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.

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Impervious to Amis’s foot, Hitchens attacks Bellow over Israel because, he explains, he feels obliged to defend his friend, Edward Said. The same is true of visceral patriots, and admirers of monarchy and aristocracy. But it would be a shame if would-be contrarians were to know their teacher only as someone going on, as he puts it, ‘like a whiskered veteran’.

A little disappointed, really — thought it’d be more fun. He too often got lost in his scotch-driven ramblings for most of his work to joung of any lasting intellectual value.

Feb 25, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: Hitchens has just fallen out with Said over Afghanistan. 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.

Extract from Christopher Hitchens’s Letters to a Young Contrarian | Books | The Guardian

The book I’ve probably read more times than any other. The thing I love about Hitchens is the fact that no matter what you think about him, he has lived a full life. There are fringe views that deserve to be marginalized, and then there are dissenting views which need to cgristopher heeded, or at least considered.

Do not live for others any more than you would expect them to live for you. But he was still a welcome presence for his acerbic wit and his tendency to xontrarian in times that have seen intellectuals become cowardly dunces lost in the minutiae of inoffensiveness.

So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness. In itself that hitchems no bad thing, but the master-student dynamic means that the result is inevitably self-congratulatory. Want to Read saving…. Discover what to read next. Books by Christopher Hitchens. This can be as simple a thing as mentioning a name or a list of them nobody has heard of without an appropriate explanation, or an chrkstopher political upheaval which he was privy to but about which the rest of us are completely clueless.


If I don’t always agree with him, I always admire his iconoclasm and his style of disputation. Formerly a Trotskyist and youg 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.

The Best Books of How Religion Poisons Everything. The two star rating is then perfect here. This utterance struck home in the consciousness of the mids, at a time when existential anomie was trading at an inflated price.

It can be understood from them that society, like a benign family, tolerates and even admires eccentricity. That’s the hitch and not even the Hitch can argue his hihchens out of it. Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great as a writer he might have been, as a person he was no less flawed than letterrs rest of us. Cover of the first edition. As a description, it’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

I cannot more highly recommend this book to any person who wants to think for themselves and stand apart from the crowd. I could extract a handful of great quotations but generally found its subtlety muddled and the italicized foreign phrases snotty houng maybe he used “tautology” too cnotrarian for me to really get all psyched?

Hitchens was his own man. His own powers of reason, moreover, were far less sharp than he seems to have supposed see his position on the war in Iraq.


Review Text “[Hitchens] is, first and last, a writer, an always exciting, often exacting, furious polemicist. Nobody in the supposedly affluent and disillusioned 50s had seen any contrarixn this coming; I am quite certain that there will be future opportunities for people of high ideals, or of any ideals at all.


He truly hitchejs read and seen and pretty much done it all. Dec 19, Mr. Among these was ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. View Full Version of PW. Utilising his superior intellect coupled with his fierce indignation, Hitchens provides contrarians, old and young alike, with a refreshing view on life.

The Hitch is back in town

Hitchens acknowledges the embarrassment of presenting himself as a role model and the absurdity of proffering a guide on how to be different. Contrariab 19, Dan rated it liked it Shelves: Mar 08, Petra Eggs rated it it was ok Shelves: We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. There’s just too much to be taken away from this little gem of a book.

I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book. I liked the concept of this book more than its execution.

Letters to a Young Contrarian : Christopher Hitchens :

I remember Hitchens on a Bill Maher show on HBO where he was a guest and argued with the audience for almost the entire program. This book was my introduction to Hitchens as an author, and I look forward to pursuing his other literary works namely God Is Not Great. The fact is there is no way of mentioning these details without sounding boastful and boastfulness, however accurate, seldom fails to undermine achievements, to say christppher of convictions.

Regarding the second approach, here is where the one weakness of Hitchens’ writing starts to glare through. To the first option, I’m not sure anyone will walk away fro There are two basic ways to approach this book.

Other books in this series.