Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever Paperback – November 6, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Hitchens, an avowed atheist and author of the bestseller God Is Not Great, is a formidable intellectual who finds the notion of belief in God to be utter nonsense. The author is clear in his introduction that religion has caused more than its fair share of world problems. "Religion invents a problem where none exists by describing the wicked as also made in the image of god and the sexually nonconformist as existing in a state of incurable mortal sin that can incidentally cause floods and earthquakes." The readings Hitchens chooses to bolster his atheist argument are indeed engaging and important. Hobbes, Spinoza, Mill and Marx are some of the heavyweights representing a philosophical viewpoint. From the world of literature the author assembles excerpts from Shelley, Twain, Conrad, Orwell and Updike. All are enjoyable to read and will make even religious believers envious of the talent gathered for this anthology. What these dynamic writers are railing against often enough, however, is a strawman: an immature, fundamentalist, outdated, and even embarrassing style of religion that many intelligent believers have long since cast off. It could be that Hitchens and his cast of nonbelievers are preaching to the choir and their message is tired and spent. However, this remains a fascinating collection of readings from some of the Wests greatest thinkers.
"My prayers are answered!"--"The New York Observer"
"A fascinating collection of articles that just say no to religion...Required reading for anyone who believes, disbelieves, or just isn't sure yet."--"People," "Critic's Choice"
"Contrarian Christopher Hitchens' "The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever" should be sufficient fodder for anyone uncomfortable with the notion of a creator."--"Hartford Courant"
"Those objections and the writings Hitchens assembles to buttress them will surely bring on new controversies, which is just the sort of thing on which he has thrived over a long and fruitful career."--"Kirkus"
"Hitchens has returned to the Belief Wars backed by a full army...the Godless Warrior marshals in an Atheist A-Team...to buttress his own arguments...Hitchens is the guide as well as the commentartor linking it all together."--"San Diego Tribune"
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
A word to my 'true-believer' [mainly Christian] friends: You have my sympathy. It is likely you were indoctrinated from early childhood to believe you were not born just naturally o k as you are. Assured of your deficiency, you learned of and believed in, a wonderful way out of your seemingly hopeless dilemma: There is a super-natural silent invisible being up above, in the sky just out of sight, and 'he' can solve every problem if only you believe in 'him' and ask him for his loving-kindness and merciful aid. You proceeded to call upon him in your times of distress-- sometimes you felt quite certain of his helpful hand in your affairs. Other times nothing much happened; but your trusted teachers confirmed that is a simple case of 'the god' in his perfect wisdom just saying, no. Or not yet. Or you didn't ask in the right way. Or you are currently lacking in faith and thus unworthy. Whatever the case, you know the fault is always yours and certainly not his.
Now, I do know the terrible spot you are in. I was raised that way myself by a pitiless fundamentalist preacher father who understood, assured as he was by the holy scriptures, that 'applying the rod' to his sinful child was the true test of love. He bellowed his great knowledge of god's ways and will for us from the pulpit and like so many of 'god's' faithful servants remained nearly always miserable and depressed himself but assured as he was of the blessedness he would enjoy in the next world, he carried on faithfully for many years; frowning, even seething I think it fair to say, without exuberance and laughter and joyful interactions with those peaceful ones in the world around him who, sadly, knew nothing of the spiritual wisdom he himself enjoyed so grimly.
You will likely hate me for my view and have me know that your particular version of the god-in-the-sky delusion is the one true one and where my preacher father might have got it wrong, you yourself have the blessed and sure knowledge in your own heart that 'the god' walks with you and talks with you and assures you that you are his own.
Back to the great book here under review:
Besides Hitchens' own clear-eyed and wise introduction, there are many more great thinkers and writers represented. From Lucretius to Ayann Hirsi Ali, from David Hume to Sam Harris, James Boswell to Mark Twain, and more than 40 others, the truth-train goes on and on for nearly 500 pages. Here is some of the most literate and sensible writing regarding the lack of supernatural interactions in our world that you will find anywhere.
Here is an essential anthology for anyone interested in the confirmation that their own doubts regarding the super-natural are justified, inevitable, and truly wise.
He ain't up there, folks. What if we all decided to make the best of this beautiful world down here? Imagine.
Following the introduction are 47 excellent selections with brief introductions by Hitchens, spanning two millennia (although there is a distinct gap of about 1500 years, the reasons for which should be obvious to all).
Most recent customer reviews
Atheists believe that there is nothing after death. That life simply ceases.Read more