Chris Hedges Biography
Chris Hedges, born Christopher Lynn Hedges, is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University Lecturer. He is the author of such books as War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), which was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Award For Non-fiction; The New York Times Bestseller Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco among others.
Also, he is a columnist for the progressive news and commentary website Truthdig. Along with this, he hosts On Contact for the RT, a Russian International Television Station. Over the years, Chris has reported in over 50 countries and has worked with such media outlets as The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times. He has also taught college students for many years in New Jersey Prisons. He teaches a class in Princeton University comprising of half prisoners and half Princeton undergraduates.
Chris Hedges Age
Chris was born on the 18th of September 1956 in the town of St. Johnsbury, the shire town of the Caledonia County of Vermont in the United States.
Chris Hedges Family
Chris Hedges was born to Thelma Louise (maiden name Prince) and the Rev. Thomas Havard Hedges, a Presbyterian minister. He was raised in the rural parts of the Schoharie County of the New York State in the United States. He attended a private boarding school called Loomis Chaffee School located in Windsor, a town in the Hartford County of Connecticut.
Chris Hedges Wife
Chris is currently married to Eunice Wong, a Canadian actress. The couple lives in Princeton, New Jersey with four children. Two of these children are from Chris’ previous marriage.
Chris Hedges Education
After graduating from the Loomis Chafee School in 1975, he attended the Colgate University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1979. Next, he attended the Harvard Divinity School and studied under James Luther Adams. In 1983, he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. He also studied Latin and Classical Greek at Harvard. In addition to this, he can speak English, Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Chris Hedges Career
New York Times
One of his earliest roles was as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times for 15 years. He spent five out of the 15 years in the Middle East with four years as the Middle East bureau chief. Here, he covered the war in Yugoslavia as the Balkan bureau chief in Sarajevo. Later, he covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East while in Paris.
His report considered most significant was on the 8th of November 2001. The report involved two former Iraqi military commanders who claimed to have trained foreign mujahedeen how to hijack planes without using guns. According to Mother Jones, a magazine that focuses on news commentary, and investigative reporting, the report made an immediate impact. Major papers of the time ran the story as well as coverage to a wider audience through cable TV talk shows.
Later, it was revealed that the report was an elaborate scam. Apparently, the man who Chris had quoted turned out to be a former sergeant, not Lt. General Jamal al-Ghurairy, as was identified in the report. He defended himself saying he had taken on reporting this account at the request of Lowell Bergman of Frontline, who wanted the defectors for his show but could not go to Beirut for the interview. He went on to explain:
“There has to be a level of trust between reporters. We cover each other’s sources when it’s a good story because otherwise, everyone would get hold of it.”
The same year his report was considered a scam, he wrote two other articles. One of the two that claimed that Iraq still held 80 Kuwaitis captured in the 1991 Gulf War in a secret underground prison, was also found to be baseless. Since then, he has regretted not fully getting all the information from his sources and for not acting upon his doubts about Lt. General Jamal al-Ghurairy.
Chris Hedges Photo
Political Views and Activism
Chris has been a critic of the Iraq War for years. He addressed at Rockford college saying: “We are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige and power and security.” The speech was received badly since he got booed and his microphone was turned off. The New York Times criticized his statements issuing him a public reprimand for “public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper’s impartiality”.
A while after, he left The New York Times and became a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a columnist at Truthdig. Along with this, he also authored books and taught inmates at a correctional institution. As he taught inmates, he also criticized mass incarceration in the United States. In 2008, he wrote speeches for Ralph Nader, a candidate in the U.S. presidential campaign. March, the year after saw him warning that human over-population and mass species extinction are serious problems. He offered that in order to save the planet population growth must be cut.
On December 16, 2010, Hedges was arrested outside the White House along with Daniel Ellsberg and more than 100 activists who were protesting the war in Afghanistan. Chris was featured in an October 2011 episode of the CBC News Network’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange. He was to discuss his support for the Occupy Wall Street protests. In the show, he was criticized by the co-host, Kevin O’Leary.
He was arrested on the 3rd of November 2011 with other members of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. He has appeared on the Democracy Now! television program; on Breaking the Set on RT, and on CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. In the 2012 US presidential election, Chris was noted to be supporting Jill Stein. He even delivered the keynote address at the Green Party of New Jersey state convention.
In June 2013, he appeared alongside a number of other celebrities in a video in support for Chelsea Manning. September, the next year, found him and Bernie Sanders, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and Kshama Sawant on a panel to discuss climatic changes. Shortly after this, he participated in the Flood Wall Street protests along with Naomi Klein. That same year, in November, he wrote an article explaining why he and his family went vegan. In December, he compared the actions of ISIS today to the way Israel’s founding fathers acted in the late 1940s.
In 2015 at the Left Forum, Chris was a contender stating: with the “denouement of capitalism and the disintegration of globalism”, Karl Marx has been “vindicated as capitalism’s most prescient and important critic”. He also said that Marx “foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction. He knew that reigning ideologies—think neoliberalism—were created to serve the interests of the elites and in particular the economic elites.”
On the 15th of April 2016, Chris Hedges was arrested alongside 100 other protestors. This was during a sit-in held outside the U.S. Capitol during Democracy Spring. They protested the capture of the political system by corporations.
On the 5th of October 2014, Chris Hedges was ordained as a minister within the Presbyterian church. With this, he was given the role of Minister of Social Witness and Prison Ministry at the Second Presbyterian Church Elizabeth in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This was despite his being rejected for ordination 30 years earlier.
Chris Hedges and Obama
After the Obama Administration signed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) in 2012, Chris Hedges sued members of the US Government. The suit (Hedges V. Obama) was later joined by activists like Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg. In May, the same year, the counter-terrorism provision of the NDAA is unconstitutional. The Obama administration appealed the decision and it was overturned. Chris tried to petition the case to the Supreme court but it was denied in April 2014.
Chris Hedges’ Books
- 2018: America, The Farewell Tour
- 2016: Unspeakable
- 2015: Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt
- 2012: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, with Joe Sacco
- 2010: The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress
- 2010: Death of the Liberal Class
- 2009: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
- 2009: When Atheism Becomes Religion: America’s New Fundamentalists, (a retitled edition of I Don’t Believe in Atheists)
- 2008: Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians, with Laila Al-Arian
- 2008: I Don’t Believe in Atheists
- 2007: American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
- 2005: Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America
- 2003: What Every Person Should Know About War
- 2002: War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
Chris Hedges Quotes
The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war’s refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.”
“Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause.”
“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.”