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The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism--The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  565 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A compendium of never-before-collected quotations from #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author Christopher Hitchens on hundreds of subjects
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Da Capo Press
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Paul Bryant
Ugh, avoid avoid avoid - this chopping up of the splendid Mr Hitchens renders him into a bile-filled spleen queen you would run a mile on broken glass to avoid - plus how would it be if someone took sentences here and there from your random writings from the past 30 years out of context and presented them as the dernier mots of political wit - you may be saying whoah, don't do that please, these old arguments of my youth have surely lost their relevance, whatever points I was making will have be ...more
Andrew
As a kid I would sometimes read quotationaries for hours, pouring over page after of page of witticisms, highlighting the ones I wanted to memorize. I remember believing that memorizing quotes about virtue would magically make me more virtuous and that storing up perfectly-worded insults would make me funnier. Both of these hopes were largely hollow (they mainly contribute to the making of a self-righteous prick), but the second has at least brought me joy. Bonding over beer and bombastic rants ...more
Tahira
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." "The measure of an education is that you acquire some extent of your ignorance." Have a feeling this will go into my Top Fav's list. Have only gotten through the Introduction and am already making highlights in my Kindle.

It's either love or hate him, there is no in between. Love Hitch & loved the quotes - and loved some more than others.
Tyler Malone
Similar to Amis's "King's English", and just as witty. The book reads like Hitch is sitting on your couch, sharing a bottle of Walker, and cataloging complains and brewing axioms. One interesting point: the book complies TV and debate quotations, too. In print, it's wonderful to really notice how well-spoken he is. A fine book, but not a traditional book. Probably the best bathroom book I own.
Maureen Flatley
Agree or disagree w/ Hitchens, he is never boring and always challenges us and the conventional wisdom.
Chris
This book is an excellent collection of quotes which you can use wherever necessary in your battles against smallmindedness everywhere. A previous reviewer said he was rating the book and not Hitchens, and thus gave it only 3 stars. I enthusiastically reverse this and rate Hitchens himself: 5 stars! He won't soon be forgotten.
Jason
Jan 31, 2012 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Hitch fans & Hitch curious
ORIGINALITY: “Originality is a quality so rarely met with in humans that when it does occur it is often disputed.” [“Steal This Article,” Vanity Fair, May 1996]

So rare are there individuals who truly possess the faculties to continuously amaze and enlighten those with similar and differing opinions with as deft a command of the English language as Christopher Hitchens. With his passing in late 2011, human discourse has suffered greatly, and may have lost a considerable amount of intelligence. ‘T
...more
Willard Brickey
Three stars may be a misleadingly low rating. If I were rating "Christopher Hitchens" instead of "The Quotable Hitchens" the rating would be five stars. And there are parts of this book that are about as enjoyable as reading gets.
But the book was edited by Windsor Mann, not Hitchens. A number of the quotations are confusing or even incomprehensible out of context. There are certain of Hitchens' opinions (his views on Middle Eastern politics, for instance) which require pages, not a paragraph, to
...more
Marius Masalar
A magnificent compendium of wit and wisdom from one of the greatest thinkers we've ever had.

Hitchens wrote with a fearless, peerless vehemence that struck terror in the hearts of his enemies and ignited passionate inspiration in those whose willingness to think outweighed their fear of doing so. He will be remembered for many things, and this book serves as a refreshing bottle of some of his finer moments — to be enjoyed responsibly.

It hardly encompasses the full breadth of his contributions to
...more
Frederik
Hitchens ressemble bien á Michel Houllebecq en France et Knud Romer au Danemark - un type qui est á la fois sarcastique, profond, drôle, mais aussi profondément triste. Ses remarques intelligentes réussissent á convaincre le lecteur de l’absurdité et l’hypocrisie de la religion, de la monarchie, George W. Bush et bien d’autres phénomènes de notre époque.

La pratique de l’Islam est un bon example: “Even as we worry about what they might intend for our society, we can see very plainly what they hav
...more
Chris Webber
"I have often thought that when I do die it will be of sheer boredom...

“Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens.”

This man was not shy about his feelings on things. Agree or not, you just have to admire his blunt, honest assessments on issues. I wish there were more like him.
Daniel
Hitchens himself acknowledged quotes can easily be taken out of context.

It's a good read to familiarize yourself with some of the Hitch's opinions on various topics (Bill Clinton, Reagan, Iraq War, Israel, humor, mortality), however, without a comprehensive read of Hitchens, some of it is easily taken out of context.

Sometimes the barrage of quotes makes it sound like he was an ignorant, stereotyping, shoot-from-the-hip type of guy, but he was so much more than that.

I'm confident that any quot
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Katharine
I downloaded this on my Kindle for some non-dissertation reading, flipped through it, and returned it immediately. It's literally just a collection of very short, very out-of-context quotations in alphabetical order by subject. I expected "the very best of Christopher Hitchens" to involve whole articles and essays; I guess I should have read the description more carefully.

Not recommended. Buy a collection of full-length essays instead.
Gabe
I am not sure how to review this book. On the one side the author does a good job of collecting a very wide assortment of Hitchens quotes and presenting them in a comfortable and accessible way. On the other hand Hitchens come off within the book as an attention seeking hypocrite. I agree with much of Hitchens stances on things such as religion, gay marriage and abortion, but on almost every other major topic, especially on his opinions regarding how we should live, I am so disappointed in him. ...more
Paula Dembeck
This book gathers a number of quotes from a variety of subjects by this eminent journalist, intellectual and public speaker. They come from all manner of media including among others, newspapers, journals articles, speeches, and debates.

Hitchens always has the ability to be on both sides of any argument and is willing to tackle almost any subject including those which no one else would ever consider commenting on (e.g. Mother Teresa and God).

Those who enjoy his writing will love this collection
...more
Stuart Lutzenhiser
I love Hitchens' writing - not always his opinions - but his writing is usually superb. That being said, reading it usually requires some context to fully appreciate. This book is a collection of out-of-context quotes on Hitchens' writing on various subjects. Sometimes the citation of when and where published is enough to give it some kind of context, or it refreshes your memory of having read it when originally published. But for the most part, it is a disservice to his work and less enjoyable ...more
Taylor Jake Lidstone
A great book to refer to when having a good old argument with a particularly down-trodden colleague.
Natasha
even though the quotes are "out of context" as many have mentioned - i dont see this as a fault per se. one could refer to this as an introduction to the art and mind of christopher hitchens; if i did not know about his works and life this book would def. spike my interest and make me want to find out more about his work. i love that one can feel the essence and passion he is was so well known for. only minus point is the size of this book; i wish it came in a smaller format so it would be easy ...more
Kevin
No matter how much I love Hitch, this was disappointing. I thought it would be a greatest hits, but at over 300 pages, it was an anthology of every hit. Also, I had hoped that most of the quotes would come from columns I had not read or television appearances that had not been transcribed, but it was mostly excerpts from his books. This would probably be a good book for someone who's read nothing by Hitch but wants to know (without investing the time reading his books) what he thinks about every ...more
Alex Gherzo
Non-stop Hitch quotes, which are always interesting and usually funny whether you agree with him or not (and his thinking is such that pretty much everyone will agree and disagree with him on different points). This works better if you're at least a little bit familiar with Hitchens, so watch some videos of him on Youtube, read some of his books and articles for Vanity Fair, Slate and several other publications before you pick this up.
Yurii
I found this book at Waterstones and I'm really glad I picked it up. Previously, I hadn't read any of his works before but have had the pleasure of watching him dominate debates and I loved the way he handled arguments. This was the first book of or, I should say about him, that I bought and I'm happy to have done so. I love opening it up every now and then and be impressed by his witty thoughts. Die hard fans should enjoy this.
Shaun

Never before have I read a book that consisted of nothing but quotes of an author . . .
I had to make an exception with this book, because Hitchens is well known for his finely tuned and poignant "geohistorical" commentary.
Hitchens talks in complete paragraphs, making a Hitchens' quote informative and unabashedly honest.

Recommended -
Kyle
If you like politics, contrarianism, and a mastery of the English language, this is a great "grab it for a moment" book. Hitchens wrote about almost everything at some point in his career, and managed to turn a phrase often. Even if you don't agree with him, you'll probably enjoy the way he made his point.
Michael
Thought provoking, a little like wading through Bukowski or speed reading a magazine at the doctors office for something interesting between all of the impugnery. I wouldn't recommend suggesting it to a cute, witty Arab-Muslim American Woman.
James
Better to get his arguments in a sustained form, but invaluable as a reference book. What did Hitch think about X? Oh yeah!

There was the occasional quote that I remembered from an essay or book that I hoped would work its way in, but otherwise the big ones are there.
Tony
Books of quotes might be a guilty pleasure, but this one's a gem. If you find yourself enjoying Hitchens eviscerating the most contemptible archetypes, rest assured; your turn is coming. If you recognize when it happens, you may acquire some self-awareness in the bargain.
Cale
As you might suspect, this is not a book you generally read through from cover-to-cover, but rather pick it up now and again when you want to read something witty that Hitchens has said or written over the last 30 years. Think of it as a reference book.
Darkstar
Hitchens is one of my favorite intellectuals/journalists....what more to say? Alphabetical clipping from past books and articles according to topic. A great read as a casual coffee table book, or cover to cover. Very nice collection of the Hitch!
Andrew Stout
A fun read. Its fascinating to see multiple quotes spanning several decades on a given subject and see how Hitchens has changed and/or contradicted himself. All of his convictions (even the contradictory ones) are held with passion and expressed with wit.
Timothy
Not necessarily to be read cover to cover. A large collection of Christopher Hitchens quotes. Most are profound as Mr Hitchens could. Many are outdated by the passing of recent history. Many of the quotes are worth saving and sharing.
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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
More about Christopher Hitchens...
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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“Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens.” 15 likes
“Those of us who are most genuinely repelled by war and violence are also those who are most likely to decide that some things, after all, are worth fighting for.” 15 likes
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