Arguably: Book summary and reviews of Arguably by Christopher Hitchens

Arguably

Essays

by Christopher Hitchens

Arguably
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2011
    384 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

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Book Summary

The first new book of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, Arguably offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad. Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for the enduring relevance of Karl Marx.

The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. In this fashion, Arguably burnishes Christopher Hitchens' credentials as-to quote Christopher Buckley-our "greatest living essayist in the English language."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Argumentative and sometimes just barely civil—another worthy collection from this most inquiring of inquirers." - Kirkus Reviews

"Arguably arrives with a pall cast over it. Last year, Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. His prognosis is bleak, and this may very well be his last book. If this is the case, this vast, erudite, startlingly impressive collection of his daily labor offers a fitting last call for one of the most talented and productive of that dying breed, the freelance print-based man of letters." - The Boston Globe

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Kelli Robinson

A Thought-Provoking Literary Challenge
This was not my first foray into the work of Hitchens. I read God is Not Great as well as several Vanity Fair articles prior to this set of essays. This book, however, illuminated the huge gap in intellect between Hitchens and myself. Not a surprising discovery but rather humbling. Fortunately, Hitchens himself made some progress in closing that gap as I progressed through his 100 essays from start to finish. Because nearly all of the literary references in the first third of the book were lost on me, it almost felt like I was reading a book written in a different language but that slowly dissipated as I moved along. For the casual reader of Hitchens, be prepared for a literary challenge but don't let that challenge stop you from getting to know this prolific writer and his thought-provoking opinions on literature, politics and religion.

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Author Information

Christopher Hitchens Author Biography

Photo: Christian Witkin

Christopher Hitchens was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate, and The Atlantic, and the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. He also wrote the international bestsellers God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died in 2011.

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