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America: The Farewell Tour

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,093 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Chris Hedges’s profound and provocative examination of America in crisis is “an exceedingly…provocative book, certain to arouse controversy, but offering a point of view that needs to be heard” (Booklist), about how bitter hopelessness and malaise have resulted in a culture of sadism and hate.

America, says Pulitzer Prize­–winning reporter Chris Hedges, is convulsed by an a
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Simon Schuster
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Oliver Brackenbury I'd skip to the final chapter, FREEDOM, unless you feel under-educated on any of the assorted miseries covered in the preceding chapters.

But even so, …more
I'd skip to the final chapter, FREEDOM, unless you feel under-educated on any of the assorted miseries covered in the preceding chapters.

But even so, skip the friggin' SADISM chapter. Sheesh...(less)
Isaac Hutcheson The collapse of any given society is inevitable so people have been (accurately) predicting collapses for as long as named societies have existed. If …moreThe collapse of any given society is inevitable so people have been (accurately) predicting collapses for as long as named societies have existed. If you want a prophecy of doom on a global scale that's also well argued google Desert by Anonymous (you can read it free online) (less)

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Sam Quixote
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s Christmastime which means most people will turn to re-read old favourites or pick up something feel-good, escapist and/or seasonal. And then there are people like me who couldn’t care less about the holidays and just want to read something gripping and brilliant yet so bleak that by the end you’ll be playing Russian roulette while your family breaks out the Monopoly. That’s right, Chris Hedges is back with a new book to tell everyone once again that WE’RE ALL FUCKED in America: The Farewell ...more
Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤
If you're looking for a nice, easy, feel-good read, this is not the book you want. If, however, you want a book that will deliver the cold, hard facts about the state of America today and its likely future, this is the book for you.

Chris Hedges paints the landscape of America in all its brutality and bleakness. He does not mince words, he does not try to make us think "things are not quite as bad as they seem". It is depressing and it is frightening. But it is reality. It is a book I think all
David Wineberg
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
History Catches Up To America and It’s Not Pretty

America: The Farewell Tour is a book, but also a symphony. The opening movement, Decay, has every instrument blasting, overwhelming the reader with a multitude of themes: accusations, facts, and historical proofs about the true state of the union. The middle movements are much more narrowly focused and deep. They are in many ways quieter, and somber. They detail the decline and fall of typical Americans thanks to the policies outlined in the first
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to Chris Hedges work through his sobering “War is a Force That Gives us Meaning”, released not long after the 2nd gulf war. Having spent significant time in the Balkans and other war zones, he began to recognize how hopelessness and fear can easily be manipulated by governments to create cults of personality and fragmented communities filled with distrust of each other. From there, it’s a small step toward violence and even genocide.
Hedges is not saying that the America
W.D. Clarke
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could only take this in very small bites. Each chapter takes more out of you than its predecessor, it seems, as the open sores on the sordid underbelly of the nation are exposed via heartbreaking interviews with Americans whose lives have been ruined by opioid addiction, gambling, unemployment, the porn/human traffic 'industry', etc. Essential stuff, for sure, but tough on the stomach. ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the american empire is coming to an end. the nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in europe, latin america, asia, and africa to do its bidding. add the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists, and warmongering generals. and to be clear, i include democrats.
Chris Chester
I read Chris Hedges' War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning in high school, right in the middle of the invasion of Iraq. At the time I remember being angry that more people weren't telling the truth about what the war meant, even as I gave my own tacit support, implicitly believing the untruths about weapons of mass destruction.

That was more than 15 years ago now and I've read a lot more and my skepticism about the American project is now grounded in both first-hand observation as well as the clas
Maru Kun
Oct 08, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: investment-made
Good interview with Chris Hedges on this work: Radio Open Source - Farewell Tour. Pretty much everything Chris Hedges says is woefully depressing. I just can't help agreeing with ninety percent of it. ...more
Gary Moreau
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Throughout history, all great civilizations have ultimately decayed. And America will not be an exception, according to former journalist and war correspondent, Chris Hedges. And while Hedges doesn’t offer a date, he maintains we are in the final throes of implosion—and it won’t be pretty.

The book is thoroughly researched and the author knows his history. And despite some of the reviews it is not so much a political treatise as it is an exploration of the American underbelly—drugs, suicide, sadi
Tim O'Neill
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hedges is not going to win any award for Optimist of the Year and, as others have noted, this book is sobering to the point of being bleak. But it is hard to argue with his thesis - the United States is in a state of late capitalist decay thanks to years of Reaganite policies that have favoured the rich while keeping everyone else either stupefied or distracted. Hedges uses the election of Trump as an obvious jumping off point for a detailed examination of what has gone so wrong in the last 60 y ...more
A detailed description of all the reasons why America's hey day is over and not to be repeated – at least not in any future that we will ever recognize as "American".

We are following the same downward spiral that previous empires have taken. Our non-manufacturing, service and consumption-oriented, and finance-heavy economy is an unsustainable house of cards. The illusion of security and well-being that the rising stock market showcases benefits only the most wealthy in our society (for how long?
Chris Dietzel
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Everything I've read by Hedges has been 5 stars and yet this may be his best book yet. And when I say 'best' I mean 'utterly depressing yet brutally accurate.' One of the reasons I'm a fan of Hedges is that he doesn't fall into the left-vs-right nonsense that most political writers and journalists succumb to. His entire mindset is the establishment-vs-people, and that, combined with his appreciation for history and his refusal to try and make things sound better than they are, gives readers an i ...more
Ian Beardsell
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is not a happy, feel-good read. I can't even say that it is an entirely enlightening read, at least to folks who have been half paying attention to the demise of political discourse and civil society in the United States.

Hedges pulls no punches but carefully makes the case that the America that inspired much of the good in the 20th Century--helping free Europe from fascism, making progress in human rights, providing better working conditions, and starting
Kaelan Ratcliffe ▪ كايِلان راتكِليف
Rebellion Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning

Hedges Magnum Opus. There's not much else to say. For those who follow his Articles (now moved from website Truthdig to Scheerpost) and read his books, there's not much new in Hedges sweeping analysis of American culture, corporate capitalism, and civilisational collapse. However, the interviews and time spent with those on the sharp end of the sword of Americas decline are unforgettable. It's incomprehensible at times how some of these individuals s
Rick Wilson
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is not a bad book. It’s just not saying anything of real significance. Is it one of those books that hashes and rehashes semi recent events and comes up with a witty analysis to show how smart the author is. Now the author is pretty smart and the analysis is pretty witty. But it’s not actually getting at anything of substance. That’s not a knock against this book specifically but more against books of this type.

“Big business does bad things”
“Trump tells lies”
“Welcome to late stage capitali
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book documents the current state of America, with a special focus on everything that has gone wrong and that threatens to undo the country's democratic structures and economic viability. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of this breakdown in society. The author writes very well. And what he uncovers is extremely disturbing. My only caveat is that his solutions seem too based in Marxist dogma. He dismisses other approaches as if they could never have any important effect. I remain u ...more
Keith Akers
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chris Hedges offers us a light-hearted, nostalgic romp through the absurdity and humor of the last days of the American Empire. NOT.

All right, his writing is depressing, excellent, and accurate. But what do we do with it? I am using this book selectively. It requires a context --- which Hedges does not explicitly provide.

As advertised, the book is provocative. Hedges describes a surprising variety of the seamier sides of American life, and then relating all of this to his overall theme of "decl
Unabridged Bibliophile
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-reads, 2019
RTC ugh... that was tough to get through, but it's so relevant. ...more
DNF @ 5%

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was hoping to read a balanced view of the current slow collapse of the American republic, but instead it's a book of solid bashing of conservative values. Definitely not going to finish this one!
Vincent Masson
Jul 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Chris Hedges has become a new idol of mine. I love people with passion, and he is extraordinarily passionate. He doesn't mince words. He doesn't shy away from ugly truths. His commitment to the middle class is nothing short of heroic, to me. As someone that has gone to many entry level jobs with a fake smile to sell products people don't want or need - for years - it's slightly jarring to see someone so intelligent coming to the defence of people like me.

He's taught me to open my eyes to a grea
Oh Chris, how can a I love you one minute then be rolling my eyes the next? I'll always be interested in what CH has to say, I've read most of his books and War is A Force that Gives Us Meaning is a favourite book of mine but he has gotten more and more into"Old Testament" mode as he has gone along and this book is a good example of that. He is at his best when he is out talking to ordinary people as the superb journalist and writer that he is, the stories about the opiod deaths and the responsi ...more
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book that may change the way you look at porn!

How did the book make me feel/think?

In a galaxy far, far away... okay, this galaxy, the Empire lumbered along, bringing with it great joy and prosperity to all.

Well, the Empire may fracture, crumbling before our eyes, with all of us complicit and distracted by the noise filling our craniums daily.

It’s 5 AM. I’m riding the elevator down from my home on the tenth floor. My eyes are drawn to the video screen above the keypad. “A family home in a provi
Shihab Ahmed
I wish I could give this book 10 stars. It is, I argue, one of the most important books anyone could ever read in our times.

they should teach courses on the contents of this book. so many hard truths and undeniable facts.

I am in absolute awe.

also, the author acknowledges Sheikh Hamza Yusuf
Scriptor Ignotus
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
This is a sobering depiction of American life in the throes of disintegration under a regime of corporate capitalism that is systematically dismantling our civil society. The ubiquitous influence of corporate lobbyists in the drafting of our legislation, the cannibalization of public utilities by for-profit corporations in an age of fiscal austerity, the outsourcing that has left large swathes of American workers trapped in the rusted shells of what were once our great industrial cities, the for ...more
Nancy Mills
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Four stars for great writing and very good points; 2 stars for ridiculous conclusions.
Uber-leftist Chris Hedges is a Presbyterian minister and is unabashedly Marxist, judging from the number of quotes lifted from Marxist literature. Marx, of course, advocated for communism, a concept unpalatable to most Americans but backed up by some very good reasoning.
Hedges effectively uses concrete examples of the decay in American standard of living and lost of jobs, starting close to home at the Scranto
May 29, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology, crime, politics
Astonishing... dismal... disturbing. But a must-read for the complacent. I just finished the book and am still trying to catch my breath. Though I didn't agree with all his opinions, most of his ideas were vital and need to be heard -- like the fact that we live in a corporate culture, which I've noticed for years and have tried my best to resist.

The author also has some YouTube videos about his book topics and I watched his lecture on this one.

Recommended to anyone who is not prone to depressi
Shauna Sorensen
Feb 03, 2021 rated it did not like it
One star for the only interesting parts of this book: the quotes from other sources and some of the interviews. Here begins my rant...

In the beginning of the book, I was very interested in the way he blended philosophy, sociology, and the stories of real people. But the philosophy soon petered out and the biggest misses came when he began working in a sort of armchair psychology. There's a big difference between talking with someone about their personal experience and asking them to speak in gen
Randall Wallace
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to frighten power elites do not succeed. They never adequately addressed white supremacy and institutional racism or the cruelty that is endemic to capitalism.” But Chris warns, “the corporate state, no longer concerned with addressing economic and racial inequality, is readying for a confrontation.” Since 1997, the Department of Defense has given “over a staggering $5.1 billion in military hardware to police departments.” Why fix t ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a pastiche of stories representing the underbelly of America and, perhaps, human civilization as it exists today.

I felt that Hedges hedged too much around using the existing system to effect change (reform), and resisting the system through militant struggle (revolution). He says: "There is no moral equivalency between antifa and the alt-right. But by brawling in the streets, antifa allows the corporate state, which is terrified of a popular anticapitalist uprising, to use the false arg
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first I found myself nitpicking at things I disagreed with (for example, he poo poos identity politics and the politics of inclusion like only a white man can). But when I started to get a sense of his broader thesis, that resistance must be organized, that it must not just target a specific political party or politician but rather take aim against the larger corporatocracy, I focused more on that.

The book is not seamless, but it is well researched, journalistic yet polemical, convincing and
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Christopher Lynn Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies.

Hedges is known as the best-selling author of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York Ci

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81 likes · 9 comments
“The New Deal, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, saved capitalism. It was put in place because socialists were a strong and serious threat. The oligarchs understood that with the breakdown of capitalism—something I expect we will again witness in our lifetimes—there was a possibility of a socialist revolution. They did not want to lose their wealth and power. Roosevelt, writing to a friend in 1930, said there was “no question in my mind that it is time for the country to become fairly radical for at least one generation. History shows that where this occurs occasionally, nations are saved from revolution.”95 In other words, Roosevelt went to his fellow oligarchs and said, “Hand over some of your money or you will lose all your money in a revolution.” And they complied. That is how the government created fifteen million jobs, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and public works projects. The capitalists did not do this because the suffering of the masses moved them to pity. They did this because they were scared.” 9 likes
“We live in a two-tiered legal system, one where poor people are harassed, arrested, and jailed for absurd infractions, such as selling loose cigarettes—which led to Eric Garner being choked to death by the New York City police in 2014—while crimes of appalling magnitude by the oligarchs and corporations, from oil spills to bank fraud in the hundreds of billions of dollars, which wiped out 40 percent of the world’s wealth,41 are dealt with through tepid administrative controls, symbolic fines, and civil enforcement that give these wealthy perpetrators immunity from criminal prosecution.” 8 likes
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