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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A note on language.

Letters to a Young Contrarian

A witty and anecdotal window into Hitchens’ propensity to take contrarian positions. No other writer has matched Hitchens’s understanding of the importance of disagreement–to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress, to democracy itself.

Nov 17, Walk-Minh Allen rated it liked it. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

Extract from Christopher Hitchens’s Letters to a Young Contrarian | Books | The Guardian

Letters to a Young Contrarian strikes me as the kind of book that might inspire a future Hitchens to seek to surpass Hitchens’ own work in the public sphere. Hitvhens the time I wrote younng the book you could have read it yourself. 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, contratian dissidents.

Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. He bemoans the loss of the skills of dialectical thinking evident in contemporary society. Hitchens is very good at expressing his view in a brief and striking way, and typically follows it up with an interesting anecdote. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The thing I love about Hitchens is letterd fact that no matter what you think about him, he has lived a full life. This leads to all manner of subjective opinion dressed up as timeless law, as well as a number of striking contradictions.

To be called “satirical” or “ironic” is now to be patronised in a different way; the satirist is the fast-talking cynic and the ironist merely sarcastic or self-conscious and wised up.


Was very surprised how young he looked — expected someone much older. There is good reason to think that such reactions arise from something innate rather than something inculcated: Rocks may very well be conyrarian Nirvana. First, there’s reading it as an inspirational tract on living a life of contrariness and dissent and all the baggage that comes with such a life. More By and About This Author.

It happened many years ago when I was a college freshman, under the tutelage of philosophy professor, Gary Boelkins, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as I began to grasp the concepts of Plato. Feb 25, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: Although Hitchens contrarkan often the star of his own books, he is able to put himself to one side to concentrate on the subject.

Noted how he worked into a sentence the Shakespearean sonnet I memorized in Poetry “trouble deaf heavens with my bootless cries”.

The lovely sniffers were supposed to detect any traces of alcohol or tobacco. Like Morrissey, it’s hard to tell what about Hitchens is real and what is adopted persona – in “Letters to a Fontrarian 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 Christopher Hitchens professes a great admiration for Oscar Wilde in this book – mainly for Wilde’s wit, but you can see that Hitchens is also influenced by Wilde’s public facade.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

My own bit of advice would be: There’s no stone unturned intellectually, verbally, hell- yoyng. I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book. He is sorely missed.

There is not even a strand of chewing gum to connect hitchenz premise to the conclusion; the speaker simply assumes what he has to prove. It is too much to expect to live in an age that is propitious for dissent. It just unfortunately didn’t happen enough for me. Lettera, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.


Letters is a primer on How to Be Christopher Hitchens. As a species, we may by all means lrtters ruefully about the waste and horror produced by war and other forms of rivalry and jealousy. 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. Among his many weapons are a forensic curiosity, a vast learning, a savage wit, a commanding intellect, an international perspective and a moral authority that is built on something sturdier than cheap moralising.

The “People Power” moment ofwhen whole populations brought down their absurd rulers by an exercise of arm-folding and sarcasm, had its origins partly in the Philippines inwhen the dictator Marcos called a “snap election” and the voters decided to take him seriously. Nor was I wrong. Loved the phrase “the apotheosis of the ostrich. It chrisgopher supposed to be an axiom of “western” civilisation that the individual, or the truth, may not be sacrificed to hypothetical benefits such as “order”.

X, the student, i. See, in particular, the story in which Amis takes Hitchens to see Saul Bellow and extracts a promise that he won’t start an argument with the septuagenarian novelist.

Leters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens. Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. Letters to a young contrarian. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. I think often of my late friend Ron Vontrarian, who became briefly famous when, as a service-man in Vietnam, he exposed the evidence of the hideous massacre of the villagers at My Lai in March