American Moralist

Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges

You are not likely to see him on television unless you get RT, the Russian-owned English-language news channel. There he has a weekly show called On Contact, during which he conducts interviews with economists and social and political figures.

He has a way of looking as if he were fiercely uncomfortable. During his interviews, which are excellent, he rarely laughs or even smiles.

Before he cut loose from the corporate-owned world of news media, he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and National Public Radio. He traveled around the world such global hot spots such as El Salvador, Lebanon, and Bosnia.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Chris Hedges aimed to follow in his father’s footsteps, but found that the reality of Christian charity in the slums of Boston’s Roxbury ghetto was affecting his own survival. But he never forgot what he learned at Colgate and Harvard Divinity School about morality, personal and political. One effect was to make him a confirmed pacifist. When he gave an anti-war graduation address at Rockford College during the gung-ho days after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he was heckled and booed by the “patriots” in the audience.

Hedges is the author of some of the most painfully truthful books about life in our time. The titles below which I have read are marked with an asterisk (*):

  • War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002)
  • Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America* (2005)
  • American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2007)
  • I Don’t Believe in Atheists* (2008)
  • Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle* (2009)
  • Death of the Liberal Class (2010)
  • Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012) with Joe Sacco
  • Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015)

You can find a weekly column by Chris Hedges at Truthdig.Com, whose politics are very close to my own.