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Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essaysby Christopher Hitchens
Synopses & Reviews
"I did not, I wish to state, become a journalist because there was no other 'profession' that would have me. I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information." Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays showcases America's leading polemicist's rejection of consensus and cliché , whether he's reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa ("a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud"), the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Mel Gibson and Michael Bloomberg. Hitchens began the nineties as a "darling of the left" but has become more of an "unaffiliated radical" whose targets include those on the "left," who he accuses of "fudging" the issue of military intervention in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, as Hitchens shows in his reportage, cultural and literary criticism, and opinion essays from the last decade, he has not jumped ship and joined the right but is faithful to the internationalist, contrarian and democratic ideals that have always informed his work.
"Branded an apostate by the left for his post-9/11 embrace of the U.S.'s war on terror, former Nation columnist Hitchens reprints some of the offending pieces, along with lighter fare. The title names the book's three sections. 'Love' turns out to be 'of literature'; displaying an eclectic range, Hitchens analyzes the new English translations of Marcel Proust as perceptively as he attacks Christopher Ricks's Dylan's Vision of Sin, among other works. When he shifts to 'Poverty,' Hitchens's caustic intolerance for the hypocrisy he sees in public figures comes to the fore. Some objects of his scorn are familiar — Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton — but he also finds new targets ranging from Martha Stewart to the Dalai Lama and Mel Gibson, with special opprobrium for Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 is dubbed 'a sinister exercise in moral frivolity.' The 'War' material more fully documents Hitchens's break with the left and finds him passionately arguing against citing U.S. foreign policy, past or present, to rationalize terrorism. In other essays throughout the collection, from a nostalgic account of a drive along historic Route 66 to fond memories of the WTC towers, readers may be surprised to see the master of cynicism engaging in open sentimentality. Even when Hitchens isn't quite what one anticipates, however, he's as sharp a writer as one has come to expect." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This collection of Christopher Hitchens's journalism, written for a number of publications between 1992 and 2004, is an interesting and varied showcase of his work as a polemicist, a reporter and a literary critic." New York Times
"A well-turned collection with scarcely a false note. A pleasure for Hitchens's many fans, and certainly no comfort for his enemies." Kirkus Review
"His allies, of whom I count myself one, rejoice in the sureness of his aim. May his targets cower." Susan Sontag
"America's foremost rhetorical pugilist." The Village Voice
"Agree or disagree with polemicist Hitchens, there is no denying the clarity of his thinking, the depth of his reading, the thoroughness of his inquiries, the independence of his opinions, and the brio of his superbly fashioned prose." Booklist
Showcases America's leading polemicist's rejection of consensus and cliché, whether hes reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama.
Beginning the 1990s as a "darling of the left," Hitchens became more of an "unaffiliated radical." As he shows in his reportage, cultural and literary criticism, and opinion essays from the last decade, he is faithful to the internationalist, democratic ideals that have always informed his work.
About the Author
Christopher Hitchens is a widely published polemicist and frequent radio and tv commentator. Hitchens is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School in New York.
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