- Series: Counterblasts
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (January 16, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 184467990X
- ISBN-13: 978-1844679904
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens (Counterblasts) 1st Edition
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“Clever, incisive ... Unhitched offers a more thorough and in-depth discrediting of Hitchens than anything previously published. And in doing so, Seymour has made an important contribution to understanding the political role of the intellectual celebrity in our time.” —In These Times
“Richard Seymour’s Unhitched, a slim and scathing denunciation of turncoat scoundrel Christopher Hitchens, is a thoroughly satisfying and politically important book by one of the few remaining great radical left journalists.” —Jordy Cummings, Rabble
“Seymour reveals Hitchens as having had a lifelong admiration both for the United States and for empires as civilizing forces.” —Washington Post Book World
“Richard Seymour employs a unique technique to shred Hitchens’s political philosophy to pieces: Seymour puts the late writer on trial.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“In Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens, we again find Seymour’s customary clarity, rigor, and intelligence as he offers a brilliant analysis of the shifting landscape of Hitchens’ path from socialist internationalist to Liberal Hawk. It is a work brimming with hot anecdotes and tangy tidbits as Seymour goes at it mano a mano with “The Great Contrarian,” recapitulating the menu of contradictions that comprise the life of this practiced ironist.” —Alan Wald, Against the Current
“Well-argued ... I think Seymour rather pitied Hitchens, as the married man pities the philanderer.” —Keith Miller, Daily Telegraph
“He is not worthy of changing Christopher Hitchens’s printer cartridge.” —Stephen Robinson, The Times
“A nasty piece of work ... (Full disclosure: Hitchens was a friend, mentor, and neighbor of mine.)” —James Kirchick, Newsweek
“Seymour’s book offers an exciting counterbalance to the often uncritical praise that has flowed heavily since Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June 2010.” —Truthdig
“Seymour is certainly master of the records; he knows the work closely and cites it scrupulously. But his headlong, foam-flecked interpretation, voiced in a manner recklessly close to Hitchens’s own but without the grace, the wit, the tearing high spirits and the faultless ear for the fall of a cadence of his great original, becomes merely tedious, repetitive and unconvincing ... This little book is 134 pages long. The author shouldn’t have done it. It is paltry and it is trivially abusive. Its subject was as eloquent, cultivated, exuberant, unstoppable, sheerly gigantic a journalist as British or American politics has known since George Orwell.” —Fred Inglis, Independent
“Caustic demolition of Hitchens—not dissimilar to Hitch’s way with Mother Teresa or the Clintons.” —The Big Issue In The North
About the Author
Richard Seymour lives, works and writes in London. He runs the Lenin’s Tomb website, which comments on the War on Terror, Islamophobia and neoliberalism.
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Top customer reviews
I really did get some sort of liberatory feeling from the GOD IS NOT GREAT book, especially it's logical handle of homosexuality, but the blatant racism and lying in the book is obvious from any honestly skeptical view. Hitchens was totally off at the end, especially about Arab Spring, he had a delusion about it having to do with Iraq in a way to make him sound vindicated. That's insane. But more pathetic is the fact he tore Edward Said apart when the man was wasting away with terminal leukemia. So anyone who wants to say this book is cowardly merely has to admit that it is all the same game Hitchens played, when you get down to it.
How many Richard Seymour debates has anyone watched on YouTube? Answer: goose egg.
Not liking or disagreeing with someone is one thing. ..and Hitchens is easy to disagree with...but attempting to make money just on the fact that you are a second rate author while he obviously was not?
Jealousy is just never appealing to me I guess.
'Unhitched' does a terrific job expounding on how the war cheerleader earned his apt nickname and further goes on to point out that before he died Hypocritchens sniffed "I've been read by more people than I ever imagined and made more money than I'd ever imagined." How about that? The life of the apostate does indeed pay handsomely, though all that filthy lucre didn't turn the sellout into anything resembling class. During a Wisconsin speaking engagement after the Iraq war was clearly deemed a failure to anyone willing to see, Hitchens at one point took to shouting from the dais for audience members to take him on and challenge his pro Iraq war stance. As Katha Pollitt observed, and pardon the cliché "that was the booze talking." One could almost picture his drink sloshing over the rim of his cocktail glass.
As 'Unhitched' so brilliantly documents, Hypocritchens was a turncoat of the worst type. Everyone's familiar with the story: soon after 9-11 he became an ardent supporter for Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons' imperialistic wars on Arab and Muslim peoples. This was a man who had previously built a journalistic and intellectual career steadfastly supporting Palestinian rights, peace, civil liberties and lambasting any semblance of anti-democratic, totalitarian tendencies of any sort in any state. At one point during one of his better days he even co-authored a book with the late great Edward Said. Yet he threw this all away by kowtowing to Fox News, rabid Zionists, and the Cheney war machine.
As 'Unhitched' demonstrates, Hitchens' apostasy was truly breathtaking, he'd savagely denounce his former intellectual colleagues with a ferocity that was astonishing, Chomsky, Cockburn, et al. they all felt the lash of Christopher's condemnations.
Norman Finkelstein pointed out in a dynamite essay, just after it was clear Hypocritchens was throwing in with the Sean Hannityies and Rush Limbaughs, that Chomsky, Cockburn and others still fighting the good fight were a constant reminder rattling around in Hitch's conscience that they held fast to their moral, ethical and intellectual principles while he abandoned all claims to integrity by jumping in with the warmongers. One distinctly remembers a pro-Iraq War column by Hitchens being read by a Wisconsin rightwing radio host in the mid-2000s looking to justify the carnage and destruction brought on by their man, junior Bush.
It's not that Christopher had any personal affinity for the Bush gangsters, it's that power resided with the Cheney war machine just after 9-11 and that's obviously where apostates gravitate to, the side with the power, fame and money. Of course the cult of Hitchens really didn't take off until he jumped out of the anti-war left and comfortably ensconced himself in the milieu of the rightwing war lovers, Zionists, war profiteers and propagandists. 'Unhitched' carries out a masterful performance in pointing out that it's this last category that Hitchens fit so well.
To the bemusement of Gore Vidal, Hypocritchens took it upon himself to appoint himself as Vidal's successor. Even saying that Vidal virtually demanded that it be so. Vidal's account differed from that of the newly fervent war loving scribe, indicating that he certainly didn't bestow the honor on Christopher and that he never came to think of him as any sort of successor no matter how much Hypocritchens pined for the honor.
To steal Finkelstein's analysis - during Hitchens' better days he leveled a scathing ad hominem (amidst an otherwise solid and honest work) on his bête noir, Hank Kissinger, deriding him as a fat blowhard. Sounds familiar.
Seymour's written a resplendent masterpiece. With this phenomenal work Seymour, the 30-something year old Brit, has placed himself as one of the preeminent intellectuals of the younger progressive set. Anyone desirous of a better handle on Hitchens' ethical, intellectual and personal devolution during the decade of the 2000s should promptly study 'Unhitched.'