Christopher Hitchens is an immodest man with much to be immodest about, but can his Letters to a Young Contrarian be anything more than. Christopher Hitchens offers them the wisdom of a seasoned campaigner. Letters to a young contrarian. The spirit of may be a distant. Hitchens, a columnist for the Nation and Vanity Fair, and author, most recently, of The Trial of Henr.

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I cannot more highly recommend this book to any person who wants to think for themselves and stand apart from the crowd. Some of the advice that Hitchens gives his mock student may seem a little cliche in parts, but even there he presents it in ypung a witty and honest way as to still make it insightful. This book is full of beauty and of impassioned pleas for intelligence, justice, and bravery of the most important sort. But this mini-manifesto, despite the somewhat mountainous terrain, should provide readers interested in current events and anti-establishment contrariab with a youhg view into one of today’s more restless and provocative minds.

It is delicious because it showcases Hitchens at his most savage and wise he reveals a warm spot for the under-appreciated utopian radicalism of William Morris and his circle.

He is sorely missed. Letters to a Young Contrarian Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens’ greatest fault was his failure to truly understand that he was part of contraian particular tribe and to truly transcend that tribe.

Indeed, I read this magnificent little collection of letters of advice written to no one in particular but everyone in modest and solemn remembrance. Secondly, one could read this as a treatise on letgers of Christopher Hitchens’ favorite topics, ranging from misspent socialist youth to his journalism days to the preview of coming anti-religious attractions phase.

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Mortality was amazing, but many other works basically unaccessible to me perhaps because they are all too cerebral and the subjects fail to interest me. And most people, most of the time, prefer to seek approval or security.

A Handbook for Living, an extensive and bestselling transcription of his own words: Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife. The surface treatment of nearly everything can give the impression of hidden depth to the unwary, but the ultimate impression left by this book is one of shallowness.

I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book.

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you”. None the less, there are in all periods people who feel themselves in some fashion to be apart.

See, in particular, the story in which Amis takes Hitchens to see Saul Bellow and extracts a cotrarian that he won’t start an argument with the septuagenarian novelist. But… to make up for that rather horrible indictment, you can be reassured that the entire cosmos is designed with you in mind.

Extract from Christopher Hitchens’s Letters to a Young Contrarian | Books | The Guardian

Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great as Christopher Hitchens was my 5-star author hero. Even the term “iconoclast” is seldom used negatively, but rather to suggest that the breaking of images is a harmless discharge of energy.

The noble title of “dissident” must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement, and it has been consecrated by many exemplary men and women. Here are a few quotes from Hitchens’ book that I’m still wrapping my mind around and letting sink in: Retrieved from ” https: He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculatio It is curious to see how Hitchens ended up being with Harris, Dawkins and Dennett in one camp, at least in the public imagination.


I am christophwr through his points, and think that I see some of what he is arguing a bit differently. In an age of overly polite debate bending over backward to reach a happy consensus within an increasingly centrist political dialogue, Hitchens pointedly pitches himself in contrast. It is something you are, and not something you do. Let me stop you before you roll your hitches.

Allegiance is a powerful force in human affairs; it will not do to treat someone as a mental serf if he is convinced that his thralldom is honorable and voluntary. This leads to all manner of subjective opinion dressed up as timeless law, as well as a number of dontrarian contradictions.

Aug 12, M. He’s too smart to be unaware of the trap – ‘I shall pretend that I am a stranger to all forms of modesty, including the false,’ he quips – but too human to avoid it. Thinking may cause discomfort, or unease, even unhappiness but that is no excuse to eschew it in favor of becoming a breathing inanimate object.

Christopher Hitchens professes a great admiration for Oscar Wilde in this book – mainly for Wilde’s wit, but you can see that Hitchens is also influenced by Wilde’s public facade.

Letters shows Hitchens’s best and worst sides.

Letters to a young contrarian

His talent for making people look stupid is enviable. Skepticism, disputation and contrarianism is underrated and underutilized. I read most of this book in the span of a day.