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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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Nobody in the supposedly affluent and disillusioned 50s had seen any of this coming; I am quite certain that there will be future opportunities for people of high ideals, or of any ideals at all. Ypung of Context and Incorrect Citation: The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.

Letters to a young contrarian

You quote Hitchens too much. The life of an oppositionist is supposed to be difficult.

However, I promise you that if you take him at his word, at eye level, and come at it honestly, your thinking is going to be much richer for it. This book is full of beauty and of impassioned pleas for intelligence, justice, and bravery of the most important sort.

Everybody devises tactics for getting through such moments; try behaving “as if” they need not be tolerated and are not inevitable. This book would be us This was a really inishgtful and engaging book.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

Hitchens’s endorsement of Kenneth Starr may have been boldly heterodox in his own circle, but it was heartily applauded in others. Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. Pages to import images to Wikidata Wikipedia articles with style issues from August All articles with style issues. While I did enjoy the theme of the work, the type of text, that being epistolary, seems very contrived hitchwns points and compeltely unnecessary.

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. Skepticism, disputation and contrarianism is underrated and underutilized.


Hitchens’s stridency and certainty will always be politically potent, but Amis’s willingness to commit his vulnerability and confusion to the page ultimately makes him the more subtle and resonant writer. Hitchens acknowledges the embarrassment of presenting himself as a role model and the absurdity of proffering a guide on how to be different.

How happy I am that these letters were not exclusive to his students but how sad am I that I was hitchenw among them. However, let us not repine.

This work might have been better written as a collection of short essays. The pressure to hitcchens silent and be a “team player” is reinforceable by the accusations of cowardice or treachery that will swiftly be made against dissenters.

The Best Books of Moss can be existential in practice.

One feels something of the same sense of embarrassment in claiming to be an “intellectual” as one does in purporting to be a dissident, but the figure of Emile Zola offers encouragement, and his singular campaign for justice for Dreyfus is one of the imperishable examples of what may be accomplished by an individual. Letters to a Young Contrarian. Indeed, I read this magnificent little collection of letters of advice written to no one in particular but everyone in modest and solemn re Death hath wrought a pernicious dent in the erudite and intellectual world; Hitchens will not be one to be soon forgotten, nor ever replaced but emulated, definitely.

Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Formerly a Trotskyist and a fixture in the left wing publications of both the United Kingdom and United States, Hitchens departed from the grassroots of the political left in after what he called the “tepid reaction” of the European left following Ayatollah Khomeini’s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, but he stated on the Charlie Rose show aired August that he remained a “Democratic Socialist.

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In short, here’s a guy who has seen more than you or your most well traveled friend ever will and has everything to say about it. Aug 05, David rated it it was ok Shelves: Society books Christopher Hitchens reviews. My dear X, The irritating term or tag “Angry Young Man”, with which awkward types are put in their place as callow young rebels going through a “phase”, was given currency in Look Back in Anger, the mediocre play by John Osborne.

Apr 21, Sam Zeleski rated it it was amazing. It should also be noted that his demolition of religion is as exemplary as his meditation on the role of humour in radical thought is exquisite. It does no good to say either something is true or it is not true. In the deep south in the early s, Rosa Parks decided to act “as if” a hardworking black woman could sit down on a bus at the end of the day’s labour. Yet, it is not. Here is what the enlightened one told his interlocutor, at the opening of The Art of Happiness: The evasion of verbal conflict is a silly thing.

All in all, a really good read. An idea’s unpopularity does not make it true. Like Morrissey, it’s hard to tell what about Hitchens is real and what is adopted persona – in “Letters to a Young Contrarian” he writes in earnest about the necessity of noconformity to the survival of modern liberal society, but he also likes to show off his breadth of knowledge, his acidity and mercilessness towards cowards and fools, and his literary connections.

There is not even a strand of chewing gum to connect the premise to the conclusion; the speaker simply assumes what he has to prove. Published April 13th by Basic Books first published