cover image The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

Chris Hedges, Nation, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-56858-640-3

Former New York Times correspondent Hedges (The Death of the Liberal Class) offers a collection of his recent articles (many culled from his regular column at, grouped under a handful of topics: "Politics," "Israel and Palestine," "The Middle East," "The Decay of Empire." It's indicative of the longtime war correspondent's experienced eye and commitment to social justice that these areas include subject matter of especially pressing concern, whether the task is understanding the assault underway on organized labor in Wisconsin and elsewhere, liberal disillusionment with Obama, or the dynamics of foreign dictatorships subsidized by the U.S., as in the timely "Inside Egypt" and other dispatches providing vivid background and astute observations on a roiling Middle East. Hedges is equally direct and damning in assessments of Israel's ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestine, including some stirring reportage from within the shadow of the mammoth and destructive separation wall. While things may be changing given the current international upsurge of mass public democratic action, the author's pointed descriptions of the dangers of American "political passivity" deserve careful consideration along with much else in these powerfully written pages. (Apr.)