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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Hitchens was a polemicist and intellectual.

X, the student, i. Furthermore, some lefters the anecdotes not very interesting or are basic, some being on the level of name-dropping.

Jul 21, Lee rated it liked it. I think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one hand and Hitchens on the other. 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.

No one is quite as good at being condescending and disagreeable and intelligent and hilarious all at once. I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book. Looking for beautiful books?

Impervious to Amis’s foot, Hitchens attacks Bellow over Israel because, he explains, he feels obliged to defend his friend, Edward Said. I was myself “of” this period, and have witnessed some truly marvellous contrxrian at first hand. The Best Books of Out of Context and Incorrect Citation: 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.

Letters to a Young Contrarian

Jul 02, Lukas rated it really liked chrisgopher. Hitchens’s endorsement of Kenneth Starr may have been boldly heterodox in his own circle, but it was heartily applauded in others. He mines a vast archive of historical and intellectual precedent in making his case and molding it all into original observations of his own.

There is something awry when a well-rewarded columnist for Vanity Fair speaks of being “an exile or outcast on a remote shore.

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 encompass the vile yuong played by clericalism, racial hatred, militarism and the fetishisation of “the nation”.

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Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of a particular tribe and to truly transcend that tribe. 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.

It is curious to see how Hitchens ended up being with Harris, Dawkins and Dennett in one camp, at least in the public imagination. This book would be useful to anyone who wants to get involved in some field that requires strong debate or anyone who wants to get involved in almost any cause, particularly more controversial ones.

In the late Victorian period, Oscar Wilde – master of the pose but not a mere poseur – decided to live and act “as if” moral hypocrisy were not regnant. Despite its short length pages I found myself constantly going back over passages this book has a ton of great christoper.

The very best that can be said is that he uttered a string of fatuous non-sequiturs.

The Hitch is back in town

Our customer reviews As an Australian fifteen year-old thoroughly undernourished in terms of a commendable government I suffer under what can only be described a demagogical anti-proletariat of a leaderLetters To a Young Contrarian was both inspiring and an analgesic to my aforementioned hardship. There were some great momen I really, really wanted to like and enjoy this book. I have the feeling this would be a good introduction to this fascinating character of contrarian history.

I find this somewhat of a challenge to read having a dictionary and the Google handy is helpfuland that it provides an non-trivial obstacle to understanding the author’s points.

Methinks it is time to pour myself some Johnnie Walker Black neat in his dignified honor not to be construed as worship. The one thing I have to say about this book is that it contains the only almost – Decalogue short of one rule that I’d like to follow: The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks. But the latter term is probably the superior one, since it makes an essential point about thinking for oneself.

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

In each case, as we know now, the authorities were forced first to act crassly and then to look crass, and eventually to fall victim to stern verdicts from posterity. Letters to a Young Contrarian Cover of the first edition. Fans of his work may be riveted, but for newcomers I’d try one of his more focussed books. 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.

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See 2 questions about Letters to a Young Contrarian…. Christophet was courageous in both life and death. Do not live f To be a contrarian you have to be prepared to: Hitchens certainly makes a youn of valid and insightful points about the type of person he is conttrarian the type of person we could do with a lot more of.

Picture all experts as if they were mammals. But what made me personally allergic, each roseate dawn, was the large sign posted at the point where footwear had to be discarded. Exploring the entire range of “contrary positions”–from noble dissident to gratuitous nag–Hitchens introduces the next generation to the minds and the misfits who influenced him, invoking such mentors as Emile Zola, Rosa Parks, and George Orwell.

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. He therefore proposed living “as if” he were a citizen of a free society, “as if” lying and cowardice were not mandatory patriotic duties, “as if” his government had signed which it actually had the various treaties and agreements that enshrine universal human rights. The problem is that, much different than rebellion for its own sake, Hitchens backs it all up with historical and anecdotal proof.

Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant and selfish. Make no mistake, he doesn’t wa One word: I loved Hitcens before Iraq 2. 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.

The true mark of an educated man isn’t in what he knows, but how well he’s able to share it. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it.

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