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Arguably Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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"Wake Up America" by Eric Bolling
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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Hitch. His dry wit and writing style are delightful. The best part of this author is he doesn't care if you agree with him. He doesn't require you to agree with him. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Anne S.
Good Hitchens, but it leaves out his Iraq views among a few more of his controversial positions.Published 25 days ago by Sigma5
People hailed Christopher Hitchens as the greatest polemicist of our time -- I don't think that quite captures the essence of his writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luke
Very happy, the book come faster than expected. Nearly mint condition. Very satisfied. Thank you.Published 1 month ago by Crissy
Hitch's prose can be tough to decode sometimes, because he packs a lot of content onto a page. He also alludes and/or refers to other materials. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bill Gatliff
Only discovered Mr. Hitchens this year so I'm very new to him and catching up on everything "Hitch". Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. L. Bande
The world is a better place because of the journalism and writing Christopher Hitchens gave us. This volume is a substantial sampling of his work on a variety of subjects. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chauncey