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Arguably by Christopher Hitchens
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Arguably (2011)

by Christopher Hitchens

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902239,781 (4.14)47
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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
The saying "The pen is mightier than the sword" is more than apt when applied to the persuasive juggernaut that was Christopher Hitchens. If at some point in my life I achieve half the literary depth and eloquence Hitch exhibited, then I will consider my efforts a success. Sadly, Hitchens passed away just a few years ago from esophageal cancer, undoubtedly brought on by a lifetime of excessive drinking and smoking by his own admission. I will miss the ease at which he thumbed his nose, convincingly and shrewdly, at authority figures and topics considered revered by far too many people.

As a collection of essays, Arguably is way too long. That's the only strike against it. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Mar 26, 2015 |
I give this collection of essays five stars not because I agree with everything Hitchens writes, but because the prose is just so appealing, so unabashedly readable and yet so deeply intellectual, all at the same time. Someone should give a copy of Hitchens's essays to every academic writer and intellectual in the world--maybe then they will realize that you don't have to be incomprehensibly dense in your prose to write about complex subjects. ( )
2 vote poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |


This is a book you are supposed to like and Christopher Hitchens is an author you are supposed to be provoked and inspired by. But the essays here were so hit or miss - the section on the middle east was excellent but the section on linguistics was dull. And the book reviews were likewise very hit or miss. A nice book to have on your kindle for occasional reads but not something you ever want to sit down and just read thru. ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
This is one I would like to buy. I have listened to every essay though. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
This is one I would like to buy. I have listened to every essay though. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
So, having paid my dues to critical candor, I still find Hitchens one of the most stimulating thinkers and entertaining writers we have, even when — perhaps especially when — he provokes. And while he clearly wants to win you over, you always sense that he is playing in part to the jury of history, which is why so much of what he might, in a rare self-deprecating moment, refer to as hackwork stands up so well to ­anthologizing.
 
Hitchens is, and has been for many years, the mightiest knocker-down in argumentative journalism in the Anglophone world. This vast volume, containing ten years of argufying, is every bit as pugilistic, as unanswerable, as toughly rationalist, as unstoppable, as strenuously lived, as its many predecessors from his hand.
 

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Christopher Hitchensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Live all you can: It's a mistake not to."
— Lambert Strether, in The Ambassadors
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To the memory of Mohemed Bouazizi, Abu-Abdel Monaam Hamedeh, and Ali Mehdi Zeu.
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The three names on the dedication page belonged to a Tunisian steet vendor, an Egyptian restaurateur, and a Libyan husband and father.
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Essayist Christopher Hitchens ruminates on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men, the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard, the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell, the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad, the enduring relevance of Karl Marx, and how politics justifies itself by culture--and how the latter prompts the former.… (more)

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