream is one of the most powerful myths of all time. It is so powerful because one of its main tenets appeals to a basic sense of justice which dictates that if you work hard, you should be rewarded in kind. This is America's promise. In 'Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt', Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco show this promise to be tragically hollow.

Hedges is a former New York Times journalist who has previously won the Pulitzer prize. Joe Sacco is the pioneer of 'comics journalism', and the author of a number of excellent works in that genre. 'Days of Destruction...' is largely a collection of prose reportage supported by detailed drawings by Sacco, along with a number of longer comic strips which tell particular parts of a certain character's story. It is an interesting idea, and one which is executed with mixed success.

The book contains five sections in total. The first four focus on places in America facing extreme poverty and exploitation at the hands of corporate and governmental elites - Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Camden, New Jersey; southern West Virginia; and Immokalee, Florida. The fifth section looks at Occupy Wall Street and what it might mean for the future. All concern people who have done what they were supposed to for their share in the American Dream, and were dispossessed in the name of power and profit.

Hedges is foremost an excellent writer. His prose is simple, crisp, and engaging. He provides vivid portraits of characters, places and their stories; fitting them neatly into a wider context, and in some cases even adding a bit of theoretical background to bolster his arguments. He is clearly disgusted at what he has seen in his country, writing furiously in the hope that the stories he tells will gain wider attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne on 24 Dec 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A somewhat depressing description of what happens to a world driven by corporate greed. It remains a mystery why the general population is so docile and servile. Unless people wake up and change the political system from so-called representative democracy to participatory democracy, the outlook is bleak.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Conor Mcvarnock on 16 Nov 2012
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This is essential stuff for anyone who is interested on the dynamics driving contemporary america. The first four chapters each are brilliantly written investigative pieces on some of the places at the sharp end of the contemporary crisis in industrial capitalism. The first chapter excavates Americas past through looking at the bloody legacy of the creation of the country and how it bleeds into the present. It takes in life and death on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota and looks at the issues of dispossession that the Sioux people have to live with. The second chapter looks at the inner cities (specifically, Camden NJ.) and charts many of the processes that anyone who has seen The Wire will be familiar with. Chapter 3 looks at West Virginia and the murder of communities of the rural poor by the Coal industry. In chapter 4 we're in the Florida and looking at the fresh produce industry.

The themes that connect each of these chapters is the degradation of the physical landscape, the dispossession of its population and their sacrifice before the altar of an increasingly rapacious and destructive capitalism. In illustrating this Joe Saccos drawings are brutally illuminating. The comic strips that intersperse the text, each of which tells the life story of one of the inhabitants of these areas, also brings the stories of these people and their world to life in uncomfortable and uncompromising detail.

The last chapter details what the author hopes, and what many of us still hope, is the beginnings of a large scale fight back with the occupy movement. Its good that the author finishes on a note of hope.
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I came to this book because of my enthusiasm for the work of Joe Sacco, but finished it searching on the internet for more info about the ideas of Chris Hedges, who for me is one of the most articulate radicals i have come across in a very long time.

Sacco is one of a kind, a political investigative journalist through the media of comic strips. I have several of his books, and particularly enjoyed "Safe Area Gorazde", an account of the conflict in Bosnia. He puts you on the ground and introduces you to his friends and associates.

He does the same thing here as he and Hedges visit four areas, where interestingly four different racial groups have been chewed up and spat out by corporate America. These are Pine Ridge Indian reservation, Camden New Jersey where departing manufacturing industry has left little but a drug culture, the Appalachian mountains, where mountains are literally taken apart in open cast coal mining, and Florida where Central American immigrant labour is exploited in tomato picking without any kind of regulation.

The common theme is that corporate industry has bought and sold government at police, state and federal levels in such a way that whereas lipservice is paid to liberal and constitutional ethics and standards, in practice justice is not a commodity that is generally available for poor working class people, at least not without a fight.

As an English person several of these scenarios were new to me. Corruption is not quite as entrenched or uninhibited I don't think in my country, although it works in a similar way.
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