Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Christopher Hitchens offers them the wisdom of a seasoned campaigner. Letters to a young contrarian. The spirit of may be a distant. Hitchens, a columnist for the Nation and Vanity Fair, and author, most recently, of The Trial of Henr.

Author: Taugami Maurr
Country: Maldives
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Music
Published (Last): 4 October 2004
Pages: 322
PDF File Size: 3.46 Mb
ePub File Size: 1.76 Mb
ISBN: 369-7-91303-734-2
Downloads: 90308
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Malakree

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: All in all, a really good read. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses.

Allegiance is a powerful force in human affairs; it will not do to treat someone as a mental serf if he is convinced that his thralldom is honorable and voluntary. Despite its short length pages I found myself constantly going younng over passages this book has a ton of great quotes.

Instead of singing along chrisyopher the Bad Romances and the Mmmbopiesor whatever you kids are listening to nowadays, I am obdurately testifying along: Nov 17, Walk-Minh Allen rated it liked it. I loved Hitch before Iraq 2. View all 5 comments.

But he was still a welcome 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. Style, goung, learning, and worldliness.

Most noted was his case for the prosecution of Henry Kissinger for war crimes.

These are words on which the superhumanists chrostopher meditate. Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of A born contrarian, he makes entertaining mincemeat of self-satisfied politicians, and shreds received ideas and media-spun consensus with a fearlessness that is invaluable in our mealymouthed punditocracy.


Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others.

Thinking may cause discomfort, or unease, even unhappiness but that is no excuse to eschew it in favor of becoming a breathing inanimate object. Although Rilke was ostensibly passing on advice to an aspiring poet, the real subject of his epistolary prose was himself. Formerly a Trotskyist and a fixture in the left wing publications of both the United Kingdom and United States, Hitchens departed from the grassroots of the political left in after what he called the “tepid reaction” of the European left following Ayatollah Khomeini’s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, but he stated on the Charlie Rose show aired August that he remained a “Democratic Socialist.

Overall, I found his style stilted and stodgy, his referencing of Orwell and Adorno and the like unexciting and expected, and his name-dropping of dear friends Rushdie, Amis, McEwan insecure. This question – whether or not to tolerate intolerance – is at the centre of contemporary political life, but Hitchens dodges it or, at least, lets it pass without properly checking its credentials.

Christopher Hitchens is one of my favorite people, period. And if they want to know more about the man, Experience would conntrarian be a bad place hitchenns start.

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

The two star rating is then perfect here. Oct 13, Sam rated it it was amazing. That is unless you trust the transcendent sapience of the Dalai Lama, whose work I was reading in parallel with Huxley’s. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience.



Views Read Edit View history. Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of a particular tribe and to truly transcend that tribe. Frequently, they can trace their careers to an incident in early life where they felt obliged to take a stand. Regarding the second approach, here is where the one weakness of Hitchens’ writing starts to glare through.

But it would be a shame if would-be contrarians were to know their teacher only as someone going on, as he puts it, cotrarian a whiskered veteran’.

Letters to a young contrarian

He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculations and sometimes even hearsay. For two reasons that seem good to me; the first being my conviction that human beings do not, in fact, desire to live in some Disneyland of the mind, where there is an end to striving and a general feeling of contentment and bliss. 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.

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.