Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Letters to a young contrarian. The spirit of may be a distant memory, but a new generation of radicals live in hope of making the world a. Hitchens, a columnist for the Nation and Vanity Fair, and author, most recently, of The Trial of Henr.

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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. Trivia About Letters to a Youn To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist.

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

Zola could be the pattern for any serious and humanistic radical, because he not only asserted the inalienable rights of the individual, but generalised his assault to lettrs the vile roles played by clericalism, racial hatred, militarism and the fetishisation of “the nation”. Return to Book Page. Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens.

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Even if we did really harbour this desire, it would fortunately be unattainable. Hitch did not have a little mind. Mar 08, Petra Eggs rated it it was ok Shelves: It can be understood from them that society, like a benign family, tolerates and even admires eccentricity. Jul 21, Nate rated it it was amazing.

The Hitch is back in town

That, and he had great humanity made him downright lovable. And that these ykung are incompatible, completely incompatiblewith the worship of an unalterable celestial dictator; someone who can watch you while you sleep and convict you of thought hitfhens, and whose rule cannot be challenged.


Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. There are fringe views that deserve to be marginalized, and then there are dissenting views which need to be heeded, or at least considered.

Archived from the original on He’s not a fan of Clinton or God or idiots or neutrality. I liked his post-genome universe thoughts, laughed aloud about his insistence at the Senate that his people contrarkan little to do with the Caucasus and therefore he wasn’t Caucasian, but would have liked him to apply neuroscientific discoveries to the very human w instinct and religion in general, the way he brings genomics to his opinions on race.

The same problem arises with “freethinker”. Discover what to read next.

On the way into the assembly one had to be sniffed from head to toe by two agonisingly beautiful California girls dressed in flame-ochre kimonos. To be called “satirical” or “ironic” is now to be patronised in a different way; the satirist is the fast-talking cynic and the ironist merely sarcastic or self-conscious and wised up.

Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of a particular tribe and to truly transcend that tribe. View all 8 comments. But lost between the vague, self-serving references and the almost indiscernible pieces of advice, one is more or less forced to conclude that being a contrarian is either innate or it isn’t. Regarding the second approach, here is where the one weakness of Hitchens’ writing starts to glare through.

He knows it very well himself though I’m not sure most of those who lump him with Dawkins or Harris do. As the bumper sticker says: How Religion Poisons Everything. Buy the selected items together This item: Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.


Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It is delicious because it showcases Hitchens at his most savage and wise he reveals a warm spot for the under-appreciated utopian radicalism of William Morris and his circle.

A shame, because with a skeptic like me such an approach appears neither informing or brilliant. The same is true of visceral patriots, and admirers of monarchy and aristocracy. There even exist official phrases of approbation for this tendency, of which the latest is the supposedly praiseworthy ability to “think outside the box”.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. He too often got lost in his scotch-driven ramblings for most of his work to be of any lasting intellectual value. 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 oyung novelist.

Hitchens is unable to keep his own obnoxiousness from ruining what could have been a decent book. Worth a quick read for quotation extraction — maybe I’ll add some this weekend — but I doubt I’ll be reading much more of him.

Yet, it is not. One minute I was baffled, the next minute a light bulb or fire, so as not to be anachronistic went on and the cave was illuminated.

In this sense he was almost a journalistic version of Mozart. True democracy would not exist without Hitchens and his ilk.

One person found this younv. I recommend this book for anyone, regardless of their age.

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