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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Letters to a Young Mathematician Ian Stewart. It is, in short, the kind of book one wishes Hitchens wrote more often.

Letters to a Young Contrarian

View all 8 comments. I didn’t much love his religion-related contrariwn, in general — found them overly concerned with control, too quick to dismiss what’s been called the holy spirit I doubt Hitchens played much music.

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?

The Best Books of Apparently meant for a younger student, nonetheless, I enjoy getting his ideas and language into my head.

It happened many years ago when I was a college freshman, under the tutelage of philosophy professor, Gary Boelkins, at Marquette Contraran in Milwaukee, as I cohtrarian to grasp the concepts of Plato. Looking for ihtchens books?

This book would be useful to anyone who wants to get involved in some field that requires strong debate or anyone who wants to get involved in almost any cause, particularly more controversial ones. He understands the importance of disagreement-to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress-heck, to democracy itself. I found it to be Hitchens being Hitchens, in all his witty-commentaries, thought-provoking ideas, and his sometimes repetitive arguments.

Out of Context and Incorrect Yung In each case, as we know now, the authorities were forced first to act crassly and then to look crass, and eventually to fall victim to stern verdicts from posterity.

Likhesh Sharma It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for …more It is because “what you think” that is things you know might change you might start believing something opposite of what you used to believe for example like people changed their mind about geocentrism but that would not make chrlstopher a slave if Ideas.


To the first option, I’m not sure anyone will walk away fro There are two basic ways to approach this book. Every morning, I passed their exacting test.

The lovely sniffers were supposed to detect any traces of alcohol or tobacco. In short, here’s a guy who has seen more than you or your most well traveled friend ever will and has everything to say about it. When one engages in combative dialogue I say combative because vehemence in debate is no vice either it is important to know exactly whom with one is engaging.

But how you think or you decide what to believe determines whether your ideas, your mind is slave a tradition, book or authority or you are–as Hitchens wants to you be–a freethinker who conrtarian skeptic and relies on logic and evidence for source of knowledge.

Letters to a Young Contrarian – Wikipedia

While this does provide more breadth to the point he is making it means the argument severly lacks in depth. Overall, I found his style stilted and stodgy, his referencing of Orwell and Adorno and the like unexciting and expected, and his name-dropping of dear friends Rushdie, Amis, McEwan insecure. One should envy the experiences of this man; well, most experiences. It is supposed to be an axiom of “western” civilisation that the individual, or the truth, may not be sacrificed to hypothetical benefits such as “order”.

He was Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. However, this can’t alter the fact that in life we make progress by conflict and in mental life by argument and disputation. He mines a vast archive of historical and intellectual precedent in making his case and molding it all into original observations of his own.

But it would be a shame if would-be contrarians were to know their teacher only as someone going on, as he puts it, ‘like a whiskered veteran’. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will suply plenty of time for silence.


Hitchens, through a clever epistolary format, discusses his dissident heroes, the importance of wit and the, well, unimportance of religion, among many other relevant and engaging topics. Never has the world needed him more, and never has his absence been so palpable. The “People Power” moment ofwhen whole populations brought down their absurd rulers by an exercise of arm-folding and sarcasm, had its origins partly in the Philippines inwhen the dictator Marcos called a “snap election” and the voters decided to take him seriously.


If you care about the points of agreement and civility, then, you had better be well equipped with points of argument and combativity, because if you are not then the “centre” will be occupied and defined without your having helped to decide it.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants an entertaining view of ‘radicalism’ from a self-proclaimed radical. Unfortunately, unlike God is Not Great, I found this one to hitchena a real slog to get through.

You seem to have grasped the point that there is something idiotic about those who believe that consensus to give the hydra-headed beast just one of its names is the highest good.

A secular humanist public intellectual whose reasoning is genuinely bitchens and whose humanism involves more than the blind insistence on the value of one’s own values is still a figure we are left wanting. This book underscores what I like about Christopher Hitchens: The readability hitchns entertaining prose of this author is by far his greatest strength.

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.

Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. And most people, most of the time, prefer to seek approval or security.

Hitchens touches on his own ideological development, the nature of debate and humourthe ways in which language is slyly manipulated in apology for offensive and ridiculous positions, and how to see through this and recognise it whenever it arises in oneself. Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife. This book is full of beauty and of impassioned pleas for intelligence, justice, and bravery of the most important sort. I would classify Hitchens as a writer’s writer as opposed to a reader’s writer though.

It is something you are, and not something you do.