America

America

The Farewell Tour

eBook - 2018
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"A profound and provocative examination of America in crisis, where unemployment, deindustrialization, and a bitter hopelessness and malaise have resulted in an epidemic of diseases of despair--drug abuse, gambling, suicide, magical thinking, xenophobia, and a culture of sadism and hate. America, says Pulitzer Prize­ -winning reporter Chris Hedges, is convulsed by an array of pathologies that have arisen out of profound hopelessness, a bitter despair and a civil society that has ceased to function. The opioid crisis, the retreat into gambling to cope with economic distress, the pornification of culture, the rise of magical thinking, the celebration of sadism, hate, and plagues of suicides are the physical manifestations of a society that is being ravaged by corporate pillage and a failed democracy. As our society unravels, we also face global upheaval caused by catastrophic climate change. All these ills presage a frightening reconfiguration of the nation and the planet. Donald Trump rode this disenchantment to power. In America: The Farewell Tour, Hedges argues that neither political party, now captured by corporate power, addresses the systemic problem. Until our corporate coup d'etat is reversed these diseases will grow and ravage the country. A poignant cry reported from communities across the country, America: The Farewell Tour seeks to jolt us out of our complacency while there is still time"-- Provided by publisher.
"A deep and troubling examination of the dark corners of working-class America, where unemployment and the loss of traditional jobs have produced an epidemic of drug abuse, bigotry, and even suicide, coupled with an urgent plea to rearrange our priorities to address the ills of middle America and emphasize the common good"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2018.
ISBN: 9780735275966
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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VaughanPLDavidB May 26, 2019

Decidedly Marxist in his outlook, the author holds out little hope for America as it appears to be in an irreversible decline.

r
ronvini
Mar 24, 2019

A predictiable book that reiterates Marxist propaganda. He knows how to point out all the problems that we face in society, and they are problems that need to be solved. But he suggests a Marxist solution to everything: big government taking over every aspect of our lives so that nobody is free to pursue their own happiness. Chris Hedges has a hard time understanding that Trump and his supporters is not the reason for our ills. Our government is the biggest killer and the creator of all the problems we face today. He just doesnt know it. This book was a waste of time, because it repeats what you see everyday in our mainstream media. There is no info found here.

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franzkafka
Mar 17, 2019

An excellent book outlining the Decline of the Amerikan Empire. As was the late Roman Empire, Amerika has become bloated and is rotting from the inside out. Reminds me of "The Leviathan" by 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Life, indeed is becoming "nasty, brutish and short". Add to that the Malthusian nightmare of overpopulation and it spells the end of civilized society. I am elderly with no children. Books like this validate the decisions I made regarding having offspring to worry about. It's not the end of the world. The planet can manage quite well without humans. The Anthropocene era is ending in what some call "The Sixth Extinction". Save the planet? Don't worry the planet will save itself by natural means aimed at shaking off the pesky fleas known as Homo Sapiens.

"Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to frighten power elites do not succeed... Only when ruling elites become worried about survival do they react. Appealing to the better nature of the powerful is useless. They don't have one." Such is the scathing indictment of American power in government and in corporations. Hedges pulls not punches and deservedly so. The American Empire is dying, he says. It's best we realize that and start doing something about it or else she will fall into ruin like dozens of others before her.

"Many of the estimated sixty-nine empires that have existed throughout history lacked competent leadership in their decline. They ceded power to monstrosities such as the Roman emperors Caligula and Nero. or imbecile narcissists like Trump."

While is sharpest blades are pointed squarely at modern Republicans, conservatives, and evangelical un-Christian Christians, he points almost as many at modern Democrats. Both he says are deeply embedded with the elites. The Republicans are finished but the Democrats may be able to turn it around. May.

Overall, this book is a riveting read. Shocking, painful, and infuriating. It's a testament to perilous times like we've not seen in America. America is a fraud, he suggests and maybe always has been. It's a myth that never really was so how can we go back to make it 'great again'? Greatness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. America, for far too many of its citizens, is - and never was - great. He hasn't given up hope but it sure is on the ropes. Hedges obliquely suggests that Americans need to stop their social media wars and take it to the streets because the elites don't fear social media but they do fear people - angry people - in large numbers. They always have and very much need a reminder once again. It's really the only tool the underclasses have to affect change.

Read this book. Share it. It may be one of the most important American books of the 21st century.

r
ramsaye
Feb 19, 2019

I want to think that things are not as dire as Hedges says they are but I must bow to his on the scenes observations. Truly a wake up call.

s
smatte
Jan 09, 2019

A harrowing examination of the perils that the author believes will lead to the collapse of the American empire, America: The Farewell Tour is a bleak book, but the narrative offers a few glimmers of hope as well as tactics for peacefully avoiding the toxic aspects of our suffocating culture. The reader should, however, be warned that graphic discussion of the darkest corners of American life take place in the pages of this book through a combination of scholarly and field research. Explored within are the perils of addiction, the downfall of Atlantic City's casinos, the depravity and desperation of workers in the porn industry (and its links to human trafficking), and the inherent cruelty of our for-profit prison industry, which is very much married to the bottom line of our culture of corporate capitalism. These are not fun topics to read about, but Chris Hedges is an engaging author and a true intellectual who points at ways to blunt the trauma of America's destructive forces. These include an absolute commitment to nonviolence, a healthy disrespect for corporate capitalism, and a reverence for, and willingness to restore, our country's democratic institutions. I hope Hedges is wrong about the imminence of our collapse, but his is a voice worth paying attention to.

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GrahamLarkin
Nov 24, 2018

SPOLIER : Marx was right.

i
Igilli78
Sep 19, 2018

In his new book CH builds upon previous work of illuminating "big picture" problems (war, poverty, social policies of drug war and prison system, political corruption, etc) but he also examines specific vices (e.g. opioids, gambling, pornography); the lucrative industries fed by these addictions and the devastation they wreak on lives, communities, and our society as a whole. These latter topics are examined through both scholarly research and field reporting, in the form of anecdotes from persons who have been severely affected and abandoned.
From the false nostalgia of the American yesteryear to the technology infused present, Hedges constantly challenges the myths and hype that we cling to. There seems to be a nearly exhaustive litany of social ills covered in the book, which the author attempts to collectively trace back to unbridled greed and capitalism. Hedges argues that if these epidemics continue, our society (the "American Empire") will surely fall; indeed it is probably already inevitable.
As one can certainly surmise, this does not make for cheery reading. It is bleak stuff, while also being as unvarnished as truth can be, delivered with CH's trademark blunt, declamatory and humorless style, through the prism of his socialist Christian worldview.
If you are hungry for a large dose of underreported reality, then this book is probably for you.
If you have not previously been a fan of the work of Hedges, this book will likely not be the one to bring you into the fold.

b
bbb1771
Sep 14, 2018

Very hard to read some of the stories and unreported truths. Equally hard to argue against some of the conclusions the author makes. Makes me sad for my children's future.

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