The Greatest Evil Is War

Chris Hedges. Seven Stories, $21.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-64421-293-6

Journalist Hedges (Our Class) delivers a blistering condemnation of war in all forms and for all reasons. Opening the book with a forceful condemnation of the U.S. government’s role in provoking the Russian invasion of Ukraine by breaking its promise not to expand NATO into Central and Eastern Europe, Hedges draws on his experiences as a war correspondent in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere to paint a visceral portrait of the horrors of combat and its physical and psychological aftereffects. Throughout, he fiercely condemns the “war industry” for prolonging conflicts and U.S. politicians and journalists for using “bellicose rhetoric” to demonize enemies and elevate allies into “demigods.” Some of the book’s most powerful pieces draw on the firsthand testimonies of soldiers and their loved ones, including a former U.S. Army Ranger who speaks eloquently of how indoctrination into military culture made him “want to deliver death,” and the father of a Marine killed by a sniper in Iraq. Elsewhere, Hedges lets personal aggrievements distract from his larger points, as when he complains that the Kremlin-funded news channel RT America, where he had a show, was shut down in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Though not all its provocations land, this spiky treatise deserves to be reckoned with. (Aug.)
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR
THE BEST NEW BOOKS
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR THE BEST NEW BOOKS