Charles Goyette Interviews Chris Hedges

Charles Goyette, February 04, 2007

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Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, explains his view of the disaster in Iraq, the signs and likely consequences of the impending war with Iran and his new book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.

MP3 here.

Chris Hedges, 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, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Hedges, who has reported from more than fifty countries, worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, where he spent fifteen years. He is the author of the bestselling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which draws on his experiences in various conflicts to describe the patterns and behavior of nations and individuals in wartime. The book, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, was described by Abraham Verghese, who reviewed the book for The New York Times, as “…a brilliant, thoughtful, timely and unsettling book whose greatest merit is that it will rattle jingoists, pacifists, moralists, nihilists, politicians and professional soldiers equally.”

Hedges was part of The New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. The Free Press published his most recent book, Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America in June 2005. The book was inspired by the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski and his ten-part film series The Decalogue. Hedges writes about lives, including his own, which have been consumed by one of the violations or issues raised by a commandment. The Christian Century said of the book: “Far from the grandstanding around stone tablets in front of an Alabama courthouse comes Losing Moses on the Freeway, a refreshing reflection on the ten great Mosaic laws that is muted yet monumental in its own right.”

Hedges is also the author of What Every Person Should Know About War, a book he worked on with several combat veterans. Robert Pinsky, reviewing this book in The New York Times, called the book “…arresting, peculiar” and “significant.” “Neither jingoistic nor pacifist,” Pinsky wrote, “the book is about the moral authority of information, as it applies to the present and future nature of war.”

Hedges published American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America in January 2007 with The Free Press. The Christian right is a movement the former seminarian has criticized in articles such as his cover story in the May 2005 issue of Harpers’ magazine called “Soldiers of Christ.”

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