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Christopher Hitchens

Commentators have been at something of a loss to classify Hitchens' political position. What is clear, however, is that Hitchens radically disliked Islamic fundamentalism, and he was glad that 9/11 galvanized the United States to confront this perceived menace. Hitchens also clearly disagreed with essentially all major religions, holding to the position that religion essentially prevents people from being rational and appreciating life.

Introduction & Background

Christopher Hitchens was an Anglo-American author, journalist, and literary critic. Born in Portsmouth, England in 1949, Hitchens has authored and edited over thirty books. His works include five collections of essay on topics ranging from literature to politics to religion. Hitchens was a popular guest on lecture circuits and talk shows alike. He had an aggressive, confrontational debate style that got him a lot of attention. Christopher Hitchens used his work to express his political ideology. While many do not agree with his sentiments and beliefs, it cannot be denied that he whole heartedly believed in everything he stood for and actively supported it with passion and enthusiasm.

Works

Though he spent most of his career as a journalist, Christopher Hitchens authored several books. Published between 1984 and 2012, his early books focused on current events of the times, such as conflict in Cyrus and Israel, in addition to social commentary on how war affects society and how certain historical figured influenced our country today. A lot of his work centered on his disdain for religion, such as his attack on Mother Theresa and his book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In addition to his books, Christopher Hitchens also had a forty yearlong journalism career in which he covered wartime stories and foreign correspondence.

Writing style

Christopher Hitchens possessed a truly unique writing style and voice. No matter the subject at hand, he never adapted or compromised his views or beliefs. One of the reasons he was so difficult to debate with was his undeniable logic. When he said something or made a statement, he had several sources and studies on hand to support his proclamations. In addition, his writing style is elegant without being distracting or complicated. Hitchens’s style is totally professional: graceful and sophisticated, yet informative and concise, and never without support from countless reputable and reliable sources. 

Additional information

Christopher Hitchens was very vocal about his political viewpoint and ideology. He was originally a socialist and said that he became one after studying history of war and government. However, he then decided that socialists no longer offered a good alternative to capitalism. He believed that globalization was innovative and open-minded. Though he was no longer a socialist, he still identified as a Marxist. He believed in the Marxist materialist conception of history and admired the work of Che Guevara and the way Che fought and died for his beliefs. He believed that Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin were good examples of great man and that the October Revolution was entirely necessary for the modernization of Russia. 

There were several times that Christopher Hitchens was outspoken against Abrahamic religions, or the three great monotheisms, as he called them. He believed that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam were the axis of evil. In his book God Is Not Great, he expanded his disdain to all religions, including neo-paganism and Buddhism, which are rarely critiqued by western secularists. Hitchens asserted that these religions were the source of all hatred and negativity in the world. He believed that it inspired racism, intolerance, violence, and bigotry, in addition to expressing disgust over their contempt for women and coerciveness towards children. He described himself as an antitheist, as atheism, he felt, was not a strong enough word to describe his aversion to religion.

Conclusion

Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010, and though he expressed no concern of the possibility of death, he lost his battle with cancer in 2011. His literary career was full of sharp observations and commentary that pushed boundaries and expressed views that no one had ever been so vocal about. His fearless pursuit of what he believed was right is hard not to admire, whether you agree with his rather radical viewpoint or not. 

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