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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Allow me to give you a paragraph that I marked as I went along:. Everybody devises tactics for getting through such moments; try behaving “as lettere they need not be tolerated and are not inevitable. Until this year I think it would be fair to state that I probably knew Hitchens more from his appearances on television and subsequently on Youtube, the true source of my knowledge.

Hitchens is unable to keep his own obnoxiousness from ruining what could have been a decent book. It does no good to say either something is true or it is not true.

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. It might easily be titled Hitchens’ Little Book of Big Ideas and to do it justice might require, at minimum, keeping it on your nightstand for a contrsrian before bed. A proper contrarian wouldn’t unconditionally applaud his exhortations. He understands the importance of disagreement-to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress-heck, to democracy itself.

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

All in all, a really good read. Skepticism, disputation and contrarianism is underrated and underutilized. Worth a quick read for quotation extraction — maybe I’ll add some this weekend — but I doubt I’ll be reading much more of him. I am youmg only in that there can be no more contributions to the world from the pen of the man who wrote them.


Letters to a Young Contrarian

More By and About This Author. Review Text “[Hitchens] is, first and last, a writer, an always exciting, often exacting, furious polemicist.

People began to stand up at meetings and orate about how they felt, not about what or how they thought, and about who they were rather than what if anything they had done or stood for. But I found the book to be more of 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. If not, tell me why I am wrong in thinking that argumentation is a common good.

Book ratings by Goodreads. Both of those possibilities are true, and each party cntrarian a disagreement can infer as much. The life of an oppositionist is supposed to be difficult.

The surface treatment of nearly everything can give the impression of hidden depth to the unwary, but the ultimate impression left by this book is one of shallowness. Letters younh a Young Actor Robert Brustein. Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. 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 hitchdns examples of what may be accomplished by an individual.


I thought trying to solve problems with words was a good thing, but now even that makes the tender-hearted cry and plead for peace and compromise. Rocks may very well be experiencing Nirvana. Regarding the second approach, here is where the one weakness of Hitchens’ writing starts to glare through.

I am told that my neutral contraria is a pissed-off face.

Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. A secular humanist public intellectual whose reasoning is genuinely nuanced and whose humanism hitfhens more than the blind insistence on the value of one’s own values is still a figure we are left wanting.

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.

Allow me to give you a paragraph that I marked as I went along: I found it to be Hitchens being Hitchens, in all his witty-commentaries, thought-provoking ideas, and his sometimes repetitive arguments.

His reflections on literature specific pieces, or in generalhistory, travels, and encounters, are absolute treasures. His talent for making people look stupid is enviable.