Synopses & Reviews
Most who have observed Christopher Hitchens over the years would agree that he possesses a ferocious intellect and is unafraid to tackle the most contentious subjects. Now 60, English-born and American by adoption; all atheist and partly Jewish; bohemian (even listing "drinking" along with "disputation" as "hobbies" in Who's Who
) he has held to a consistent thread of principle whether opposing war in Vietnam or supporting intervention in Iraq. As a foreign correspondent in some of the world's nastiest places, a lecturer and teacher and an esteemed literary critic, Hitchens manifests a style that is at once ironic, witty, and tough-minded.
A legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for literature, he has sometimes ridiculed those who claim that the personal is political, though he has often seemed to illustrate that very idea. Readers will find that his own many opposites attract, as do his many sketches of friendship and ex-friendship, from Martin Amis to Noam Chomsky.
Condemned to be able to see both sides of any argument, Christopher Hitchens has contradictions that contain their own multitudes.
"Most of all, [Hitch-22] is a memoir that should be given to high school and college students of a literary bent. In the age of the Internet and the academy, it will open up different models for how to be a thoughtful person, how to engage in political life and what sort of things one should know in order to be truly educated.” New York Times
"When the colorful, prolific journalist shares a tender memory, he quickly converts it into a larger observation about politics, always for him the most crucial sphere of moral and intellectual life." New York Times Book Review
"A boisterous self-portrait of a legendary journalist and polemicist who swings both ways politically — and always for the fences...Funny, provocative, and often ravishingly good." Elle Magazine
"As contemptuous, digressive, righteous, and riotously funny as the rest of the author’s incessant output, this memoir is an effective coming-of-age story, regardless of what one may think of the resulting adult...Hitchens paints a credible and even affecting self-portrait.” New Yorker
"[M]emoir generates pleasure through voice and sensibility, not through comprehensiveness. Nobody ever said self-awareness must lead to self-revelation, and even if you don’t like what Hitchens thinks, it’s easy to admire how he thinks.” Boston Globe
"Christopher Hitchens' memoir has the same nerve and frankness that first made me admire him....His perspective on becoming an American citizen is refreshing at a time when it's easy to become jaded about our role in the world." Seattle Times
"Hitchens expresses ambivalence about the term ‘public intellectual’ but, as Hitch-22 demonstrates, it suits him. The disputatious bon vivant is alive on the page, behind the speaker's podium and in ‘unglamorous houses on off-peak cable TV.’” Sunday Oregonian
"A conversation with Hitchens mimics a trip through Wikipedia. Every thought is hyperlinked, with one subject slaloming into the next in ways baffling and enlightening, confounding and profound.” Washington Post
Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature. He is a fervent atheist, raised as a Christian, by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide.
In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.
This is the story of his life, lived large.
#1 New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Christopher Hitchens — one of the most admired and controversial public intellectuals of our time — shares his personal life story.
About the Author
Christopher Hitchens is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School. He is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Hitch-22 and God Is Not Great, which was also a National Book Award nominee.