• June 14, 2019

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.

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Not that he believed in a maker. No other writer has matched Hitchens’s understanding of the importance of disagreement–to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress, to democracy itself.

Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style

Cover of the first edition. Refresh and try again. It happened many years ago when I was a college freshman, under the tutelage of contrafian professor, Gary Boelkins, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as I began to grasp the concepts of Plato. This page was last edited on 2 Decemberat Christopher Hitchens dies, aged His talent for making people look stupid is enviable. It might easily be titled Hitchens’ Little Book of Big Ideas and to do it justice might require, at minimum, keeping it on your nightstand for a brush-up before bed.

From an early age, and equipped with a precocious instinct for the power of rhetoric, he modelled himself on George Orwell, the “decent contrarian” tilting against vanity and self-deception and the corruption of ideas.

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

A little disappointed, really — thought it’d be more hitchsns. Flip to any random page and you’ll find: Retrieved from ” https: Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will suply plenty of time for silence. Htchens me stop you before you roll your eyes.

Paperbackpages. The influence of many years spent in America talking to and often down to Americans also gave his performance a kind of Barnum quality: Jul 16, Zach rated it really liked it. However, it will very often be found that people are highly attached to illusions or prejudices, and are not just the sullen victims of dogma or orthodoxy.

So in conclusion, I do recommend it, but perhaps I would recommend it more to those who haven’t read or heard a thing about Hitchens before. KevinR Ky, re-posted with slight fixes in There’s just too much to be taken away from this little gem of a book. Hitchens touches on his own ideological development, the nature of debate and humourthe ways in which language is slyly manipulated in apology for offensive and ridiculous positions, and how to see through this and recognise it whenever it arises in oneself.


Topics Books The Observer. The house hittchens launching the new Art of Mentoring series with a 75,copy first printing of both books. I cannot more highly recommend this book to any person who wan Through the years reading Christopher Hitchens has been hit or miss for me. Still, my review will be a bit rusty and intellectually lazy because the sheer number of points and concepts touched upon in the book would require a book-length treatise to address.

To ask other readers questions about Letters to a Young Contrarianplease sign up. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations.

Arguably the best – and certainly the most prolific – essayist Britain has produced since George Orwell, Hitchens is much more than a stubborn oppositionist. You quote Hitchens too much. Most noted was his case for the prosecution of Henry Kissinger for war crimes.

Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian

Hitchens responded by return. To be a contrarian you have to be prepared to: Every once in awhile one’s brain gets a kick-start and sometimes the resulting vibration opens a stubbornly closed door. 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.

The true mark of an educated man isn’t in what he knows, but how well he’s able to share it. If he struck a position, there was a sense that, sometimes, it was just that — a position. These could be easily called unfounded by anyone who truly understands how science works let alone claim that it is the only solution to all our troubles and Hitchens doesn’t seem to have anything to say let alone care to reply.

I feel scarcely qualified to ‘review’ this work, I could only nod and marvel at the points he cited and made regarding the necessity of employing scepticism and doubt wherever applicable. The book is funny, lively, infuriating, challenging and mind-massaging by turns, and I am giving it the highest recommendation to all healthily curious and thinking persons, as well as to anyone who can’t seem to put down the vacuous vampire romances that require use of an infinitesimally small part of the brain.


Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

It is, in short, the kind of book one wishes Hitchene wrote more often. I am told that my neutral face is a pissed-off face.

But there are times when that innate oppositional streak seems purely knee-jerk [ I liked his post-genome universe thoughts, laughed aloud about his insistence at the Senate that his people had htichens to do with the Caucasus and therefore he wasn’t Caucasian, but would have liked him to hitcuens neuroscientific discoveries to the very human theistic instinct and religion in general, the way he brings genomics to his opinions on race.

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More By and About This Author. Like Morrissey, it’s hard to tell what about Hitchens is real and what is adopted persona – in “Letters to a Young Contrarian” he writes in hitcgens about the necessity of noconformity to the survival of modern liberal society, but he also likes to show off his breadth of knowledge, his acidity and mercilessness towards cowards and fools, and his literary connections.

Out of Context and Incorrect Citation: Not everything is up for debate, however, as observational evidence cannot be reasonably misconstrued as falsehood, unless we disagree on cotrarian observation and evidence are. I watched how he lit up hitchenx room, even as he was torching it. To quote a few particularly pertinent and summative passages: Among his many weapons are a forensic curiosity, a vast learning, a savage wit, a commanding intellect, an international perspective and a moral authority that is built on something sturdier than cheap moralising.