Chris Hedges Talk

Date/Time
Date(s) - Friday 05/29/2015 - 05/30/2015
11:00 pm - 1:00 am

Chris Hedges photoJournalist, author and war correspondent Chris Hedges will speak in Troy at 7 PM on Friday, May 29, 2015, part of the Spring 2015 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.  Admission is by donation ($10 suggested, $5 student/low income).  Call (518) 272-2390, email info@MediaSanctuary.org, or check this website for directions and more information.  The Sanctuary for Independent Media is located at 3361 6th Avenue (at 101st Street) in North Troy.

Hedges will also be the guest of honor at a special fundraising dinner earlier the same evening (5:30-6:30 PM on May 29) in support of the recently FCC-approved low power non-commercial radio station WOOC 105.3 FM, which will be based at The Sanctuary for Independent Media.  Tickets for the dinner are $75; call (518) 272-2390 or email info@MediaSanctuary.org with questions and for reservations.

Chris Hedges, whose most recent book “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt” (Nation Books) was published on May 15, is also the best-selling author of “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.  A quote from the book was used as the opening title quotation in the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award-winning 2009 film, The Hurt Locker.  The quote reads: “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

Revolutions come in waves and cycles.  We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement.  In “Wages of Rebellion,” Chris Hedges–who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books “Empire of Illusion” and “Death of the Liberal Class”–investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance.  Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion.  Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are  inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.

Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times.  Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as “sublime madness”–the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces.  For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life.  Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this “sublime madness.”

From South African activists who dedicated their lives to ending apartheid, to contemporary anti-fracking protests in Alberta, Canada, to whistleblowers in pursuit of transparency, “Wages of Rebellion” shows the cost of a life committed to speaking the truth and demanding justice.  Hedges has penned an indispensable guide to rebellion.

Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco.  Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008).  His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.  In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.  He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism.  He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.  The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011.  The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.”

Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City.  He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and The University of Toronto.  He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.

Hedges began his career reporting on the Falkland War from Argentina for National Public Radio.  He went on to cover the war in El Salvador and Nicaragua for five years, first for The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio and later The Dallas Morning News.  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 bureau chief there for The New York Times.  He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and later reported the war in Kosovo.  Afterward, he joined the Times’ investigative team and was based in Paris to cover al-Qaida.  He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.

Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University.  He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif.  Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and studied classics, including ancient Greek and Latin, at Harvard. In addition to writing a weekly original column for Truthdig, he has written for Harper’s Magazine, Le Monde, The New Statesman, The New York Review of Books, Adbusters, Granta, Foreign Affairs and other publications.  He lives in Princeton, New Jersey and is married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong with whom he has two children.  He also has two children from a previous marriage.

This talk is part of the Spring 2015 season at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, called “Low Power to the People,” which focuses on the quest for media democracy and the construction of our new radio station.  The Sanctuary for Independent Media, made possible by volunteer labor and hundreds of small donations, is a community media arts center located in an historic former church in Troy, NY.  The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.