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Heroes [Paperback]

John Pilger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Oct 1989
By the journalist who won the International Reporter of the Year award and the United Nations Association Media Peace Prize, this book brings together the episodes for which his journalism is renowned, analyzing the nature of both these great upheavals and the domestic tragedies he has encountered. The result is as much a personal story as it is a tribute to the ordinary people he has come across living in difficult and brutal conditions. These are the "heroes" of the book. They include the Irish labouring generation of his great-great grandfather, who was transported in irons to Australia for "uttering unlawful oaths"; the modern poor of Britain whose hopes of a better life have been fostered for political expediency, and then betrayed; the victims of conflict in Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, the Middle East and Central America; the people denied civil liberties in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. He identifies some of the silences of imperial history, for example the largely untold story of the Aborigines.

Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; 2nd Revised edition edition (13 Oct 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033031064X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330310642
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,654,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"John Pilger is the antidote to easy, comfortable thinking, to smugness, to ignorance. He is necessary" (Daily Telegraph)

"Pilger has a gift for finding the image, the instant, that reveals all. He is a photographer using words instead of a camera" (Salman Rushdie)

"Pilger is the closest we have to the great correspondents of the 1930s. The truth in his hands is a weapon, to be picked up and used in the struggle against injustice" (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The bestselling book from one of the finest investigative journalists of our time. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...lest we forget 24 May 2004
This is an amazingly powerful and readable book. There's so much going wrong in our world that I felt driven to try somehow to untangle my thoughts. I read "Heroes" aged 45 as a retrospective and it felt like a rite of passage. I was just a teenager at the time of Vietnam and during many of the political upheavals he refers to. Like many people I just accepted as "the truth" what was in the UK media. I didn't look for layers or ulterior motives. Pilger writes fluently, passionately, cuts to the core and backs everything up with solid research. He does have a political agenda BUT even if you relate to just 1% of his work, there's enough there that we should all be deeply concerned about. His skill is that he tells without lecturing; he was and remains courageous enough [literally and figuratively] to go where most journalists either couldn't or wouldn't. That alone demands we read him. He doesn't prescribe any course of action but leaves us to formulate our own personal response. Even if you read it and tell two others to do the same, Pilger's heroes won't have suffered in vain.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
I make no denial of it...I think John Pilger is one of the greatest journalists alive today.
As 'Heroes' shows, Pilger is great not because he's an opinonated talking-head who's reached some exalted position.
No, Pilger is great because he shines the light of truth in the darkest of situations...East Timor, Vietnam, Iraq, the worst parts of Australia and the dark side of Britian.
Though he, of course, has opinions he only ever writes with the full weight of factual evidence behind him.
This, rightly described as Pilger's Classic work, is deeply powerful and moving.
With a very readable writing style Pilger gives voice to people who would normally have no voice in the big, multi-media conglomerates who dominate the big, supposedly democratic nations.
He represents and gives voice to the poor, the oppresed, the neglected, the forgotten.
'Heroes' along with his other books and films puts the, often unpalatable, truth to a mass audience who can then judge the facts and make up their own minds about how (peacefully and democraticaly) they want to respond.
As a freelance journalist myself I always try to never forget that behind big events such as the war in Iraq or the catastrophe in Sudan lie individual stories of pain and also of bravery.
Of ordinary people trying just to get by and do the best they can in often the harshest and most desperate of cicumstances.
Everyone who cares about this world and what the powerful (often right-wing) vested interests are doing to it, must read this book.
Perhaps then a true global peace and justice movement will come into being and then, maybe, this world will be a fairer and more decent place.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Pilger's life has been devoted to exposing unfair treatment of human beings and this book is just one chapter in it. When so much reporting is based on unverifiable sources, it's refreshing to read such a thoroughly researched text. Pilger has pointed out what is being done in our names and why. He is not driven by issues or politics, instead he concentrates on the suffering of people all over the world. This book has changed my entire perspective of my country and the world.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put this down 11 July 2001
I have only just finished reading this, and like Hidden Agendas and Distant Voices, this is well written and quite superb. If you want to know the truth about middle america, the Vietnam war, the Miners in Northern England and a myriad of other topics, written by a man who was there and in the know, then this is for you. John Pilger is a journalist of much integrity and compassion. Read this and you may well weep - if you don't you have no heart. BUY IT - and look at your lucky life a little differently.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book! 24 May 2001
Heroes should be required reading for all policy makers, governmental and World Bank employees, and pre-college students. It is a brilliant exposee of offical dissemination of Truth by The Establishment and the resultant injustice to individuals as well as entire nations. Read it.
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