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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In the late Victorian period, Oscar Wilde – master of the pose but not a mere poseur – decided to live and act “as if” moral hypocrisy were not regnant.

Letters to a Young Contrarian : Christopher Hitchens :

While the three champion though it is arguable how much they adhere to empiricism, rationality and the spirit of science in general, Hitchens is in a different camp. His reflections on literature specific pieces, or in generalhistory, travels, and encounters, are absolute treasures. A shame, because with a skeptic like me such an approach appears neither informing or brilliant.

Quotes from Letters to a Youn The day of his death, I heard more about his being known for his assailment of Mother Teresa than anything else in his distinguished career from the major cable news networks.

But I found the book to be more legters a reminder than a discovery, more of a visit to the familiar contrarian lands of my early teens than an exciting adventure to unknown lands.


What is shameful though, is holding a hithens viewpoint and conceding to your detractors on that basis. The evasion of verbal conflict is a silly thing.

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At times, the argumentative positions seem offered up for their own sake—which the author argues is justified—and may inadvertently raise the question of how far we can define ourselves by what we are not. I have had the privilege of meeting a number of brave dissidents in many and various societies.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

However, in the interval between and – in other words, in that period where many of the revolutionaries against consumer capitalism metamorphosed into “civil society” human-rights activists – there were considerable interludes of stasis. The life of an oppositionist is supposed to be difficult. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness. Unfortunately, unlike God is Not Great, I found this one to be a real slog to get through.

It is something you are, and not something you do. Epigrammatic, spunky, witty, in your face, timeless and timely, this book is everything you would expect from a mentoring contrarian. That said, we could use a lot more of people like Hitchens in the public sphere. Want to Read saving…. Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero.

Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Jul 21, Lee rated it liked it. Make no mistake, he doesn’t wa One word: My second reason is less intuitive. View Full Version of PW. Letters is a primer on How to Be Christopher Hitchens. This is how the Dalai Lama began his address “to a large audience in Arizona”. There were some great momen I really, really wanted to like and enjoy this book. There’s probably no political commentary I enjoy reading or watching, for that matter more than that of Christopher Hitchens.

Letters to a young contrarian

This feels more vivid and most importantly more honest, to me. Vaclav Havel, then working as a marginal playwright and poet in a society and state that truly merited the title of Absurd, realised that “resistance” in its original insurgent and militant sense was impossible in the central Europe of the day. Topics Books The Observer. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculatio It is curious to see how Hitchens ended up being with Harris, Dawkins and Dennett in one camp, at least in the public imagination.

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.

Mortality was amazing, but many other works basically unaccessible to me perhaps because they are all too cerebral and the subjects fail to interest me.

In both cases, the book fails. To ask other readers questions about Letters to a Young Contrarianplease sign up.

I contrxrian 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. Open Preview See a Problem?