Start reading Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Hitchens
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $8.01 (45%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover, Large Print $32.00  
Paperback $18.00  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged $19.98  
Unknown Binding --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $20.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

"All first-rate criticism first defines what we are confronting," the late, great jazz critic Whitney Balliett once wrote. By that measure, the essays of Christopher Hitchens are in the first tier. For nearly four decades, Hitchens has been telling us, in pitch-perfect prose, what we confront when we grapple with first principles-the principles of reason and tolerance and skepticism that define and inform the foundations of our civilization-principles that, to endure, must be defended anew by every generation.

"A short list of the greatest living conversationalists in English," said The Economist, "would probably have to include Christopher Hitchens, Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and Sir Tom Stoppard. Great brilliance, fantastic powers of recall, and quick wit are clearly valuable in sustaining conversation at these cosmic levels. Charm may be helpful, too." Hitchens-who staunchly declines all offers of knighthood-hereby invites you to take a seat at a democratic conversation, to be engaged, and to be reasoned with. His knowledge is formidable, an encyclopedic treasure, and yet one has the feeling, reading him, of hearing a person thinking out loud, following the inexorable logic of his thought, wherever it might lead, unafraid to expose fraudulence, denounce injustice, and excoriate hypocrisy. Legions of readers, admirers and detractors alike, have learned to read Hitchens with something approaching awe at his felicity of language, the oxygen in every sentence, the enviable wit and his readiness, even eagerness, to fight a foe or mount the ramparts.

Here, he supplies fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.





Editorial Reviews

Review

"Anyone who occasionally opens one of our more serious periodicals has learned that the byline of Christopher Hitchens is an opportunity to be delighted or maddened-possibly both-but in any case not to be missed....His range is extraordinary, both in breadth and altitude. He is as self-confident on the politics of Lebanon as on the ontology of the Harry Potter books....I still find Hitchens one of the most stimulating thinkers and entertaining we have, even when-perhaps especially when-he provokes."—Bill Keller, New York Times Book Review

"The essays in 'Arguably' remind us of other dimensions to this singular writer and thinker that are sometimes overshadowed by the range of his political commentary. Though there are plenty of essays on politics to be found here, the book also treats us to other arrows in Hitchens' proverbial quiver, including his bracing, exhilarating approach to important literary figures...Its value is clear and needs no justification. And since his diagnosis of esophageal cancer last year, opportunities to hear him, understandably, have been fewer. Which is another thing 'Arguably' inadvertently addresses - for in reading this collection of his thoughts, immersing yourself in the particular turns of phrase and associations of Hitchens' wit, you suddenly realize something else: You're hearing his voice again."—Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times

"Christopher Hitchens's selected essays are Arguably (Twelve) his finest to date."—Vanity Fair

"One reads him [Hitchens] despite his reputation as someone who wants to drink, argue, and tear the ornaments off the tree, because he is, first and last, a writer, an always exciting, often exacting, furious polemicist. This fact, the most salient thing about him, often gets neglected in the public jousting. Arguably, Hitchens's new collection, forcefully proves this point. Consisting of three kinds of writing - literary journalism, political commentary, and cultural complaint - Arguably offers a panoramic if somewhat jaundiced view of the last decade or so of cultural and political history."—The Boston Globe

"Opinions are to Christopher Hitchens what oil is to Saudi Arabia. This collection, featuring his liveliest, funniest and most infamous essays....There is a time for the balanced, even-handed and sober approach - but why bother with any of that when you could be reading someone as provocative and impish as Hitchens?"—The New York Post

Review

"Whether on the invasion of Iraq or the merits of Vladimir Nabokov's fiction, master controversialist Hitchens has an informed opinion. . . . Vintage Hitchens. Argumentative and sometimes just barely civil -- another worthy collection from this most inquiring of inquirers." -- "Kirkus Reviews" (starred)

"These 750 pages of bright, witty, nearly always charged reportage and argument are business as usual for one of the most lucid and humane voices of our age. . . . Purposeful and well told. . . . Here are more than 700 pages of a life lived fully through meaningful work." -- Charles Foran, "Globe and Mail"

Product Details

  • File Size: 1142 KB
  • Print Length: 758 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QZ9PLK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,049 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
347 of 363 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I should begin by admitting that I just received this book today; however, as a longtime fan of Hitch's work, I've already read the majority of these essays, so I feel confident in writing this review now.

I pre-ordered this book months ago, but until today I didn't know which of his essays would be included. I'm absolutely thrilled by the final product. To begin with, it's massive - at nearly 800 pages, it's larger than "god Is Not Great" and "Hitch-22" combined. The essays are sorted into 6 sections, and I'll cover each of them in some detail below.

"All American" focuses on the history, policies, and distinguished figures of the United States. It appears to be sorted chronologically; beginning with essays on Jefferson and Franklin, continuing through subjects like John Brown and Lincoln, JFK, John Updike, and Gore Vidal, and then closing with essays on modern issues like capital punishment and atheism in the modern military.

"Eclectic Affinities" includes Hitchens' best essays on notable literary figures. There are about 30 essays here, covering everything from Karl Marx, to Graham Greene, to George Orwell, to JK Rowling.

"Amusements, Annoyances, and Disappointments" is relatively short, with only 8 essays. However, these are some of Hitch's most famous and controversial personal remarks, including the infamous "Why Women Aren't Funny" and his charming "New Commandments".

"Offshore Accounts" primarily deals with modern political conflicts. It includes his experience with waterboarding, his admiration for Kurdistan, and his encyclopedic knowledge of current politics. This is probably the most notable section of the book, and also one of the longest.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swan Song September 6, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Christopher Hitchens has been told he hasn't much time to live, so with whatever time he does have left he gives us Arguably, a book of essays, for what may be his final effort. And if by chance you haven't ever read Mr. Hitchens and would like one book to stand as a proxy for his life's work, let it be this. Arguably is a compendium of short brilliant gems, intended for either the lay or the professional reader, that comes together to form a thesis about the variations on human activity put together by a literary descendent of Emerson, H.L. Mencken and Paul Goodman. No human activity on any subject is too small to warrant his attention.

Hitchens has the ability to present the past in such a way as to leave the general reader exclaiming "shouldn't this be the way we handle the present?" For example, in the essay Jefferson Versus The Muslim Pirates, there is not a single mention of 21st century pirates operating out of motherships, and yet every reader will make a connection between the Barbary pirates and our current circumstances. His ability to explain the past happens just outside the mothership of current events and he leaves it to the reader to connect the two.

Other essays reduce to a simplicity that have the reader wondering, in the case of a nation trafficking, Hitchens believes, in human bondage like North Korea, why immediate international pressure of the kind that ended apartheid in South Africa isn't brought to bear to end the regime of Kim Jung-il. On the other hand, if you thought
... Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens All in One Place August 26, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent compilation/anthology of recent essays published by that incomparable prose stylist Mr.Christopher Hitchens in "The Atlantic Monthly","Slate", "Vanity Fair", & a few other outlets. These short pieces range from political, cultural, moral, or just thought-provoking topics. This is a big, hefty volume, good for hours & hours of reading pleasure -- and I do mean 'pleasure'; Mr. Hitchens' literary emissions are delicious, sensuous. Nearly anybody can 'write well' (if only enough effort is expended); to few does Fate bestow such graceful expression.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intellect that positively burns off the page December 15, 2011
Format:Hardcover
I finished reading Hitchens book a couple of weeks ago and this evening I am sad to learn that he finally lost his battle with cancer. The thing that stood out the most for me in reading these essays is the astonishing ability to recall past events and apply them in any current argument. It wouldn't really be possible to do this by pure research; he had to have the facts already to hand, in his mind. Whilst I didn't necessarily agree with all of his positions in this collection of essays, he did make good points and argued them convincingly, even causing me at times to re-evaluate my own opinions on some matters. He would have made a great debater and for all I know perhaps he did get into debates or at the very least active panel discussions with opposing viewpoints. I have seen him in action on Bill Maher's show and that's the main reason I decided to read Arguably. On the basis of these essays I shall read some of his other work because aside from mostly agreeing with his viewpoints I also enjoyed his writing style.

If you want a book that will make you stop and think, yet in a format that allows for bite sized chunks to be nibbled on at your own leisure, you could do worse than give Arguably a look. It's a physically hefty book and probably the ideal one to read on a Kindle.

RIP Christopher, you will be missed.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the centerpiece of his work; everything you ...
This is the centerpiece of his work; everything you wanted to know about everything important and then some; deeply regret his passing as he had so much left to say.
Published 15 days ago by S. D. Bartlett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really interesting. a clever, whitty writer with lots of interesting anecdotes. Refreshingly non PC.
Published 15 days ago by susansteele
4.0 out of 5 stars lovable iconoclast
A great and original thinker,writer and analyst . His essays should be read as a part of history of his time.
Published 19 days ago by myrna kurtz
4.0 out of 5 stars I miss hitch
Hitting about 90% or so makes for a fine collection. Makes one want to go out and utilize "quotidian" in a sentence.
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great value!
Published 1 month ago by John L. Balog
4.0 out of 5 stars Vale Christopher
Very good. I still find it hard to believe that Christopher supported the Iraq war. His book reviews have given me suggestions on what to read next.
Published 1 month ago by graham penman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
same as above
Published 1 month ago by Gary Jack Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Only gave it 4 because some of ...
Great read. Only gave it 4 because some of the articles cover topics that just weren't interesting to me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Such rational logic. Who is the replacement for Hitchens?
Published 1 month ago by Ken Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best books I have ever read. Christopher Hitchens was a literary genius of exceptional intellect.
Published 2 months ago by Bill Phelps
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was the author of Letters to a Young Contrarian, and the bestseller No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family. A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly and Slate, Hitchens also wrote for The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and The Independent, and appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthew's Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and C-Span's Washington Journal. He was named one of the world's "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in