Chris Hedges



Chris Hedges is a journalist and author, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and society.

Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, where he spent fifteen years.

Hedges was part of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

Hedges was born the son of a Presbyterian minister. He graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut in 1975. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

In 1983, Hedge began his career reporting on the conflict in El Salvador. Following six years in Latin America, he took time off to study Arabic and then went to Jerusalem and later Cairo. He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Later, he joined the investigative team of The New York Times, based in Paris, and covered terrorism.

He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the academic year of 1998-1999, and spent a year studying classics. He speaks Arabic, Latin, ancient Greek, French and Spanish. He currently writes for numerous publications including Foreign Affairs, Harper's magazine, The New York Review of Books, Granta and Mother Jones.

Hedges was an early and vocal critic of the plan to invade and occupy Iraq. He questioned the rationale for war by the Bush administration and was critical of the early press coverage, calling it "shameful cheerleading."

Hedges delivered a 2003 Commencement address at Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois, saying: "we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power and security." He added: "This is a war of liberation in Iraq, but it is a war of liberation by Iraqis from American occupation." Several hundred members of the audience booed and jeered his talk. Hedges' microphone was cut twice and two young men rushed the stage to try and prevent him from speaking. Hedges had to cut short his address and was escorted off campus by security officials before the ceremony was over. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal denounced Hedges for his anti-war stance. The New York Times issued Hedges a formal reprimand after the address for "public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper's impartiality." Hedges left the paper not long after this incident to write books and teach.

Hedges has stated that he is not a pacifist and supports humanitarian interventions, such as those in Bosnia and Kosovo, designed to stop campaigns of genocide. He nevertheless describes war as "the most potent narcotic invented by humankind."

Hedges claims that his outlook is influenced by moral writers and ethicists such as George Orwell, Samuel Johnson, Karl Popper, Hannah Arendt, Elias Canetti and theologians such as William Stringfellow, Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, Abraham Heschel, and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Hedges' bestselling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning draws on his experiences in various conflicts to describe the patterns and behavior of nations and individuals in wartime. The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

"War and conflict have marked most of adult life. I began covering insurgencies in El Salvador, where I spent five years, then on to Guatemala and Nicaragua and Colombia, through the first intifada in the West Bank and Gaza, the civil war in the Sudan and Yemen, the uprisings in Algeria and the Punjab, the fall of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the Gulf War, the Kurdish rebellion in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, the war in Bosnia, and finally Kosovo. I have been in ambushes on desolate stretches of Central American roads, shot at in the marshes of southern Iraq, imprisoned in the Sudan, beaten by Saudi military police, deported from Libya and Iran, captured and held for a week by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Shiite rebellion following the Gulf War, strafed by Russian MIG-21s in Bosnia, fired upon by Serb snipers, and shelled for days in Sarajevo with deafening rounds of heavy artillery that threw out thousands of deadly bits of iron fragments. I have seen too much of violent death. I have tasted too much of my own fear. I have painful memories that lie buried and untouched most of the time. It is never easy when they surface."

Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America was published in June 2005. The book was inspired by the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof KieĊ›lowski and his ten-part film series The Decalogue. Hedges wrote about lives, including his own, which had been consumed by one of the violations or issues raised by a commandment.

Hedges is also the author of What Every Person Should Know About War, a book he worked on with several combat veterans.

Hedges' most recent book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, was published in January 2007.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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