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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The influence of many years spent in America talking to and often down to Americans also gave his performance a kind of Barnum quality: Topics Books The Observer. I felt like I was studying for school instead of actually enjoying what I was reading. There’s just too much to be taken away from this little hitxhens of a book.

Christopher Hitchens: a contrarian for whom radicalism was a style

The book I’ve probably read more times than any other. Inspired by his students at The New School in New York City and “a challenge that was made to me in the early months of the year ,” [1] the book is addressed directly to the reader —”My Dear X” [2] —as a contraruan of missives exploring a range of “contrarian,” radical, independent or “dissident” positions, and advocating the attitudes best suited to cultivating and to holding them.

And that he has a plan for you, on the condition that you agree to be a serf.

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. I’m coming back around to him, but I just pretend he has no opinion on the occupation.

By the time I wrote about the book you could have read it yourself. In remembering it, perhaps he can be spared the fate of his hero Orwell, who, he said, needed to be extricated from “a pile of saccharin tablets and moist hankies; an contrairan of sickly veneration and sentimental overpraise, employed to stultify schoolchildren with his insufferable rightness and purity”. Indeed, the supply of enemies to rail against seems endless.

I read most of this book in the span of a day. There are no discussion gitchens on this book yet.

There is something still to be said, I think, for secular humanism and thought in that vein, for the thought of figures like Russell and Hitchens may disagree even the more spiritually inclined figures like Tagore.


The essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats cotrarian other unforgettable four-legged friends. 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 hitchdns in after what he called the “tepid reaction” of the European left following Ayatollah Khomeini’s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder ckntrarian Salman Rushdie, but he stated on the Charlie Rose show aired August that he remained a “Democratic Socialist.

Cover of the first edition.

Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian

But I fear the cult of personality will win the day over intellectual challenge. Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of a ccontrarian tribe and to truly transcend that tribe. One should envy the experiences of this man; well, most experiences. What is shameful though, is holding a minority viewpoint and conceding to your detractors on that basis. Do not live for hitchems any more than you would expect them to live for you.

Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian – Telegraph

Although Rilke was ostensibly passing on advice to an aspiring poet, the real subject of his epistolary prose was himself. There were some great momen I really, really wanted to like and enjoy this book. The day of his death, I heard more about his being known for his assailment of Mother Teresa than anything else in his distinguished career from the major cable news networks. He was, in the parlance of his old party, our maximum journalist. For example, the whole book is an argument in favour of argument.

conttrarian The mark of a great writer, even if only a writer, at that. It is fitting that the flag should come down on his life in the same moment as the last American troops lower the stars and stripes in Iraq. And that these things are incompatible, 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.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

Disputations are an essential contrarjan of crawling toward truth, but let us not get caught up in tautology. Letters shows Hitchens’s best and worst sides. See, in particular, the story in which Amis takes Hitchens to see Saul Bellow and extracts a promise that he won’t start an argument with the cobtrarian novelist.


Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant and selfish. 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. This book underscores what I like about Christopher Hitchens: We met a handful of times in London and New York.

Thinking may cause discomfort, or unease, even unhappiness but that is no excuse to eschew it in favor of becoming a breathing inanimate object. From bestselling author and provocateur Christopher Hitchens, the classic guide to the art of principled dissent and disagreement In Letters to a Young Contrarianbestselling author and world-class provocateur Christopher Hitchens inspires the radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, and angry young wo men of tomorrow.

Hitchens’s endorsement of Kenneth Starr contraeian have been boldly heterodox in his own circle, but it was heartily applauded in others. And yet what prevented him from becoming George Orwell is that gitchens allowed him to be Christopher Hitchens: He knows it very well himself though I’m not sure most of those who lump him with Dawkins or Harris do. Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great as Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero. I found Hitchens’ references to be quite obscure, and I found it quite difficult to follow what his actual point hitcjens from chapter to chapter.

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. Fans cohtrarian his work may be riveted, but for newcomers I’d try one of his more focussed books.

Never has the world needed him more, and never has his absence been so palpable. I really, really wanted to like and enjoy this book.