Frances Stonor Saunders says alcohol, hard living and linguistic lust all combined to make Hitchens a compelling presence. Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Nicholas Shakespeare pays tribute to his friend Christopher Hitchens, a man who loved the English language as much as cigarettes and.

Author: Digis Faera
Country: Sweden
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 22 February 2015
Pages: 259
PDF File Size: 18.71 Mb
ePub File Size: 19.17 Mb
ISBN: 573-8-18376-730-8
Downloads: 73492
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Malanos

Jan 15, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: In itself that is no bad thing, but the master-student dynamic means that the result is inevitably self-congratulatory. History’s least deserving Nobel Peace Prize recipient was forced to respond to Hitchens’s proposal, and that alone could have made The Trial of Henry Kissinger the standout Hitchens text of the year. Allegiance is a powerful force in human affairs; it will not do to treat someone as a mental serf if he is hjtchens that his thralldom is honorable and voluntary.

More By and About This Author. And yet what prevented him from becoming George Orwell is that which allowed him to be Bitchens Hitchens: Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will suply plenty of time for silence. First, there’s reading it as an inspirational tract on living a life of contrariness and dissent and all the baggage that comes with such a life.

When one engages in combative dialogue I say combative because vehemence in debate is no vice either it is important to know exactly whom with one is engaging. Topics Books The Observer. His improbable podium was Vanity Fairbut I wonder if he would not have been at his happiest in contrariaj coffeehouse culture of his beloved William Cobbett.

But when I am talking, especially to someone who may very well know more than me about any given subject, I go over each sentence that may escape my lips, in my head this also depends on my blood-alcohol level.


His is a more passionate and somewhat “biased” reply to every man-made despicable woe in life. People began to stand up at meetings and orate about how they felt, not about what or how they thought, and about who they were rather than what if anything they had done or stood for. Hitchens was his own man. But he was still a hithcens presence for his acerbic wit and his tendency to polemic in times that have seen intellectuals become cowardly dunces lost in the minutiae of inoffensiveness.

In short, here’s a guy who has seen more than you or your most well traveled friend ever will and has everything to say about it. Flip to any random page contrarizn you’ll find: Hitchens is unable to keep fontrarian own obnoxiousness from ruining what could have been a decent book.

Letters to a Young Contrarian

Not everything is up for debate, however, as observational evidence cannot be reasonably misconstrued as falsehood, unless we disagree on what observation and evidence are. And that he has a plan for you, on the condition that you agree to be a serf. Nor was I wrong. But there are times when that innate oppositional streak seems purely knee-jerk [ Hitchens makes some great hjtchens, however his flowery wording made it hard to keep my concentration.

The Hitch is back in town

Hitchens was a polemicist and intellectual. While this does provide more breadth to the point he is making it means the argument severly lacks in depth. His political conviction was its own contradictory thing — like his journalism, and also like his relationship with his journalist brother Peter with whom he parted on good terms.

What counted for Hitchens was the here and now, injected with a deep historical understanding plus lashings of contrariness. And that these things are contrariaj, completely incompatiblewith the worship of an unalterable celestial dictator; someone who can watch you while you sleep and convict you of thought crime, and whose rule cannot be challenged.


Aug 12, M. There’s no stone unturned intellectually, verbally, hell- geographically. I am told that my neutral face is a pissed-off face.

Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian – Telegraph

Yet, it is not. The book also contains some of the critiques of religion and religious belief which Hitchens would later develop in his polemic God Is Not Great: He set up the equation so that there was no way to oppose the invasion except as a coward or supporter of “Islamo-fascism” his term, which even the Bush-Blair propagandists hesitated to take upand comically walked out on his column at the Nation because he felt the editors and readers didn’t agree with him.

He had taken his early lessons in journalism from Claud Cockburn.

There is no shame in this, and nobody needs me to reassure them of that. This section contains too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Thus the reader is frequently reminded of the many stands Hitchens has made across the globe – from Chile to Czechoslovakia, from Cuba to Korea – against oppression, injustice, hypocrisy and corruption. Through the years reading Christopher Hitchens has been hit or miss for me.

Take advantage of your faculties and seek the truth out for yourself. While he was once identified with the Anglo-American radical political left, near the end of his life he embraced some arguably right-wing causes, most notably the Iraq War. Letters shows Hitchens’s best and worst sides. He was also a media fellow at the Hoover Institution.

An idea’s unpopularity does not make it true. If he struck a position, there was a sense that, sometimes, it was just that — a position.