May 212012

A memoir of Hitchen’s 60 years on earth most of it he spent as an irrascible, cantankerous, and largely contrarian thinker, writer, and agitator.  As a careful student of history he focuses his energies on upheavals in 1968, 1989, and 2001 reaching the following internally illogical yet self-aware conclusion.  Hitchens defines his life as unalterably intolerant of intolerance and utterly convinced in his belief that those religious, fanatical, tyrannical, and dictatorial leaders who believe theirs is the only path to salvation are absolutely and without question wrong.  I could plainly see the contradiction and still found myself mesmerized by an intellect of such power that I struggled to find counter arguments.  The man has not only apparently read every writer in the English language, but seemlessly manages to place the ideas of the following in precisely the right context:  Richard Dawkins, Shakespeare, Orwell, Socrates, Rushdie, Auden, Sontag, Bellow, and dozens more.

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