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
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith Paperback – December 24, 2011
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
'The two best-written books [of 2010] were Christopher Hitchens's memoir Hitch 22 and his brother Peter's The Rage Against God.” -- Michael Gove, British Education Secretary
From the Back Cover
This book explains what, as an atheist, Peter believed, and why he came first to dislike this and then to reject it and finally to recognize that all these beliefs had been counterfeits of the true one.
Peter would respond to many of the points made by his brother Christopher Hitchens, but ultimately the argument will be that justice and liberty, which we are made to desire, require authority and law to sustain them. Peter would then explain why these things in turn necessitate Theism, and why Christianity is the most persuasive and reasonable form that Theism can take. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Peter starts out with a description of his early years and his early rebellion against Christianity, and provides us a small glimpse into the crisis that affected his family, and Naval officer father, as England lost her colonial empire and became essentially a small, island state with a grand past. As I read through this part of the book I amost put it down, as I thought is was going to be a persoanl biography of Peter. But, I am very glad I kept going, as he was giving us the essential understanding of how he, his brother, and everyone he knew in England lost thier religion. And it did happen in a single generation.
Peter gives us the secret of how to kill of a religion. He has figured this out after years observing his own country, and years living as a true athiest beliving socialist in Russia watching how that officially atheistic nation destroyed itself as it destroyed the Christian faith of its heritage.
In both cases he describes the lasting devestation of both world wars, how disillusioned everyone in Europe was with their institutions that led them into these massive killing and destructive storms. The problem for religion is that in all these states Christianity had become state religions. The religious leaders had compromised with the political leaders to find space in the state for their institutions. By becomming state institutions, they no longer focused on the commands of God and Chist, but also on the commands of their political leaders. Rather than being a pious voice against oppression, mass murder, and warfare, these instututional leaders often told the faithful that God was on their side. God was with the Govenment leaders who were rounding up youg men and sending them to be slaughtered by the millions. Or, rounding up Jews, or others and killing them simply for being alive. Peter makes the point mid-way through his book which I think is the key to his work;
"Only one reliable force stands in the way of power of the stong over the weak. Only one reliable force forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law. Only one reliable force restrains the hand of the man of power. And, in an age of power worship, the Christian religion has become the principle obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power."
In Europe the religious institutions were effectively part of the state and so supported the state's desasterous military catastrophes. In the soviet paradise, the fear of the Christians not giving true and undivided allegiance to the state, but rather to God, was too much of a threat, so Christians had to be persecuted and Christianity (and Islam and Judiasm) had to be eliminated. Behind the former iron curtan, Christianity has largly been eliminated.
Peter saw the world that has been created since the loss of Christianity in both the East and the West of Europe and makes a great case that the loss has been catestrophic for the human being. A souless, hopless man is a pitiful creature. Read the book, it will surprise and inform everyone, believer, agnostic, or atheist.
Why such an odd structure? Hitchens penned a UK bestseller, "The Abolition of Britain", and this bio in some ways draws on or continues from it. In the epilogue, he muses on a debate with his brother, Chris, in April 2008 in the US. I suspect that some parts of the book germinated at that time. Surprisingly, Hitchens' stint in the USSR bears some similarity to the account of Malcolm Muggeridge, who was also stationed there as a British journalist, in his autobiography, Chronicles of Wasted Time Chronicles of Wasted Time. Hitchens' tone, however, when not ruminative in the biography, is polemical, and clearly he is no stranger to debate. Muggeridge's Chronicles (previously published in two volumes) are a masterpiece of English prose, and rank among the most delightful memoirs of the last century. For that reason his revelations perhaps seem less disturbing.
There is another similarity,too. In part three Hitchens comments on Beatrice Webb's book, Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation? particularly to note the great deal of disinformation about the Soviet state her work provided to the UK reading public. Muggeridge, making the same observation, has also written a biography of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, who were, in their day, leading Fabian Socialists. Hitchens notes that the USSR's government-induced famine was at the time denied by, for instance, the Soviet correspondent for the New York Times. Muggeridge was the only Western reporter who exposed it at the time, and was denounced for so doing.
Hitchens' book is disturbing, even for those who've read the news elsewhere. As goes Britain, so goes the US, one tends to think. And who but Richard Dawkins wants Britain to go that way? To US readers, he appears simply as an elite anxious to take away the simplest freedoms--even of believing--of the masses. To US readers, this looks like more of being shoved around by the British upper classes, but then, we were raised reading Dickens. The third part draws parallels between the Soviet strategy and events in modern day Britain. Providing more evidence of how thin is the veneer of civilisation.
But the biography part, the part I read it for, is engaging and enlightening. If it seems somewhat incomplete, it's because it's reduced to a mere 125 pages. I would think it would take another book to tell it properly, and searching I find there is more Hitchens biography. At any rate, this reader is ready for more of Peter Hitchens.