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God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

by

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Cover

 

Staff Pick

One of the most informed journalists in the country (he seems to have been everywhere, met everyone, and read everything), he is also one of the most entertaining. His command of the language is legendary; his wit ferocious. His skill in marshalling facts in service to an argument is a wonder to behold. Readers won't pick up this book just to find out what Christopher Hitchens thinks about religion. They'll read it because, whether or not he persuades, he always makes it worth your while to hear him out.
Recommended by C. P. Farley, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Test your faith severely or find a champion for your feelings, but read Hitchens. It's a tendentious delight, a caustic and even brilliant book. And with the title alone, he takes his life in his hands, which right there has got to be some proof of his thesis." Mark Warren, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Christopher Hitchens, hailed as "one of the most brilliant journalists of our time" (London Observer), takes on his biggest subject yet — the dangerous role of religion in the world.

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

Review:

"Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. And can he turn a phrase!: 'monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents.' Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that 'Eastern' religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons 'everything,' which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A century and a half ago Pope Pius IX published the Syllabus of Errors, a rhetorical tour de force against the high crimes and misdemeanors of the modern world. 'God Is Not Great,' by the British journalist and professional provocateur Christopher Hitchens, is the atheists' equivalent: an unrelenting enumeration of religion's sins and wickedness, written with much of the rhetorical pomp and all of... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Hitchens intends to provoke, but he is not mean-spirited and humorless. Indeed, he is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational. Believers will be disturbed and may even charge him with blasphemy...and he may not change many minds, but he offers the open-minded plenty to think about." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"[A] provocative, challenging, and passionate work — a religious believer's and apologist's nightmare." Librbary Journal

Review:

"It's clear from page to page that Hitchens...is having a grand time twitting the folks in the white collars and purple dresses, in the turbans and beehives. Like-minded readers will enjoy his arguments, too." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The strength of this book is the undeniable eloquence of its indignation....Its weakness is that the thinking in it has indeed oft been thought." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[Hitchens's] indictments are trenchant and witty, and the book is a treasure house of zingers worthy of Mark Twain or H. L. Mencken." Boston Globe

Review:

"Hitchens has outfoxed the Hitchens watchers by writing a serious and deeply felt book, totally consistent with his beliefs of a lifetime. And God should be flattered: unlike most of those clamoring for his attention, Hitchens treats him like an adult." New York Times

Review:

"God Is Not Great is somewhat of a disappointment t1; not so much for those who disagree, who will simply be irritated, but for those of us who think that it has an important case to make and were hoping that this might be the book to carry that message to the people." San Francisco Chronicle

Book News Annotation:

When Hitchens (contributing editor, Vanity Fair) asserts, as he does in the subtitle, that "religion poisons everything," he's not kidding. He believes that the argument with faith "is the foundation and origin of all arguments, because it is the beginning--but not the end--of all arguments about philosophy, science, history, and human nature." His polemical attack on religion portrays it as prone to violence, destructive of valuable human knowledge, sexually repressive, socially regressive, and just plain irrational. Those readers wondering if the title of the book, alluding to the standard Muslim invocation "God is great" ("Allahu Akbar"), means that this volume is aimed primarily at supporting Hitchens's well-known antipathy towards "Islamo-fascism" and support for the "War on Terror" should be assured that he tosses his polemical barbs at other religious targets here as well, including Christianity and Buddhism. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Now available as a value-priced edition!

Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as "one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time "takes on his biggest subject yet--the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world.

With his unique brand of erudition and wit, Hitchens describes the ways in which religion is man-made. "God did not make us," he says. "We made God." He explains the ways in which religion is immoral: We damage our children by indoctrinating them. It is a cause of sexual repression, violence, and ignorance. It is a distortion of our origins and the cosmos. In the place of religion, Hitchens offers the promise of a new enlightenment through science and reason, a realm in which hope and wonder can be found through a strand of DNA or a gaze through the Hubble Telescope. As Hitchens sees it, you needn't get the blues once you discover the heavens are empty.

Synopsis:

Hitchens takes on his biggest subject yet--the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. With insight and wit, he describes the ways in which religion is man-made, immoral, and repressive and argues for a new enlightenment through science and reason.

About the Author

Christopher Hitchens is the author of Letters to a Young Contrarian, and the bestseller No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family. A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly and Slate, Hitchens also writes for The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and The Independent, and has appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthew's Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and C-Span's Washington Journal. He was named one of the world's "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect. Christopher Hitchens lives in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Charleydog, July 20, 2007 (view all comments by Charleydog)
Are we seeing a trend today in the "Is religion or God real?" literature theme? Mr. Hitchens presents a logical view of why religion is at the root of "evil" things. I just finished reading "The Last Templar" by Raymond Khoury who says that Jesus was not the Son of God, but just a man and that the whole Christianity thing is based on myths. Albeit that The Last Templar is supposed to be fiction (but based on the Knights Templar) and Mr. Hitchens' book is non-fiction, but both present a very worrying theme.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(19 of 73 readers found this comment helpful)
Veritas, July 11, 2007 (view all comments by Veritas)
Hitchen's mastery of this topic is apparent on every page. Having assumed I had been the only little boy in church who did not 'believe' it's now, as an adult, so enlightening to realize that I was hardly alone. The absurdity of the fairy tales masked as religion are discussed with great precision. The dastardly means with which religion has effectively interfered with government, medicine, science, sexuality et.al. are far more damaging than I had ever considered. The level of research is truly top drawer. Hitchens is not only a brilliant writer but even more important one of the few intellectuals being read by Americans. He may indeed be my generation's next Gore Vidal.

As the United States turns ever more theocratic, and as every Presidential candidate leaps into debates on "faith" this may be the most important book of the last several years. Highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(61 of 80 readers found this comment helpful)
migwilo, April 30, 2007 (view all comments by migwilo)
This book is a definite skeptic. However, the questions concerning religion and beliefs in god are perenial. They cannot be answered the way the book sought to answer.The questions will reman with us.If religion has caused many human misery as the book pointed out, it is not because of beliefs in God but because of the activities of humans that usually does not have anything to do with the belief.The book is recommended for everyone who believes since it will help one to see what people are saying about belief. Above all, the book is very entertaining and informing.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780446579803
Subtitle:
How Religion Poisons Everything
Author:
Hitchens, Christopher
Author:
Hitchens, Christopher
Author:
Author
Publisher:
Twelve
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
Atheism
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Rationalism
Subject:
General Religion
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2007
Binding:
CD-audio
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.375 in 1.28 lb

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Related Subjects


Children's » Religion » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Atheism and Humanism
Rare Books » Philosophy
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Twelve - English 9780446579803 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the most informed journalists in the country (he seems to have been everywhere, met everyone, and read everything), he is also one of the most entertaining. His command of the language is legendary; his wit ferocious. His skill in marshalling facts in service to an argument is a wonder to behold. Readers won't pick up this book just to find out what Christopher Hitchens thinks about religion. They'll read it because, whether or not he persuades, he always makes it worth your while to hear him out.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. And can he turn a phrase!: 'monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents.' Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that 'Eastern' religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons 'everything,' which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Test your faith severely or find a champion for your feelings, but read Hitchens. It's a tendentious delight, a caustic and even brilliant book. And with the title alone, he takes his life in his hands, which right there has got to be some proof of his thesis." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Hitchens intends to provoke, but he is not mean-spirited and humorless. Indeed, he is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational. Believers will be disturbed and may even charge him with blasphemy...and he may not change many minds, but he offers the open-minded plenty to think about."
"Review" by , "[A] provocative, challenging, and passionate work — a religious believer's and apologist's nightmare."
"Review" by , "It's clear from page to page that Hitchens...is having a grand time twitting the folks in the white collars and purple dresses, in the turbans and beehives. Like-minded readers will enjoy his arguments, too."
"Review" by , "The strength of this book is the undeniable eloquence of its indignation....Its weakness is that the thinking in it has indeed oft been thought."
"Review" by , "[Hitchens's] indictments are trenchant and witty, and the book is a treasure house of zingers worthy of Mark Twain or H. L. Mencken."
"Review" by , "Hitchens has outfoxed the Hitchens watchers by writing a serious and deeply felt book, totally consistent with his beliefs of a lifetime. And God should be flattered: unlike most of those clamoring for his attention, Hitchens treats him like an adult."
"Review" by , "God Is Not Great is somewhat of a disappointment t1; not so much for those who disagree, who will simply be irritated, but for those of us who think that it has an important case to make and were hoping that this might be the book to carry that message to the people."
"Synopsis" by , Now available as a value-priced edition!

Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as "one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time "takes on his biggest subject yet--the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world.

With his unique brand of erudition and wit, Hitchens describes the ways in which religion is man-made. "God did not make us," he says. "We made God." He explains the ways in which religion is immoral: We damage our children by indoctrinating them. It is a cause of sexual repression, violence, and ignorance. It is a distortion of our origins and the cosmos. In the place of religion, Hitchens offers the promise of a new enlightenment through science and reason, a realm in which hope and wonder can be found through a strand of DNA or a gaze through the Hubble Telescope. As Hitchens sees it, you needn't get the blues once you discover the heavens are empty.

"Synopsis" by , Hitchens takes on his biggest subject yet--the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. With insight and wit, he describes the ways in which religion is man-made, immoral, and repressive and argues for a new enlightenment through science and reason.
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