Letters to a Young Contrarian

Letters to a Young Contrarian In the book that he was born to write provocateur and best selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals gadflies mavericks rebels angry young wo men and dissidents

  • Title: Letters to a Young Contrarian
  • Author: Christopher Hitchens
  • ISBN: 9780465030330
  • Page: 347
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young wo men, and dissidents Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.TIn the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young wo men, and dissidents Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.This book explores the entire range of contrary positions from noble dissident to gratuitous pain in the butt 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 He bemoans the loss of the skills of dialectical thinking evident in contemporary society He understands the importance of disagreement to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress heck, to democracy itself Epigrammatic, spunky, witty, in your face, timeless and timely, this book is everything you would expect from a mentoring contrarian.

    • ↠ Letters to a Young Contrarian ✓ Christopher Hitchens
      Christopher Hitchens

    About "Christopher Hitchens"

    1. Christopher Hitchens

      Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English born American author, journalist and literary critic He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best selling books the most famous being God Is Not Great made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits He was also a media fellow at the Hoover Institution.Hitchens was a polemicist and intellectual While he was once identified with the Anglo American radical political left, near the end of his life he embraced some arguably right wing causes, most notably the Iraq War Formerly a Trotskyist and a fixture in the left wing publications of both the United Kingdom and United States, Hitchens departed from the grassroots of the political left in 1989 after what he called the tepid reaction of the European left following Ayatollah Khomeini s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, but he stated on the Charlie Rose show aired August 2007 that he remained a Democratic Socialist The September 11, 2001 attacks strengthened his embrace of an interventionist foreign policy, and his vociferous criticism of what he called fascism with an Islamic face He is known for his ardent admiration of George Orwell, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, and for his excoriating critiques of Mother Teresa, Henry Kissinger and Bill Clinton.Hitchens was an anti theist, and he described himself as a believer in the Enlightenment values of secularism, humanism, and reason enpedia wiki Christop

    387 thoughts on “Letters to a Young Contrarian”

    1. Death hath wrought a pernicious dent in the erudite and intellectual world Hitchens will not be one to be soon forgotten, nor ever replaced but emulated, definitely Let me stop you before you roll your eyes Yes, I am providing my belated, unasked for, and pedantic tribute to the late Hitch, but this is as appropriate of a forum as any to do so, right Indeed, I read this magnificent little collection of letters of advice written to no one in particular but everyone in modest and solemn remembranc [...]

    2. Christopher Hitchens was my 5 star author hero Everything he wrote I had to ration how much I read at a time so I could savour his writing, his pronouncements, his humour and his wisdom This book was but a pale shadow of his others and I couldn t finish it I may one day pick it up again.Although Hitchens is often the star of his own books, he is able to put himself to one side to concentrate on the subject Unfortunately in this one he is not just the star, but the elevated hero, and great as a w [...]

    3. 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 think it is crucial to flesh out the difference between the other three figures on one hand and Hitchens on the other While the three champion though it is arguable how much they adhere to empiricism, rationality and the spirit of science in general, Hitchens is in a different camp He makes bold claims which are based on personal experience, opinion, speculations an [...]

    4. The book I ve probably read times than any other I consistently go back to it when in times of crisis or when I need a mental recharging The thing I love about Hitchens is the fact that no matter what you think about him, he has lived a full life There s no stone unturned intellectually, verbally, hell geographically He truly has read and seen and pretty much done it all.Nobody s going to agree with him 100% I don t, and I m one of his biggest fans but what you take away from his work and this [...]

    5. Through the years reading Christopher Hitchens has been hit or miss for me 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 I remember Hitchens on a Bill Maher show on HBO where he was a guest and argued with the audience for almost the entire program I did not appreciate that behavior then, but do so now after reading this book I cannot highly recommend this book to any person who wants to th [...]

    6. I loved reading this book There s probably no political commentary I enjoy reading or watching, for that matter than that of Christopher Hitchens No one is quite as good at being condescending and disagreeable and intelligent and hilarious all at once His talent for making people look stupid is enviable.

    7. I could extract a handful of great quotations but generally found its subtlety muddled and the italicized foreign phrases snotty and maybe he used tautology too often for me to really get all psyched How many times can extirpate be used too A proper contrarian wouldn t unconditionally applaud his exhortations A little disappointed, really thought it d be fun He s not a fan of Clinton or God or idiots or neutrality Got it Overall, I found his style stilted and stodgy, his referencing of Orwell a [...]

    8. Every once in awhile one s brain gets a kick start and sometimes the resulting vibration opens a stubbornly closed door Revelations ensue.It happened many years ago when I was a college freshman, under the tutelage of philosophy 101 professor, Gary Boelkins, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as I began to grasp the concepts of Plato One minute I was baffled, the next minute a light bulb or fire, so as not to be anachronistic went on and the cave was illuminated.Hitchens prompts this same thi [...]

    9. I loved Hitch before Iraq 2 I m coming back around to him, but I just pretend he has no opinion on the occupation.

    10. Hitchens makes some great points, however his flowery wording made it hard to keep my concentration I felt like I was studying for school instead of actually enjoying what I was reading.

    11. There are two basic ways to approach this book First, there s reading it as an inspirational tract on living a life of contrariness and dissent and all the baggage that comes with such a life Secondly, one could read this as a treatise on several of Christopher Hitchens favorite topics, ranging from misspent socialist youth to his journalism days to the preview of coming anti religious attractions phase.In both cases, the book fails To the first option, I m not sure anyone will walk away from th [...]

    12. A mammoth of a thinker with a need to write like he needs to breathe attempts to service advice to any young person wishing to live his her life with a spine of their own instead of a borrowed one, and succeeds at least with me in instilling a sense of pride in trying to question every single thing life throws at us, and even look inside to question the questioner itself The one thing I have to say about this book is that it contains the only almost Decalogue short of one rule that I d like to f [...]

    13. I m not sure why but I am on a bit of a Hitchens kick Until this year I think it would be fair to state that I probably knew Hitchens from his appearances on television and subsequently on Youtube, the true source of my knowledge I find it odd because I ve not fallen in love with any of the books I ve read so far but still find him so compelling Maybe it s because he s so smart and unflinching, or because he s modern muckraker, or maybe it s just because he s sometimes a dick This slim volume i [...]

    14. To be a contrarian you have to be prepared to Shun the transcendent and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself Distrust compassion prefer dignity for yourself and others Don t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish Picture all experts as if they were mammals Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake the grave will supply plenty of time for silence Suspect your own motives, and all excuses Do not live for others any [...]

    15. A witty and anecdotal window into Hitchens propensity to take contrarian positions I feel scarcely qualified to review this work, I could only nod and marvel at the points he cited and made regarding the necessity of employing scepticism and doubt wherever applicable To quote a few particularly pertinent and summative passages John Stuart Mill said that even if all were agreed on an essential proposition it would be essential to give an ear to the one person who did not, lest people forget how t [...]

    16. 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 Like Morrissey, it s hard to tell what about Hitchens is real and what is adopted persona in Letters to a Young Contrarian he writes in earnest about the necessity of noconformity to the survival of modern liberal society, but he also likes to show off his breadth of knowledge, his acidity and mercilessness towards coward [...]

    17. hitch is just great, I know, insightful reviewbeing a christian who is passing , through the dark night alright of the soul , as he hilariously concedes to the young contrarian i totally see his side of the whole god issue this missing element here is faith, which the bible states is a gift of god, his position is honest, and respectful and damn good advice not just go along, with anything, to have your own mind, and to question the obvious is is a quick, enjoyable, and eloquent read.he has gone [...]

    18. I ve mostly found Hitchens to be a suspect public intellectual But he was still a welcome presence for his acerbic wit and his tendency to polemic in times that have seen intellectuals become cowardly dunces lost in the minutiae of inoffensiveness.This book is full of beauty and of impassioned pleas for intelligence, justice, and bravery of the most important sort It is, in short, the kind of book one wishes Hitchens wrote often He too often got lost in his scotch driven ramblings for most of h [...]

    19. This was a really inishgtful and engaging book Despite its short length 141 pages I found myself constantly going back over passages this book has a ton of great quotes Some of the advice that Hitchens gives his mock student may seem a little cliche in parts, but even there he presents it in such a witty and honest way as to still make it insightful What I also like about Hitchens is that he uses just the right balance of high mindedness and modesty self deprication This book would be useful to [...]

    20. This book underscores what I like about Christopher Hitchens he confronts every ideology, pissing off both liberals and conservatives If I don t always agree with him, I always admire his iconoclasm and his style of disputation.

    21. A nice, short primer for Christopher Hitchens RIP This is one of those books I think everyone should read Skepticism, disputation and contrarianism is underrated and underutilized.

    22. I read most of this book in the span of a day I tend not to do that, and the reason why I did is also the most enjoyable aspect of the work and Hitchens other writings The readability and entertaining prose of this author is by far his greatest strength Hitchens is very good at expressing his view in a brief and striking way, and typically follows it up with an interesting anecdote While this does provide breadth to the point he is making it means the argument severly lacks in depth Further, so [...]

    23. I miss Christopher Hitchens Never has the world needed him , and never has his absence been so palpable This book provides a sliver of light into the massive mind of Mr Hitchens and reminds us all that contrarian is a label reserved for those who dare to think.

    24. If Letters to a Young Contrarian teaches you one thing, it is to not sit like a bump on a log and watch the world go by, without a say, without a perspective and without a care Here are a few quotes from Hitchens book that I m still wrapping my mind around and letting sink in pp.28 29Alain, in Martin du Gard s Lieutenant Colonel Maumort says that the first rule he calls it the rule of rules is the art of challenging what is appealing You will notice that he describes this as an art it is not eno [...]

    25. One word Hitchen liciousA mere paragraph into the text, you can already tell what you re getting in with this book Because of that, the book is neither a great failure nor a great success I found it to be Hitchens being Hitchens, in all his witty commentaries, thought provoking ideas, and his sometimes repetitive arguments.I realize that I ve grown to think of Hitchens as a sort of chocolate flavor Great, enjoyable, smooth on the tongue, but highly predictable Make no mistake, he doesn t wastes [...]

    26. I really, really wanted to like and enjoy this book Unfortunately, unlike God is Not Great, I found this one to be a real slog to get through I found Hitchens references to be quite obscure, and I found it quite difficult to follow what his actual point was from chapter to chapter I found the format of the fictional letters to be quite disconcerting, only having one side of the fictional conversation, and it seemed quite pompous at times without good reason to be There were some great moments th [...]

    27. Apparently meant for a younger student, nonetheless, I enjoy getting his ideas and language into my head I am sifting through his points, and think that I see some of what he is arguing a bit differently I don t intend to finish reading this book in the sense that it will be put aside and never read again.

    28. I liked the concept of this book than its execution Hitchens is unable to keep his own obnoxiousness from ruining what could have been a decent book.

    29. I will read this over, and over, and over for the rest of my life is that important.Read it two timesill gives me chills.

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