Arguably: Selected Essays
Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and th ...more
Barbarism is not the inheritance of our prehistory. It is the companion that dogs our every step.
(Alain Finkielkraut, quoted in Hitchens' Introduction)
Christopher Hitchens in 2007
4 1/2 stars
Christopher Hitchens doesn’t need much of an introduction. Just a few words here, condensed from the following Wiki articles: Hitchens, Political views and New Atheism.
He was born in England in 1949, died in the U.S. in 2011. Educated at Oxford, he moved to the United States in 1981, as part of an “ ...more
― Christopher Hitchens, Arguably: Selected Essays
It is hard to not love Hitchens. Or hate him. God I miss him. He was one of those journalists and public intellectuals (yes, that is a tired phrase) that constantly made me feel I needed to up my game a bit. I would read a (no I will NOT use an) Hitchens article in Vanity Fair or Slate or about anywhere and realize that ...more
Before his death, I had a vague awareness of Christopher Hitchens, having read some of his contributions to Vanity Fair, but he never struck me as someone I should be paying close attention to until after he had died a ...more
--Gods of Our Fathers: The United States of Enlightenment
--The Private Jefferson
--Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates
--Benjamin Franklin: Free and Easy
--John Brown: The Man Who Ended Slavery
--Abraham Lincoln: Misery's Child
--Mark Twain: American Radical
--Upton Sinclair: A Capitalist Primer
--JFK: In Sickness and by Stealth
--Saul Bellow: The Great Assimilator
--Vladimir Nabokov: Hurricane Lolita
--John Updike, Part One: No Way
--John Updike, Part Two: Mr. Geniality
--Vidal Loco ...more
A Provocative Chest of Treasures
Arguably is the cynosure of all essay collections. I love this book.
No book has challenged and amused me on such a variety of intriguing topics as this collection of Christopher Hitchens' best essays. Before reading it, I was not a fan of Hitchens. Regrettably, I now realize I just wasn't paying attention all those years he was around.
Along with his most brilliant, mordant wit, he had a textbook knowledge of a vast array of t ...more
There were some definite serendipities, such as a run of essays on authors I too like very much (Waugh, Greene, Powell, Wodehouse, Nabokov), and some discussions that made me want to rush out and look again at others (I've only started the Flashman series, and he kept bringing it up). The po ...more
Boy was this man well-read. As you can probably tell ...more
In its entirety, the book is a massive tribute to Hitchens’ eclectic erudition. The collection is a feast of brilliant, impassioned argume ...more
A line appearing somewhere near the midpoint of this collection of essays is revealing: “Stay with me. I've been doing the hard thinking for you.” Christopher Hitchens does a lot of hard thinking apparently; keep up if you can. This may suggest that considerable ego is involved, and given the author's reputation you can be sure that it is, but on display too is considerable erudition.
The book is composed of six sections roughly dividing the essays on theme. Most important for an understanding o...more
The full-scale electronic edition is almost as infuriating as Hitchens' views on Iraq; it's 750 pages of unindexed text, and the table of contents is impossible to scroll. (Or that might just be my [Kindle] Touch.) ...more
There are a hundred essays in this tome; the most dazzling of which cover Hitch’s favourite writers. What’s interesting about his peculiar love of literature is that most of his favourite and most obsessively read authors have political and religious views quite oppos ...more
Brilliant, just brilliant.
Hitchens writes with such clarity, force and humour. There are about 100 essays in this compilation, mostly from the decade just before he died, and about half are book reviews. So it didn’t take a year read, thanks to some time off in NZ, but I did have to read the essays twice at least to allow full absorption by my tiny brain.
The range of topics is simply amazing, and I can do little more than simply list some of the more memorable ones so I don’t forget. The books ...more
All of these articles have appeared in print or online (and many, if not most, are still available there), so some tend to be more topical than others. Considering he writes a column for Slate once a week, it must have been hard to de ...more
I was so enthusiastic with this point of view discovered in the first pages of this enormous book that I kept reading for a while before acknowledging that it's pointless to continue in a systematic manner and I began browsing and skipping.
The journalist's work is condemned t ...more
But what took ...more
1/5: In 'Believe Me - It's Torture', journalist Christopher Hitchens confronts the issue of whether waterboarding is torture, by being waterboarded himself.
2/5: In 'Let Them Eat Pork Rinds', journalist Christopher Hitchens sees in the reactions to New Orleans floods, how the haves in society have always disdained the have nots.
3/5: Christopher Hitchens' disturbing report from Vietnam in 2006 on the continuing devastation caused by the use of Agent Orange in th ...more
Comes in a bit short at a page shy of 750. I'd love to talk more with this man, fiery and funny as he may be.
Here's a link to a great review, http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=42938&... and within that link, is a link to each of the original essays! Going through this list, I'm surprised at how many I've read. My favourites are the literary on ...more