Synopses & Reviews
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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.
"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.)
"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)
"[A] provocative, challenging, and passionate work a religious believer's and apologist's nightmare." Librbary Journal
"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
"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
"[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
"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
"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
"I am pretty sure that Hitchens's book will stand out as a leading example. How does Hitchens fare as a narrator? Quite well, at least to these unwashed ears. Hitchens has a windy prose style that is sometimes too stuffed with parenthetical qualifiers to be read easily. His breezy narration, however, makes such cluttered prose easy on the ear; we sense more of a conversational lecturer at work rather than a mere writer. Of course, Hitchens' upper-crust British accent will sound either charming or down-right intimidating. It enhanced his formidable learning and dry sense of humor." ---Winston-Salem Journal
"God is not great; brilliant"... Dennis Groves says: My Audio Book List
The author propounds his belief that all religion is not only wrong-headed but dangerous. One doubts the flamboyant journalist will sway those convinced that metaphysical certainty depends on faith, not proof, and that the higher powers are fundamentally good. Others will find his points familiar (if not self-evident), his knowledge wide, his writing graceful, and his sarcasm apt. Like partisans of any description, he ignores inconvenient facts and overstates his case. As narrator, he contributes a pleasantly moderated voice and a listener-friendly British accent. At times, he sounds a bit tired, at other times rushed, but, all in all, he reads well enough, with the added benefit of knowing where the laugh lines are. Y.R. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC 07/ JAN 08]
"Hitchens also proves to be more than a capable readeer; his wit, erudition, and passionate unbelief could not have been conveyed as compellingly by a surrogate. Highly recommended for all general collections." ---Audiofile
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.
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.
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