Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

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Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels.
The book starts in the western plains, where Native Americans were sacrificed in the giddy race for land and empire. It moves to the old manufacturing centers and coal fields that fueled the industrial revolution, but now lie depleted and in decay. It follows the steady downward spiral of American labor into the nation's produce fields and ends in Zuccotti Park where a new generation revolts against a corporate state that has handed to the young an economic, political, cultural and environmental catastrophe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Boston Globe
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation) is as moving a portrait of poverty and as compelling a call to action as Michael Harrington's ‘The Other America,’ published in 1962.”

Philadelphia Weekly
“The tales therein—both the intimate personal ones and the big sociopolitical ones—are as unsettling as they are impossible to put down.”

Metro (UK)
“Eloquently written and embellished by spare, desolate drawings from Joe Sacco, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is accessible and deeply uncomfortable.”
 Financial Times
“[A] growling indictment of corporate America.”

"Hedges carries the mantle of Upton Sinclair, Howard Zinn, George Orwell, and all the agitators in fighting for the soul of nations when so many have forgotten what that means. His eloquence is in the eloquence of the lives he presents, and Sacco lovingly animates them. It's rare that a book carries so much courage and conviction, forcing reflection and an urge to immediately rectify the problems."
 Associated Press
“…provides close accounts of some of the country's most devastated communities, "sacrifice zones." It ends with a detailed history of the Occupy protests and a declaration that "the mighty can fall.”

Portland Monthly magazine
"Days of Destruction is a riveting indictment of America’s failures.”

Seattle Times
“The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face.”
 Bill Moyers
“The journalist Chris Hedges is a unique force today, because of his fierce independence and candor.  He’s been writing about how politics is a charade aimed at making voters think the personal narrative of the candidate is the story although it never affects the operation of the corporate state.  No matter which candidate wins, the money power in Washington reigns.  That nails it, don’t you think?”

New York Times Book Review
“Sacco’s sections are uniformly brilliant. The tone is controlled, the writing smart, the narration neutral…. This is an important book.”
Brooklyn Rail Rapid Transit, Oct 2012
“This searing indictment of our unsustainable society is unsettling. To keep our chance for dignity, we must do our part to champion the organizers and whistleblowers, committee members and protesters. Amen. Pass the word.”
Toward Freedom
"[H]arrowing descriptions…. Hedges tells the story, not only of the people but of the town, and despite the differences in setting, certain similarities show through: poverty, addiction, violence; but more than that, a long series of broken promises and mounting despair. Sacco illustrates these chapters with his distinctive, careful line drawings…. [A]n excellent piece of journalism — engaging, troubling, and in its own way, beautiful.”
“As quixotic as the quest may seem, Days of Destruction brings the rhetoric and the reality into a nobler focus after a very disturbing tour.”
Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch
“A powerful social and political exploration.”
Brooklyn Rail, Sept 2012
“Sacco brings his formidable skill to bear in Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.”

Asbury Park Press
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a journey through contemporary American misery and what can be done to change the course, interpreted through the eyes of two of today’s most relevant literary journalists…. The graphics illustrate what words alone cannot, capturing a past as it’s told, where there’s no longer anything left to photograph.”
Public Books
“[T]he radical disjunction between how Hedges and Sacco approach their subjects is fascinating and instructive. Hedges is at ease with the grand, sweeping Howard Zinn–moments of matchbook history…. And if sweeping, historical connect-the-dots is your cup of tea, then you will find Hedges deeply moving. But if, like Sacco, you distrust all history that does not have a face, a name, and a voice behind it, you will find more to call you to action in the voices that speak from the decimated landscapes of America’s deepest poverty, which we (like Dickens’s “telescopic philanthropists”) know even less well than we do the sufferings of peoples halfway around the world. Together, Sacco and Hedges might just have created a form that can speak across divides unbridgeable without the supplement of graphic narrative.”
Ian Chant, Geekosystem
“As someone who’s long been a fan of Sacco’s international reporting, there’s something truly jarring about seeing him turn his eye to the many Americans who are suffering and barely getting by…. [H]ighly recommended for anyone who wants to see the comics medium at its strongest and most human.”
The Capital Times
“[B]rilliant.” ­
Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
“…a bleak, fist-shaking look at the effects of global capitalism in the United States.” 
Globe and Mail (Canada)
“This is a book that should warm the hearts of political activists such as Naomi Klein or the nonagenerian Pete Seeger. And cause apoplexy among the Tea Party and its fellow travellers…. Sure, it's a polemic, but it's a polemic with a human face.”
“Hedges gives us the commentary, the narrative; Joe Sacco provides us with a piece of graphic nonfiction to give us a visual. The combination is excellent and telling.”
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a harrowing account of the exploited American underclass…. It is their stories that shape Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to be a mesmeric indictment of an America that has failed its populace…. From the title alone it is evident that neither Hedges nor Sacco remain objective or shy away from the palpable condemnation of capitalism and the American government. Regardless, they develop an accurate account of the despondency that plagues and divides American culture. This is an imperative read in an era where widespread economic depression and grief reign supreme…. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is powerful and remarkable, arguably one of the best publications of the year.”
“One of the most significant books published this year.”
Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)
“This is an important book.”
Ed Garvey, Garvey Blog
“It is a fascinating journey… This book hit me in the gut. It will move you to engage in battle.”

Caffeinated Muslim
“[R]ead Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt to know what is happening in this country.”
The Stranger (Seattle)
“… a scorching look at communities burned out not by foreign bombs but by American capitalism.” 
Denver Post
“…a unique hybrid of investigative journalism, graphic novel and polemic.”
Guardian (UK)
“…a heartfelt, harrowing picture of post-capitalist America.”  
Ralph Nader
“[B]rilliant combination of prose and graphic comics."
Seattle Times

“The book is a primer for every American who is overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the stock market, who wonders where America's muscle went, and how much heavy lifting our kids will face.” –  
Portland Mercury
“As a portrait of poverty, the book succeeds stunningly well.”
Barnes and Noble Review
“When their narrative culminates in Zucotti Park, readers will feel just as outraged as the protesters portrayed on the page.” (Canada)
“The scenes in [Hedges’] new book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, unflinchingly depict the pockets of America in the worst shape, with the highest unemployment, poverty, and crime rates.”
“[A] treasure.”
“The stories shift seamlessly from Hedges’s passionate, on-the-ground reporting to Sacco’s intricate landscapes and humanizing portraits, penned with the kind of fine, stark detail that is often lost in a photograph…. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a gripping and thoroughly researched polemic.”
By the Book Reviews
“Chris Hedges… is the journalistic master of demonstrative evidence and never more so than in this book…. Using the stark, black-and-white style of graphic novels, [Joe] Sacco presents… illustrations which, if they don't break your heart you're not really worthy of having one…. You will want to read this one.”
Kirkus (Starred Review)
“An unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed…. Through immersion reportage and graphic narrative, the duo illuminate the human and environmental devastation in those communities, with the warning that no one is immune…. A call for a new American revolution, passionately proclaimed.”

San Francisco/Sacramento Book ReviewDays of Destruction Days of Revolt examines how corruption and greed have shaped the history of the United States in an unfortunate way…. This is an excellent book for those who actually need a reason to revolt, and should be read by anyone seeking public office.”  Book Group Buzz, Booklist Online“Be prepared for an emotional experience without a happy ending. Be prepared to be defensive. Be prepared to be angry. Be prepared to be ashamed…. [T]he book is accompanied by sections that area a graphic novel approach to the individual stories of the real people interviewed in these zones of despair. What is so overpowering, and discussable, in these biographies is that they read as much like a confessional as they do a history…. Can there be anything more important to discuss?”“This is indeed an extraordinary, must read book.”

Curled Up With a Good Book“This may well be the most important book of the century, and yet Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt  barely scratches the surface of our reality. But even that small peek into the system is mind-numbing. This book has the potential to wake us up—really Wake Us Up—to what is happening. The question is this: once we recognize the size and strength of the enemy, will we be so intimidated that we roll over and play victim? Or will we take a stand when and where we can, in small ways, alone or together, to start taking down the behemoth?”

Michael Moore" ...I’ve been a huge fan of [Chris Hedges] for a long time. Please read his books. Pass his books around. This man...he’s our 21st century Noam Chomsky, not that Noam isn’t still in the 21st century."

Kirkus Reviews
An unabashedly polemic, angry manifesto that is certain to open eyes, intensify outrage and incite argument about corporate greed. In the proud populist tradition of Howard Zinn (whose A People's History of the United States provides a foundation for this book), a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and a renowned cartoonist combine their talents for an illumination of the American underbelly, as the exploitation of a perpetual (and growing) underclass makes the "sacrifice zones" of global capitalism seem like Dante's circles of hell. Truthdig columnist Hedges (Death of the Liberal Class, 2010) was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and other newspapers, though he plainly feels that advocacy can come closer to the truth than what passes for journalistic objectivity. Sacco (Journalism, 2012, etc.) shared the American Book Award for Palestine (2002) and has subsequently earned considerable acclaim for his graphic narratives of war zones. Though the team has plenty of experience with international warfare, the war they document here is in America, where "[c]orporate capitalism will, quite literally, kill us, as it has killed Native Americans, African Americans trapped in our internal colonies in the inner cities, those left behind in the devastated coalfields, and those who live as serfs in our nation's produce fields." Through immersion reportage and graphic narrative, the duo illuminate the human and environmental devastation in those communities, with the warning that no one is immune. "The ruthless hunt for profit creates a world where everything and everyone is expendable…it has enriched a tiny global elite that has no loyalty to the nation-state," writes Hedges. "These corporations, if we use the language of patriotism, are traitors." While finding some surprising pockets of hope within communities that are otherwise steeped in despair, the pair reserve their concluding glimmer of optimism for the Occupy movement. Otherwise, they find no hope in politics as usual, depicting Democrats and Republicans as equally complicit in policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many. A call for a new American revolution, passionately proclaimed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568586434
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 245,598
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. A former fellow at The Nation Institute, he is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Joe Sacco, one of the world's greatest cartoonists, is widely hailed as the creator of war reportage comics. He is the author of, among other books, the American Book Award winning Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza, which received the Ridenhour Book Prize, and Safe Area: Gorazde, which won the Eisner Award and was named a New York Times Notable Book and Time magazine's best comic book of 2000. His books have been translated into fourteen languages and his comics reporting has appeared in Details, the New York Times Magazine, Time, Harper's, and the Guardian. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Nook version lacking standard features

    I've only just started the book, so I won't comment on the content. I just want to issue a gripe about the nook version. The font is too small and can't be altered. And the feature to change the background color (Day, Night, etc.) is not present--something that I normal like to use. So thumbs down to the Nook version.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    As always, Chris Hedges is on top of his game. Must read for eve

    As always, Chris Hedges is on top of his game. Must read for everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    I got the book on hardcover, so I did not experience the issues

    I got the book on hardcover, so I did not experience the issues with the nook. The content of the book was like a splash of cold water, because it brings into realization of the disturbing violence and degradation "unfettered and unregulated capitalism"  has on America.  The prose and the abundant of information presented in the book makes a good read, which is rare in information texts. Joe Sacco's illustrations of various people's stories also presents a startling picture of the disparity people of the "sacrifice zones" endure. At the end of the book, through much of the horror and darkness, he tries to present the possibility of hope through galvanizing the power of youth and knowledge as a means of combating the corrupt system. If you are interested in the current affairs and want to know how American government has become the entity it is now, I would recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm about 2/3 of the way through and so far I find the content d

    I'm about 2/3 of the way through and so far I find the content disturbing. Chris Hedges is a favorite writer of mine and he lays out the desperation and despair endured by the people victimized by Laissez Faire Capitalism. My only complaint is that the nook version is formatted not to allow changes in font size. You have to stretch every page like you would a picture. This is slow and damned annoying.
    Whomever formatted this book should get out of the ereader biz.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    Excellent.  Each chapter presents a well substantiated argument

    Excellent.  Each chapter presents a well substantiated argument on the adverse effects of poorly regulated corporate practices on workers and on the environment.  The catastrophic economic, social and environmental consequences that  would prevail are inevitable, unless society as a whole could broaden its ambition beyond current private greed and truly seek sustainable development  for all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014


    Hedges adds historical fact and impregnates it in a poetic way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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