Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Book - 2012
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"Camden, New Jersey, with a population of 70,390, is per capita the poorest city in the nation. It is also the most dangerous. The city's real unemployment - hard to estimate, since many residents have been severed from the formal economy for generations - is probably 30 to 40 percent. The median household income is $24,600. There is a 70 percent high school dropout rate, with only 13 percent of students managing to pass the state's proficiency exams in math. The city is planning $28 million in draconian budget cuts, with officials talking about cutting 25 percent from every department, including layoffs of nearly half the police force. The proposed slashing of the public library budget by almost two-thirds has left the viability of the library system in doubt. There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, and MS-13. Camden is awash in guns, easily purchased across the river in Pennsylvania, where gun laws are lax.Camden, like America, was once an industrial giant. It employed some 36,000 workers in its shipyards during World War II and built some of the nation's largest warships. It was the home to major industries, from RCA Victor to Campbell's Soup. It was a destination for immigrants and upwardly mobile lower middle class families. Camden now resembles a penal colony.In Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and American Book Award winning cartoonist Joe Sacco show how places like Camden, a poster child of postindustrial decay, stand as a warning of what huge pockets of the United States will turn into if we cement in place a permanent underclass. In addition to Camden, Hedges and Sacco report from the coal fields of West Virginia, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and undocumented farm worker colonies in California. With unemployment and underemployment combined at far over ten percent, as Congress proposes to slash Medicare and Medicaid, Food Stamps, Pell Grants, Social Security, and other social services, Hedges and Sacco warn of a bleak near future-where cities and states fall easily into bankruptcy, neofeudalism reigns, and the nation's working and middle classes are decimated. A shocking report from the frontlines of poverty in America, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is a clarion call for reform"-- Provided by publisher
"In the vein of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Chris Hedges and American Book Award winning cartoonist Joe Sacco bring us a searing on-the-ground report on the crisis gripping underclass America and crime-ridden poverty enclaves--in prisons, urban slums, and rural communities--metastasizing around the nation"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Nation Books, c2012
ISBN: 9781568586434
Characteristics: xv, 302 p. : ill. ; 27 cm
Additional Contributors: Sacco, Joe


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SCL_Justin Aug 14, 2017

Some days, most days really, I want to be a journalist. Not the kind that writes press releases, but the kind that goes out into the world, sees something and tells everyone else what it looks like. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is exactly that kind of book, created by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco. It’s about the United States and the people who are at the bottom of a destructive economic system designed to enrich only the already rich. It culminates in Zuccotti Park with a chapter on Occupy, but it gets there via coal-mining, land claims, agricultural work and for-profit urban decay.

It’s not a scholarly book, but it has data to go with its interviews. Sacco illustrates the whole thing, which contributes to the personal feeling of it all. I loved the Sacco bits where he went into the full on comics as oral history treatment, drawing the stories the person was telling them.

This was an unabashedly political and very good book about 21st-century recession-era America. Highly recommended.

Jul 20, 2017

In the introduction, writer/journalist Chris Hedges describes this project: "Joe Sacco and I sat out two years ago to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in the country that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement." Hedges, who wrote "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," and acclaimed cartoonist Joe Sacco, who has done books about the war in Yugoslavia and Palestine, traveled to 5 different regions in the country to highlight inequality, poverty, and exploitation. It's a harrowing journey, from the brutally poor Indian reservation in PIne Ridge, South Dakota to the strip mined hills of Appalachia, and one that is polemical and resolutely anti-capitalist, which some other reviewers objected to. Hedges's writing can be a bit shrill, so it's nice to have Sacco's rich, sympathetic artwork as a balance. The final chapter, on Occupy in NYC, is by far the weakest, as Hedges lets his enthusiasm get the best of him. "Nickeled and Dimed" and "The Divide" are other good looks at inequality in America.

Jul 14, 2014

This book fundamentally explains the situation we have today: America contracting with China to build high speed rail: the predictable consequence of offshoring jobs, technology and investment to China [and elsewhere] while ignoring [not amortizing] America and its populace! The end result of a Jack Welch and GE!

Sep 11, 2013

Wonderful illustrations by Joe Sacco (no surprise there), but horrible text by Chris Hedges.

q22 Feb 06, 2013

This is an apocalyptical vision of present day American life for the labour class. It is told primarily through a collection of stories of individuals abused by the American obsession with money and backed up with a bit of historical perspective/evidence. The graphic component of the novel is more of a distraction although it may be more compelling to other readers. I wouldn't put this on my short-list of reads.

Feb 01, 2013

I thought to write a review, but, after checking Amazon I found someone with a more complete and compeling take; Something to worry about with certain situations in Canada. A great easy read, words run, pictures by Sacco tell more than is written Democracy demands intellegence, knowledge, awareness and many other attributes, in its users, or it evaporates and leaves an ugly mess, 4 of which are listed herein.

Anlother prerequisite read to this might be: "The Corporation by Joel Bakken".

Jane60201 Jan 19, 2013

I thought this book was incredibly biased toward attributing U.S. poverty problems to corporations and describing the poor as victims (for instance, the use of illicit drugs in W. Va). Didn't realize it before I picked it up as it got so many good reviews. I think I more balanced approach to poverty would be more useful.

Nov 15, 2012

Interesting and intimate view into the economic segregation of the disadvantaged population of the U.S. using a combination of text and graphic novel portrayals. The only problem I had with this insightful book is that the writing clearly has a political perspective of anti-corporate gov't views/belief and though I can't say that view is incorrect, it would have been a better read if done from a journalistic unbiased perspective stating that view by asking questions of the reader instead of stating those views as facts. I recommend this to anyone that lives a comfortable life and thinks anyone has the means to escape poverty by just applying themselves. I admit, the stories about various successful communities that crashed and burned trapping the remaining populations in deplorable living conditions shows these changes could happen to any community providing the wrong circumstances were to evolve. Also, I hope that I never ever have to deal with the issues the people portrayed in this book have had to. Never. But a very good read for a topic that is somewhat depressing. The combination of text and graphic story telling keeps it from it being too dark a read.


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