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Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens Kindle Edition

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Length: 758 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Christopher Hitchens:
"Whether he's dodging bullets in Sarajevo, dissing Bill Clinton (with whom he says he shared a girlfriend at Oxford), or explaining his switch from leftist to Iraq war supporter, this foreign correspondent, pundit, and bon vivant makes for an enlightening companion."
— Kyle Smith, People Magazine

"A conversation with Hitchens mimics a trip through Wikipedia. Every thought is hyperlinked, with one subject slaloming into the next in ways baffling and enlightening, confounding and profound." 
— Washington Post

"A great polemicist compellingly, effectively, sometimes bullyingly, attacks all gods and religions." 
— Globe and Mail

"Electric and electrifying . . . high-spirited. . . . [Hitchens] has a mind like a Swiss Army knife, ready to carve up or unbolt an opponent's arguments with a flick of the wrist. . . . The business and pleasure sides of Mr. Hitchens's personality can make him seem, whether you agree with him or not, among the most purely alive people on the planet."
— New York Times

"Few writers can match his cerebral pyrotechnics. Fewer still can emulate his punch as an intellectual character assassin. It is hard not to admire the sheer virtuosity of his prose, yet it is rare to mistake it for wisdom or good judgment. With Hitchens one simply goes along for the ride. The destination hardly matters." 
— Financial Times

"[Hitchens] is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational. . . . He offers the open-minded plenty to think about." 
— Booklist (starred review)



From the Hardcover edition.

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)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QZ9PLK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

360 of 376 people found the following review helpful By B Waters on August 24, 2011
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.
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111 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taylor Brewer on 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
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By 'amerye' on 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.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sylvesterthekat on 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.
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