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god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Description:

Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope s awesome view of the universe and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix br br In the tradition of Bertrand Russell s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris s recent bestseller The End of Faith Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts he documents the ways in which religion is a man made wish a cause of dangerous sexual repression and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos br br With eloquent clarity Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope s awesome view of the universe and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix

Rating: 3.56 out of 5

Mortality

Mortality Description:

On June while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir i Hitch i Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax As he would later write in the first of a series of award winning columns for Vanity Fair he suddenly found himself being deported from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady Over the next eighteen months until his death in Houston on December he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis br br Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion preferring to confront death with both eyes open In this account of his affliction he describes the torments of illness discusses its taboos and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us By turns personal and philosophical Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death

Rating: 3.61 out of 5

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever Description:

From the New York Times best selling author of i God Is Not Great i a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages with never before published pieces by Salman Rushdie Ian McEwan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first ever gathering of the influential voices past and present that have shaped his side of the current and raging God no god debate br br With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide you ll be led through a wealth of philosophy literature and scientific inquiry including generous portions of the words of Lucretius Benedict de Spinoza Charles Darwin Karl Marx Mark Twain George Eliot Bertrand Russell Emma Goldman H L Mencken Albert Einstein Daniel Dennett Sam Harris Richard Dawkins and many others well known and lesser known And they re all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens political and literary journalist extraordinaire can i Los Angeles Times i br br Atheist Believer Uncertain No matter i The Portable Atheist i will speak to you and engage you every step of the way

Rating: 3.74 out of 5

Hitch-22: A Memoir

Hitch-22: A Memoir Description:

Over the course of his years Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U S war against Islamic extremism in Iraq He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world s most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature He is a fervent atheist raised as a Christian by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide br br In other words Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes He sees all sides of an argument And he believes the personal is political br br This is the story of his life lived large

Rating: 3.63 out of 5

Letters to a Young Contrarian

Letters to a Young Contrarian Description:

In the book that he was born to write provocateur and best selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals gadflies mavericks rebels angry young wo men and dissidents Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways This book explores the entire range of contrary positions from noble dissident to gratuitous pain in the butt In an age of overly polite debate bending over backward to reach a happy consensus within an increasingly centrist political dialogue Hitchens pointedly pitches himself in contrast He bemoans the loss of the skills of dialectical thinking evident in contemporary society He understands the importance of disagreement to personal integrity to informed discussion to true progress heck to democracy itself Epigrammatic spunky witty in your face timeless and timely this book is everything you would expect from a mentoring contrarian

Rating: 3.35 out of 5

Arguably: Selected Essays

Arguably: Selected Essays Description:

The first new book of essays by Christopher Hitchens since i Arguably i offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers widely admired for the clarity of his style a result of his disciplined and candid thinking br br Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J G Ballard from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti Semitism and jihad Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for the enduring relevance of Karl Marx br br The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture and how the latter prompts the former In this fashion i Arguably i burnishes Christopher Hitchens credentials as to quote Christopher Buckley our greatest living essayist in the English language

Rating: 3.76 out of 5

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice Description:

Among his many books perhaps none have sparked more outrage than i The Missionary Position i Christopher Hitchens s meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa br br A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor In his measured critique Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa s reputation be judged by her actions not the other way around br br With characteristic elan and rhetorical dexterity Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious despotic and megalomaniacal operative of the wealthy who long opposed measures to end poverty and fraternized for financial gain with tyrants and white collar criminals throughout the world

Rating: 3.44 out of 5

Why Orwell Matters

Why Orwell Matters Description:

In this widely acclaimed biographical essay Christopher Hitchens assesses the life the achievements and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell In true emulative and contrarian style Hitchens is both admiring and aggressive sympathetic yet critical taking true measure of his subject as hero and problem Answering both the detractors and the false claimants Hitchens tears down the fa ade of sainthood erected by the hagiographers and rebuts the critics point by point He examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism empire feminism and Englishness as well as his outlook on America a country and culture towards which he exhibited much ambivalence br br Whether thinking about empires or dictators race or class nationalism or popular culture Orwell s moral outlook remains indispensable in a world that has undergone vast changes in the fifty years since his death Combining the best of Hitchens s polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument this book addresses not only why Orwell matters today but how he will continue to matter in a future uncertain world br br Christopher Hitchens one of the most incisive minds of our own age meets Orwell on the page in this provocative encounter of wit contention and moral truth

Rating: 3.46 out of 5

The Trial of Henry Kissinger

The Trial of Henry Kissinger Description:

With the detention of Augusto Pinochet and intense international pressure for the arrest of Slobodan Milosovic the possibility of international law acting against tyrants around the world is emerging as a reality In this incendiary book Hitchens takes the floor as prosecuting counsel and mounts a devastating indictment of a man whose ambitions and ruthlessness have directly resulted in both individual murders and widespread indiscriminate slaughter He investigates and reveals Kissingers involvement in the deliberate mass killings of civilian populations in Indochina the deliberate collusion in mass murder and assassination in Bangladesh the personal suborning and planning of a murder of a senior constitutional officer in a democratic nation that the USA was not war with Chile the incitement and enabling of a mass genocide in East Timor and the personal involvement in the kidnap and murder of a journalist living in Washinton DC

Rating: 3.68 out of 5

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America Description:

In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father Situating Jefferson within the context of America s evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it br br Conflicted by power Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature Predicting that slavery would shape the future of America s development this professed proponent of emancipation elided the issue in the Declaration and continued to own human property An eloquent writer he was an awkward public speaker a reluctant candidate he left an indelible presidential legacy br br Jefferson s statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France doubling the size of the nation and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson s handling of the Barbary War a lesser known chapter of his political career when his attempt to end the kidnapping and bribery of Americans by the Barbary states and the subsequent war with Tripoli led to the building of the U S navy and the fortification of America s reputation regarding national defense br br In the background of this sophisticated analysis is a large historical drama the fledgling nation s struggle for independence formed in the crucible of the eighteenth century Enlightenment and in its shadow the deformation of that struggle in the excesses of the French Revolution This artful portrait of a formative figure and a turbulent era poses a challenge to anyone interested in American history or in the ambiguities of human nature

Rating: 3.73 out of 5