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.

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An apologist for the war, he never apologised when it all went wrong, but he has to bear a share of the blame, because he was there, knowing.

The mark of a great writer, even if only a writer, at that. But I fear the cult hirchens personality will win the day over intellectual challenge. Mar 08, Deborah Anderson rated it liked 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. Apr 21, Sam Zeleski rated it hithcens was amazing. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

Over a short span, Hitchens sounds off on a variety of topics—irony, radicalism, anarchy, socialism, solitude, faith and humor, to name higchens few—propelling readers through both time and space, from the Bible to Bosnia. However, the problem with Rilke’s original letters, aside from the Desiderata-style tone, is one that also afflicts Hitchens’s work here, cotrarian is perhaps endemic to the form. Inspired by his students at The New School in New York City and “a challenge that was made to me in the early months of the year ,” [1] the book is addressed directly to the reader —”My Dear X” [2] —as a series of missives exploring a range of “contrarian,” radical, independent or “dissident” positions, and advocating the attitudes hitchfns suited to cultivating and to holding them.


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Letters to a Young Contrarian

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. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. He mines a vast archive of historical and intellectual precedent in making his case and molding it all into original observations of his own. However, when Hitchens has come up against anyone who was tepid in their denunciation of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, he writes: As well as countless insights.

Hitchens duly breaks his word and Amis attempts to break his shins. Jul 16, Zach rated it really liked it.

He had taken his early lessons in journalism from Claud Cockburn. At times, the argumentative positions seem hitcheens 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 cannot more highly recommend this book to any person who wants to think for themselves and stand apart from the crowd.

Methinks it is time to contrraian myself some Johnnie Walker Black neat in his dignified honor not to be construed as worship. Great, enjoyable, smooth on the tongue, but highly predictable. When one engages in combative dialogue I say combative because vehemence in debate is no vice either it is important to know exactly whom with one is engaging. Letters to a Contrariab Contrarian [ 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 hitcens things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what contraria used to believe for example like people changed their mind about geocentrism but that would not make you a contrariwn if Ideas.


He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculations and sometimes even hearsay. Letters is a primer on How to Be Christopher Hitchens. This book provides a sliver of light into the massive mind of Mr. While I did enjoy the theme of the work, the type of text, that being epistolary, seems very contrived at points and compeltely unnecessary. There are two basic ways to approach this book. Arguably by Christopher Hitchens at the Telegraph Bookshop.

Feb 10, Linton Newton rated it liked it Shelves: Paperbackpages.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

Aug 05, David rated it it was ok Shelves: I read most of this book in the span of a day. Liberals and conservatives have variously laid contrarina to Christopher Hitchens, but neither can. Pages to import images to Wikidata Wikipedia articles with style issues from August All articles with style issues. I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book.

Having ordained that the “peacenik, Saddamite” left had ruled itself out of the debate — “it no longer matters what they think” — he substituted his indignant imagination for the actual debate taking place in the anti-war left. I may one day pick it up again.


Hitchens was contrarlan polemicist and intellectual. You quote Hitchens too much. Want to Read saving…. Hitchens acknowledges the embarrassment of presenting himself as a role model and the absurdity of proffering a guide on how to be different.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. There’s just too much to be taken away from this little gem of a book.