Item description for Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America by Chris Hedges...
Overview Hedges delivers an impassioned, eloquent call to heed the wisdom of the Ten Commandments. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, he explores the challenge of living according to these moral precepts we have tried to follow, often unsuccessfully, for the past 6,000 years. Losing Moses on the Freeway is a provocative and intensely personal narrative that reveals the universal nature of human suffering and yearning for redemption. The Commandments deal with the most profound violations we can suffer as members of a human community; defying them comes at a devastating cost.
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Studio: Free Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 1" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Jun 30, 2005
Publisher Free Press
ISBN 0743255135 ISBN13 9780743255134 UPC 076714024007
Availability 0 units.
More About Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Chris Hedges currently resides in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America?
Uneven thinking Mar 19, 2008
Hedges tackles a subject much tougher than it appears to be. He wants to use everyday, real-life situations to illustrate the Ten Commandments. Sometimes he does. At other times, the writing feels very political. The opening chapter is tough, but makes the point that life isn't always pretty, especially the kind of pretty that church people have come to expect.
Some of the chapters seem only tangentially related to the commandment cited. Some of them felt like I dropped into an Obama for President rally. Corporations are bad, profit is evil... This is especially so in the chapter on theft. He does do one thing that feels a little less than honest. He writes about the R. Foster Winans and his trouble from his Wall Street Journal column of the 80s. He ties this right in with Enron; never pointing out that Enron is a situation that happened at least 15 years later.
The take on lying is rather obtuse. It is the story of two chess shops in New York City and how the owners feud. I never really made the connection to lying.
The chapter on idols was great. It made an excellent point as it showed Phish followers and how they had given their lives over to following the band. The point was well made.
A good book? No, but a book that is thought provoking. If you are looking for an orthodox take on the Ten Commandments, this isn't it. If you are looking for someone to take a very different approach, this might work. Just be prepared that you won't get much in the way of theology here. That might be what you are looking for. I would have preferred picking it up in a used book store at a reduced price.
Losing Me on the Ten Commandments Feb 10, 2008
This book gets five stars, it is well-written, humanist, and produces much thought on issues of the day. And Hedges genuinely cares about the human race and is looking for alternatives and answers to some of the most crucial questions that affect people who suffer.
That being said, I utterly disagree with Hedges' philosophical stance concerning the Commandments. People with strong beliefs, be they religious or not, use their beliefs to act, be they good or evil. Some people follow a religion, some don't, some believe in god, some don't. But people can have strong beliefs, and morals, within the context of religion and god, or outside of it. This is what Hedges does not seem to understand. Too often he says that God, or the love of God, is the only way.
Of course this is my belief, but I do not want the Ten Commandments near me or my children, just as religious followers would not want my godless beliefs to be supported by institutions such as government and schools. I find the Ten Commandments, at times, either morally irrelevant or needless. Obviously we should not kill or steal, and that we should honor and respect and love, but the first four commandments have no place in moral philosophy.
The arguments Hedges makes about Idols using the followers of the rock group Phish, make compelling cases against following trends or cults, but does not connect with the morality or Biblical intent. The Old Testament's religious chauvinism has directly resulted in the burning of heretics, and fomented religious hatred. It is not a hard stretch to see this as the intent of the Bible. The Old Testament encourages stoning. Even Moses picked up rocks. Hedges should have spent more time examining Christian missionaries and their views toward Buddhists in Asia.
Honor the Sabbath? No other Gods before me? Take the lord God's name in vain? These first commandments create a Christianity that resembles the Taliban. Sure, you can force a different spirit in their meaning that can be interpreted as decent, but Hedges' arguments are not cogent. Yes, Hedges points out how we need to treat others well, as he goes from war torn village (he wrote a great line about a Guatemalan soldier participated in a massacre, to paraphrase 'I hope the memory causes him much pain, and I hope he never forgets.'). He goes from slums in the U.S., to comfort women in Latino bars lying with the lure of sex, and makes moving cases against tragedy, and then he ties these sad cases up with some spurious connection to an ambiguous Commandment.
I see Hedges next book, I Don't Believe In Athiests, is going to make arguments against the writings of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. The early promos seem to make an unjustified enemy out of athiest humanitarians. And that Hedges is willing to do this. Why? I think, for the non-believer, it is logical to find fault with chauvinist religions like Christianity that thematically condemn the non-believer. Sure, for those that love, like Hedges, there is a way to love non-believers, but do not say the answers lie in religion.
'War is a Force that Gives us Meaning' is one of the best books I have ever read, I just don't understand why Hedges can be so lucid and compassionate about humanity, and not see why other people do not believe in god. Hedges believes in humanity, and so does Dawkins and Harris, or other famous athiests such as Mark Twain and Colonel Robert Ingersool.
Anyway, Losing Moses is still an important book, and Hedges makes great humanitarian arguments.
Inspirational May 1, 2007
Chris Hedges breathes new life into the Ten Commandments. Devoting a chapter to each commandment, he relates them to modern life in a highly provocative manner outside the context of religion. Each chapter is a short story in itself, usually with him as the protagonist, imbuing them with a memoir-like quality except for an overabundance of musing, which is where his real power lies. He speaks with great passion from a keen intellect hewn from experience and religious scholarship.
The Family: Honor your father and your mother, was my most favorite chapter recounting a speech he delivered in May 2003 to the graduating class of Rockford College. It was a time when the majority of Americans still supported the Iraq War, when most believed in its mission, shortly after a media blitz with President Bush pictured standing on an aircraft carrier claiming victory behind a banner that read "Mission Accomplished" (incidentally, today is its fourth-year anniversary). Chris Hedges inflamed many that day with caustic words highly critical of the wisdom behind our invasion of Iraq, accurately predicting a future that has become reality.
I admire this man and I won't be satisfied until I've read all of his books.
My faith in a loving God is restored Mar 12, 2007
Chris, your books have given me words to express my frustration with the way some people understand God. I am renewed by knowing that the God I love is not the God so often portrayed by those who want to control us through a misguided interpretation of His word in the bible. It also gives me new strength to love and tolerate those who are misguided, and to understand and forgive myself when I have not been loving and compassionate. Thank you for this wonderful book.
Losing Moses on the Freeway Mar 8, 2007
It is a very stimulating read. It makes you take a look at the Ten Commandments from a different perspective. If you have become complacent or take your faith to routinely, a must read to get you fired up again about what you believe.