Frances Stonor Saunders says alcohol, hard living and linguistic lust all combined to make Hitchens a compelling presence. Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Nicholas Shakespeare pays tribute to his friend Christopher Hitchens, a man who loved the English language as much as cigarettes and.

Author: Mikak Jura
Country: Iran
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Politics
Published (Last): 19 December 2016
Pages: 428
PDF File Size: 3.27 Mb
ePub File Size: 17.28 Mb
ISBN: 981-9-47121-431-4
Downloads: 24824
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mezizragore

Just my contrarian opinion. Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens.

From then on, his Marxism performed a soft-shoe shuffle from Karl to Harpo, all along doggedly insisting it was the world that had changed, not the Hitch.

Hitchens’ prose from this period, smoking with sulphur, reveals the contrarian running with the mainstream to block off other contrarians. Dec 10, Ana rated it it was amazing Shelves: Feb 10, Linton Newton rated it liked it Shelves: What counted for Hitchens was the here and now, injected with a deep historical understanding plus lashings of contrariness.

Hitchens’s stridency and certainty will always be politically potent, but Amis’s willingness to commit his vulnerability and confusion to the page ultimately makes him the more subtle and resonant writer. There is no shame in this, and nobody needs me to reassure them of that.

This book is full of beauty and of impassioned pleas for intelligence, justice, and bravery of the most important sort. Nor is it necessarily admirable or courageous to break with one’s allies. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Nothing Hitchens says can be shrugged off, and if one tries, they will end up looking even dumber than they did when they became recipients of his critical wit in the first place. But I found the book to be more of a reminder than a discovery, more of cotrarian visit to the familiar contrarian lands of my early teens fontrarian an exciting adventure to unknown lands.

The essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats and other unforgettable four-legged friends. Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. To the first option, I’m not sure anyone will walk away from this book with an inspired feeling.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

This can be as simple a thing as mentioning a name or a list of them nobody has heard of without an appropriate explanation, or an entire political upheaval which he was privy to but about which the contrraian of us are completely clueless.


Regarding the second approach, here is where the one weakness of Hitchens’ writing starts to glare through. Make no mistake, he doesn’t wa One word: Always state your case if you have one and if you are serious about it.

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. I found the format of the fictional letters to be quite disconcerting, only having one side of the fictional conversation, and it seemed quite pompous at times without good reason to be.

The book also contains some of the critiques of religion and religious belief which Hitchens would later develop in his polemic God Is Not Great: 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: Likhesh Sharma It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for …more It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for example like people changed their mind about geocentrism but that would not make you a slave if Ideas.

I think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one hand and Hitchens on the other. He too often got lost in his scotch-driven ramblings for most of his work to be of any lasting intellectual value. I’ve mostly found Hitchens to be a suspect public intellectual.

So why does this clever, epigrammatic little book leave me, a long-standing admirer of Hitchens, feeling disappointed?

It is not a matter of being the stand-out dissenter, but the nuanced thinker. Among the things to admire in him is his lack of hypocrisy. Until this year I think it would be fair to state that I probably knew Hitchens more from his appearances on television and subsequently on Youtube, the true source of my knowledge. Hitchens’s endorsement of Kenneth Starr may have been boldly heterodox in his own circle, but it was heartily applauded in others.

Quotes from Letters to a Youn I found it to be Hitchens being Hitchens, in all his witty-commentaries, thought-provoking ideas, and his sometimes repetitive arguments. And the least that can be said about Hitchens is that he never knows when to stop.


Christopher Hitchens: a noble contrarian

Lists with This Book. While he was once identified with the Anglo-American radical political left, near the end of his life he embraced some arguably right-wing causes, most notably the Iraq War. Perhaps more than any other public intellectual of his age, Christopher Hitchens consciously invoked the quality of what he called quoting Swift saeva indignatiothat “combination of cheek and anger to point out how the world falls short of its pretensions”.

Furthermore, some of the anecdotes not very interesting or are basic, some being on the level of name-dropping. Loved the phrase “the apotheosis of the ostrich. He fell far short of his own pretensions.

Not that he believed in a maker. To the first option, I’m not sure anyone will walk away fro There are two basic ways to approach this book. However, the problem with Rilke’s hitchems letters, aside from the Desiderata-style tone, is one that also afflicts Hitches work here, and is perhaps endemic to the form.

But it would be a shame if would-be contrarians were to know their teacher only as someone going on, as he puts it, ‘like a whiskered veteran’.

There’s no stone unturned intellectually, verbally, hell- geographically. I knew in my bones that a truly Bad Idea had entered the discourse. The problem is that, much different than rebellion for its own sake, Hitchens backs it all up with historical and anecdotal proof.

This work might have been better written as a collection of short essays. Allegiance is a powerful force in human affairs; it will not do to treat someone as conttrarian mental serf if he is convinced that his thralldom is honorable and voluntary. I am saddened only in that there can be no more contributions to the world from the pen of the man who wrote them. No other writer has matched Hitchens’s understanding of the importance of disagreement–to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress, to democracy itself.

Letters to a young contrarian.