Chris Hedges

Income inequality and our winner-take-all economy are hard to communicate on a visceral level. FOX News effectively simplifies the issues from a right-wing perspective, so leave it to lefties Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco to try a different approach. Combining journalism and cartooning, respectively, the two set out to chronicle those enduring pockets of poverty and despair in Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books, $28). One such enclave is Camden, New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from more prosperous Philadelphia. White flight, the loss of unionized manufacturing jobs, and the collapse of its tax base have made the city a destitute dumping ground. All that's left, Hedges writes, are drug dealing, prostitution, scrap-metal yards, and a sewage treatment plant. He and Sacco visit a homeless camp whose de facto leader tells them, "Everybody is one paycheck away from being here." (Everybody except Mitt Romney, of course.) Sacco's black-and-white illustrations are suitably bleak—fried chicken shacks, check-cashing joints, and abandoned factories. Hedges will appear tonight to discuss "the story of the weakest forever being crushed by the strong … the story of unchecked and unfettered corporate power, which has taken our government hostage." BRIAN MILLER

Fri., June 29, 7:30 p.m., 2012

 
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