War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

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War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning
The cover of the paperback US edition, published by Random House (2003).
Author Chris Hedges
Country United States
Language English
Subject War
Publisher PublicAffairs
Publication date
September 3, 2002
Pages 192
ISBN 1-58648-049-9

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (ISBN 1586480499) is a 2002 nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize journalist Chris Hedges. In the book, Hedges draws on classical literature and his experiences as a war correspondent to argue that war seduces entire societies, creating fictions that the public believes and relies on to continue to support conflicts. He also describes how those who experience war may find it exhilarating and addictive. The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, as well as a national bestseller.

The book is available as an unabridged audio book, read by the author. The Hurt Locker, an Academy Award-winning film, opens with a quotation from the book: "The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug." The full quote is found on page 3: "The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug, one I ingested for many years." Hedges expressed criticism of the film in the "Hollywood and The War Machine" episode of the Al Jazeera English series Empire.

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