Friday, January 11, 2008

Starting to read through the store

I finished the first book from my effort to read 1 book from each bookcase in the store last night, and since I am starting at the front of Rediscovered Bookshop I was reading from the current events case.

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges is a compelling read. Chris covered the wars in El Slavador, Bosnia and Iraq. He uses his wartime experience to examine what sort of effects War has on culture and peoples.

His main thrust is that we need to do a better job of stripping away the romanticized version of war that is fed to us by the media, politicians and history. War is ugly, corrupt, brutal and tragic. It is often fought for reasons that are not honestly faced by the warring nations, especially when the wars are fought for economic gain that will not touch the people effected most, those on the ground who get in the way of the conflicts. It brings about selective memory when people do not want to face the reality of what happens in the heat of battle.

For all this, Hedges also faces the fact that war is exciting, leading to a live for the moment mentality in those who are cought up in the conflicts. He talks bout feeling more alive amidst the bullets and bombs than is possible anywhere else.

If you choose to read Hedges work be prepared for graphic descriptions of the effects of war, but also be prepared to be forced to think about your own notions of war and its' aftermath.



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