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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Retrieved from hithcens https: I am saddened only in that there can be no more contributions to the world from the pen of the man who wrote them. A born contrarian, he makes entertaining mincemeat of self-satisfied politicians, and shreds received ideas and media-spun consensus with a fearlessness that is invaluable in our mealymouthed punditocracy.

This book was but a pale shadow of his others and I couldn’t finish it. He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculations and sometimes even hearsay.

This work might have been better written as a collection of short essays. The thing I love about Hitchens is the fact that no matter what you think about him, he has lived a full life. Moss can be existential in practice. I think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one hand and Hitchens on the other.

Contrairan, I found his style stilted and stodgy, his referencing of Orwell and Adorno and the like unexciting and expected, and his name-dropping of dear friends Rushdie, Amis, McEwan insecure. He knows it very well himself though I’m not sure most of those who lump him with Dawkins or Harris do.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

There are fringe views that deserve to be marginalized, and then there are dissenting views which need to be heeded, or at least considered. Mar 08, Deborah Anderson rated it liked it. Sometimes this book lets off the impression that Hitchens is youny concerned with appearing brilliant than informing his audience.

How many times can “extirpate” be used too?

The Hitch is back in town

If you care about the points of agreement and civility, then, you had better be well equipped with points of argument and combativity, because if you are not then the “centre” will be occupied and defined without your having helped to decide it.


Cover of the first edition. Hitchens takes the epistolary model of Rainer Maria Rilke’s classic Letters to a Young Poet in structuring this, and Hitchens’ fictional correspondent is asking the question of him, and after a slightly awkward preface of false modesty the author is off to the races, exploring the ramifications lletters what it means to be a dissident thorn in the side of the powers-that-be as well as to the easily affronted masses.

That is its power and that is its value. Hitchens is constitutionally incapable of writing average sentences and there’s more than enough signature flair and provocative ideas to please fans. Do not live f To hitchenz a contrarian you have to be prepared to: Review Text “[Hitchens] is, first and last, a writer, an always exciting, often exacting, furious polemicist. 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.

He understands the importance of disagreement-to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress-heck, to democracy itself. I don’t know if it’s pure snobbery or a simple disregard for his audience, but Hitchens seems to very much enjoy talking over people. Yes, I am providing my belated, hithcens, and pedantic tribute to the late Hitch, but this is as appropriate of a forum as any to do so, right?

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.

When such a precious and irreplaceable word as “irony” has become a lazy synonym for hitchesn, there is scant room for originality. His own powers of reason, moreover, were far less sharp than he seems to have supposed see his position on the war in Iraq. Dec 19, Mr.

Books of the Week. However, the problem with Rilke’s original letters, aside from the Desiderata-style tone, is one that also afflicts Hitchens’s work here, and is perhaps endemic to the form.

While this does provide chriatopher breadth to the point he christophwr making it means the argument severly lacks in depth. Return to Book Page. Methinks it is time to pour myself some Johnnie Walker Black neat in his dignified honor not to be construed as worship.

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However, this is not strictly an anti-religious polemic like his acerbic, if slightly inferior god is Not Greatbut a multifaceted deconstruction of conventional wisdom and reverence.

But this mini-manifesto, despite the somewhat mountainous terrain, should provide readers interested in current contrarkan and anti-establishment philosophy with a clearer view into one of today’s more restless and provocative minds.

Review quote “Hitchens is expanding his influence, showing the next generation how to ‘think independently’. The whole thing was a racket, of course – the divine purveyor of disco philosophy had the world’s largest private collection of Rolls-Royces – but what I remember best was the morning hitchfns with the all-wise.

The problem is that, much different than rebellion for its own sake, Hitchens backs it all up with historical and anecdotal proof. Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero. To ask other readers questions about Letters to a Young Contrarianplease sign up. It may be that you, my dear X, recognise something of yourself in these instances; a disposition to resistance, however slight, against arbitrary authority or witless mass opinion, or a thrill contrrian recognition when you encounter some well-wrought phrase from a free intelligence.

Letters to a Young Contrarian

Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Overall, I found his style contraroan and stodgy, his refere I could extract christlpher handful of great quotations but generally found its subtlety muddled and the italicized foreign phrases snotty and maybe he used “tautology” too often for me to really get all psyched?

Yet, it is not. The protagonist Jimmy Porter is going through one of his self-regarding soliloquies when he exclaims, rather tellingly for once, that there are “no more good, brave causes left”.