- Paperback: 194 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 1st Free Press Trade Paperback Ed edition (9 Jun. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743255127
- ISBN-13: 978-0743255127
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What Every Person Should Know About War Paperback – 9 Jun 2003
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About the Author
Chris Hedges has been a foreign correspondent for fifteen years. He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1990 and previously worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio. He holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a master of divinity from Harvard University. He is lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. Hedges was a member of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper's coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. He is the author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
A case in point is this paragraph on page 4:
«How deadly is the American military?
It is difficult to measure how many enemy deaths American armed forces have inflicted. Americans and their allies typically cause 10 to 20 times more combat casualties than American forces suffer. Estimates of Iraqi soldiers killed in the Gulf War range from 1,500 to 100,000. The lowest figure would still be 10 times the number of Americans killed in the war. Approximately 850,000 Vietcong died in the Vietnam War, 18 times the 47,000 U.S. dead. More than 600,000 North Korean and 1 million Chinese fighters died in the Korean War, almost 50 times the 33,000 American dead. In World War II, 3,250,000 German and 1,507,000 Japanese soldiers, sailors, and pilots were killed, 16 times the 291,000 American servicemen who were killed.»
The last two paragraphs are misleading, to say the least. The unwary and uninformed reader might be left with the impression that US forces killed 3,250,000 German and 1,507,000 Japanese soldiers, sailors, and pilots for a loss of 291,000 of their own, which of course is wrong.
The overwhelming majority of German soldiers who lost their lives in World War II (estimates go as high as 5,318,000 including deaths in captivity by German military historian Rüdiger Overmans in “Deutsche Militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg”) died fighting the Soviets on the Eastern Front or in Soviet captivity.Read more ›
Maybe slightly out-of-date but I think war had only got worse not better...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
By: Taylor Fielstra
I was first introduced to Chris Hedges’s book What Every Person Should Know About War by my Intro to World Civilizations professor at Bethel College. We were asked to read the book and complete a project discussing the affairs covered within the pages. If my professor had not necessitated reading the book, I do not believe I would have ever thought twice about opening it up. Although I have a lot of respect for those who have served our country, I have never been strongly inclined to research the topic of war. However, I am glad that I engaged in reading What Every Person Should Know About War.
The book contains nine chapters where each one describes a different aspect of war. It emphasizes the stark contrast between life before, life during the war, and life afterwards. Hedges also reveals many of the shocking realities military personnel face on a day-to-day basis in combat. By doing without fancy wordplay, the concise question and answer format gives readers only factual information. Statistics and detailed descriptions shatter the misguided and dreamily heroic depictions of war. The book addresses questions regarding the heinous horrors of war such as torture, imprisonment, rape, and the intense psychological battles that follow.
What Every Person Should Know About War thoroughly accomplishes its purpose. By exposing the naked truth of wartime, Hedges sheds some light on a subject that many have not experienced. Hedges states only factual information without the frequent frills of writing that are custom to our culture today. Regardless of prior knowledge, all people can learn more about wartime. Hedges thoroughly explains and attempts to answer all questions that the public may have concerning warfare.
I would definitely recommend this book to a wide audience. If you have an extensive knowledge of modern warfare, this book is still for you. It is a great reminder about what all war entails. If you are like me and have barely any knowledge of modern warfare, I would definitely recommend this book to you as well. I was blown away by the many horrific truths of war. Hedges presents the information in an interesting format, keeping the attention of readers. This is a book the public needs to read.
The book is from 2007, so there will be less on the war in Afghanistan. The book is shorter than I thought it would be; a good portion is dedicated to citing the source material (not a criticism, just an observation).
I think the part of the review that says that it is a "ringing indictment of the glorification of war and the concealment of its barbarity" isn't completely accurate. I didn't see it that way. If you are giving this book to a young person in an attempt to dissuade them from joining the military, I'd caution you to think twice. The book in honest and raw, but to the type of person who would consider enlisting is probably the type of person who it would appeal to.