Over the course of his 60 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.
In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.
This is the story of his life, lived large.
©2010 Christopher Hitchens (P)2010 Hachette
His conversational writing style and euphonious voice make this an ideal book on tape. His era is an historically rich one and recent enough that it's description is yet to be calcified. Hitchens, makes no claim to impartiality, obviously, but his lens is certainly one worth looking through when observing the trail of blood and confusion that the present leaves behind itself.
I truly enjoyed hearing about the Hitch, a nickname I discovered was once his father's nickname as well. If you want a look at the secret life someone suggests, aludes to, and "perhaps" later even hides (denies?) to have existed in his adult years, you may find the fabric of this tapestry intricately delights you. Or you may wish he'd be more direct- but you'll find out why that was not so.
There is much more of the book dedicated to his political activism and political thinking across much of his life time. Including appreciations of, contentions with, and defining ironies of the Jews.
Add to this some word games and you get a thorough appreciation of his intelligence across many expressions. If you just want the word games get one of the Live at the 92nd Street Y interviews with him and Salman Rush die -most of them are there.
The book starts off really movingly as Hitch describes his family. The further he moves into his adult career the more it starts to alternately like a vehicle for name dropping and an extended self-justification for his political change of heart.
Might listen to this again. Christopher was a learned and articulate individual. Lots of depth to each sentence.
His brother Peter's "The Rage Against God." Peter's book centers purely on religion, but is also nearly a quarter of the length of "Hitch-22." Introspective insight from these two men were very valuable to me.
Christopher's recounting of a fan of his that, inspired by his work and his own moral motivations, became a soldier in the U.S. military and bravely (yet unknowingly) sacrificed himself for the sake of others. It's an anecdote that transcends the political spectrum, religious beliefs, and worldviews common and nuanced.
Note that there is some cursing, and Christopher is not afraid to infer sexual intimacy. It's worth examining if you're able to stomach that, however.
I really enjoy the writing of Christopher Hitchens. He's very articulate, humorous, and open-minded. I am pretty well read person, But he is an extremely well read person. I sometimes find his pros and cultural references to be well out of my league. But I can say that he always inspires me to go out and learn something new.
My one other criticism would be in Hitchens' narration, which can be a little garbled at times, especially when he speaks more quickly and tails off at the end of some sentences.
That being said, I would highly recommend this work to anybody who enjoys the words of Christopher Hitchens and would learn like to know more about his life.
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