Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays
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Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  981 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Showcases America's leading polemicist's rejection of consensus and clich(r), whether heOCOs reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama."
ebook, 496 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Nation Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Varmint
there are moments when hitchens will assume the reader is familiar with some quip cyril connely made to evelyn waugh at a party in 1951. wouldn't be so bad if your understanding of the last three pages didn't depend on knowing the joke. just inconsiderate to those of us with public school educations.

still a great writer. i disagree with him on many issues. but feel compelled to read his views on a subject as a sort of check to my own prejudices.

John
Wow -- whatever one may think of Hitch's politics, the guy sure could write! Took me a while to get through this one, not because he's dry, but because the entries that interested me were so well done that I wanted the book to last longer.

What to expect: the essays are roughly divided into historical and literary criticism, travel and current events (best way I can put it), followed by ones focusing on 9/11 and Iraq (the book "ends" in 2004). The first section was the most difficult for me, not...more
Emily
When you come across a book of journals, chances are you won't read all of them, just the ones that interest you. If you do happen to pick this journal up with the intention of doing as such, make sure you read the North Korean story in "War" closer to the end.

It was fantastic. Everything Hitchens said felt like it had dual meaning. On the surface, completely cordial. But from a sceptical Western perspective, every second sentence cut like a knife against Pyong Yang.

Congrats Chris. If this is a...more
Megan
christopher hitchens could write a novel about the wart on his nose and i would happily read every word..the man can WRITE, and with more thought, humor and empathy that just about anyone alive. even if you disagree with him (which happens a surprising amount), the last thing you want to do is shut him up.
Jacob J.
(4.5 stars) I loved this man. This forthcoming review may take some time, and take much out of me.
Jeremy
“Time, then, is of the essence, and Proust is interested in slowing it down, if not exactly holding it up, so as to enable himself to take longer sips from the precious but evaporating fluid.”

Classic Hitchens over-the-coals raking:
“I can really measure redundancy only in English, and I had already noticed in Davis’s introduction a reference to ‘the wistful closing coda in the Bois de Boulogne.’ A coda can only be a closure, so the sin of redundancy (or tautology, or pleonasm) is one that Davis m...more
Andrew Rosner
I read this book several years ago after picking it up for a song in a great old bookstore in Chicago. After recently hearing about Hitchens' treatment for cancer, I revisited the book as a reminder that we could lose one of the most iconoclastic writers of our time. Hitchens is that rarest of writers today, a man of the left who really does care about liberal democracy. And while I don't always agree with him, I always admire the breadth of his knowledge (it seems like he's read everything unde...more
Alex Pijanowski
If I gave this book four stars, it was only in comparison to the other works of Hitchens' which I have previously read. At times, his arguments seemed unfocused and ranting, although examples of this were far more rare than the genuine gems which I have come to expect from Hitchens. "Love, Poverty, and War" is, nonetheless, another fine showing which displays a mastery of English prose, a vibrant wit, and a solid working acquaintance with the big issues of the day. Even the most vocal of the aut...more
A.J. Howard
"By no means the least of the consolations now available to the unbeliever, and to those who live outside the lines of conventional virtue, is the thought that if we turn out to be mistaken in our Cartesian wagers, and find ourselves in the long, long chute to a smoke-and-brimstone filled afterlife, Christopher will be there at the bottom to welcome us with a drink and, why not, a cigarette."

- D.D Guttenplan
Jenn
Heavy read, but interesting. Takes aim at Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Mel Gibson, and allegedly oppressive no smoking regulations implemented by the Mayor of New York.
Kara
I don't always agree with Mr. Hitchens but his arguments are compelling and his acerbic wit is a hoot 'n' a half.
Mario
La consecuencia murió con Hitchens. Sería.
Mr.
Christopher Hitchens is consistently one of the most provocative (if at times arrogant) journalists in the world. This book is a collection of essays he's published in the Nation, Vanity Fair, and a number of other publications in the last few years. The first section, titled "Love," is purely literary criticism, and it's a fabulous demonstration of his elegance with the pen. He writes on a number of authors, Joyce, Proust, Orwell (of course), Borges, and a number of others. These essays are all...more
Arjun Mishra
I am not really sure what to say other than I revere Hitchens' unrepentant and unremitting dismemberment of stupidity for over four decades and that I also revere his brilliant and pungent writing. Whether he is excoriating undeservingly over-adulated public figures or sympathizing with the plight of the oppressed in Kurdistan, he is always at his most insightful and intelligent. Nobody gives me more optimism than Hitchens, even though he explores the mass and general stupidity that seemingly pr...more
Logan Williams
Christopher Hitchens is one of the smartest men to ever live. His mind is full of wit, and his essays will make you think regardless of your mindset. This novel takes you through the mind of Hitchens, from his 2 AM rants to his drunken rampages in a computer keyboard. His favorite authors and political figures come into play in the first half of the book, and the topic of modern terrorism and the 9/11 attacks.
Despite the incredible rhetoric and intelligence regularly delivered by Hitchens, hi...more
Adriana
Afinal, o livro em questão é bom mesmo? Claro que é, se você coloca o Hitchens falando sobre Aldous Huxley, Marcel Proust, Lord Byron, James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges e o fato dos americanos (como bem o resto do mundo) não estarem muito interessados em aprender história e as consequências que isso acarreta, não há como ser ruim. A verdade é que Hitchens (que tinha adoração pelo Orwell) foi um dos poucos a verdadeiramente entender a natureza de Huxley, é difícil encontrar pessoas que compreendam q...more
Matt
Hitchens is, as usual, all sorts of awesome. This is a great book mostly because it gives you a glimpse into Hitchens just before he became known as a "neocon" for his support of the invasion of Iraq, and before he was known less as a journalist and more as an atheist.

In the essays in this book, you can see what drives the man, what makes him who he is, and why he is such a massive intellectual force. Neocon is a massive misnomer for a man who is fairly radical in his humanism and anti-theism....more
Heidi
One essay in - I was bored. But then the last few pages of the essay I couldn't stop reading. I was reading as I walked, I was unable to put it down to cross the street... and in the ending few paragrpahs he said
"We seem to have a need, as a species, for something noble and lofty. The task of criticism could be defined as the civilizing of the need -- the appreciation of true decency and heroism as against coercive race legends and blood myths. The application of this winnowing and discriminati...more
Sarah
I enjoyed this very much; I'd read many of the essays along the way over the years. The essays were primarily from the 1990's, and very few of them felt dated. Most seemed relevant to today's world situation. For example, an essay in early 90's regarding the Kurds referred to the commuist rebel group the PKK -- that group is still with us. Three of its female members were killed execution style in Paris this past week. I felt like I had the back story. Hitchens always makes me feel smart. One of...more
BikerDude Orellana
Boy, would i love to go through his library. Man was greatly gifted and apparently could read super-hero fast as the breadth and depth of his reading life was vast. I see no one on the horizon who might be able to take his place...not even remotely. CH was one of a kind. One reads this book and one has the pleasure and honor of getting into his head.
Michael Wilson
I find his stories fascinating but I haven't experienced his interviews enough to hear his voice in the words. I come back to this book occasionally to traverse new content or review the early parts.
Steve Collinson
More genius from Hitchens. His writing is inspirational. If he were a painter, the National Gallery would have no room for other.
Phil
I like Hitchens; his views on religion and falsehood are erudite and irreverent and his "Letters to a Young Contrarian" helped me figure out who I was after the "Get good job" path collapsed under me. That said, Hitchens writes well, but he is not the reincarnation of George Orwell. He has the fortitude to go to places like North Korea and Kabul, but he falls back on the same references. It's a joy to read him demolish sacred figures like Mother Teresa, but most of his best stuff can be found el...more
Stormcrow
I can't really add much that the other reviews on this book don't already cover. It's well written, almost always interesting, and an entertaining read whether you agree with the author or not. The only part that really stood out was the very last essay, written in 2003 about the downfall of Iraq and his optimistic hope for the future of the country. As I write my review, Isis is rampantly retaking large sections of Iraq leaving his optimism over the future feeling very out of touch.
Serge Boucher
No-one has any right being that good as so many things : literary review, political polemic, social critique, war reporting… While it's hard not to focus on the last fourth of the book, concerning Sep 11th 2001 and the reactions to it, the entire breadth of interests and knowledge present in this collection is both staggering and delightful.
Will Clarke
Not all of the essays are great but some certainly are wonderful. His essay on Civil War reenacters, his piece debunking the mythology of Winston Churchill and his essay on Bob Dylan are acerbic, witty treatises whose trenchant intelligence rival almost everything produced for popular audiences over the past twenty years. The British, stuffy hard-drinking DFW of essays, I suppose. Though I found his "eulogy" for Edward Said somewhat disgusting I realize that the most interesting writers are alwa...more
Adam Hughes
"Where do you break furthest from the Left?" is one of my toughest inquiries -- I can't even remember what we're supposed to believe on foreign policy these days. How about this: I think that Christopher Hitchens is the most consistent, persuasive, and erudite essayist of our times (there's no argument on the third label, right?). On literature, politics, or character profiling, no writer is more delightful when he's with you or compelling when he's not.
Kay Robart
Hitchens is sharp and witty. I laughed out loud frequently even if I didn’t agree with him. However, if you are not very familiar with the events he discusses, he is sometimes hard to follow. And since these are essays, he does not cite his sources. Sometimes he states things as facts that make me wonder where he got his information. However, he is far more informed than I am.

See my complete review here:

http://whatmeread.wordpress.com/tag/l...
Jonathan
Whether or not one agrees with a single thing "the Hitch" writes, Hitchens undeniably has an elegant and enviable facility with words and the ability to (almost always) stay interesting regardless of the topic. His range includes musings on his incognito visit to North Korea to the preposterousness of Martha Stewart Living. "Love, Poverty, and War" encompasses a broad enough scope that there should be enough in here to offend just about everybody.
Avis Black
This book is too uneven. I would be happy if no one ever wrote another essay again about that bland grouping of Huxley, Greene, Waugh, Borges, Amis, Dylan, and Trotsky (why do people still care about Trotsky?) Hitchens is no culture maven, and his personal tastes are awfully conventional. Worse yet is his Americana section, and his articles about Route 66, the Civil War, and Martha Stewart are horribly shallow.
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Christopher Eric Hitchens (April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011) was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of tal...more
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God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever Mortality Hitch-22: A Memoir Arguably: Selected Essays

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“The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.” 44 likes
“There can be no progress without head-on confrontation.” 42 likes
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