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Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens [Hardcover]

Christopher Hitchens
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 6 2011
From one of the most admired public intellectuals of our time, and a multi-award winning and #1 bestselling author, comes a collection of his most important and controversial essays on the theme of culture and politics and how the two relate.

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Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens + Mortality + The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
Price For All Three: CDN$ 55.85


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Review

A New York Times Book Review Best Book
A Globe and Mail Best Book

“Bright, witty… one of the most lucid and humane voices of our age.”
The Globe and Mail

Praise for Christopher Hitchens:
"Whether he's dodging bullets in Sarajevo, dissing Bill Clinton (with whom he says he shared a girlfriend at Oxford), or explaining his switch from leftist to Iraq war supporter, this foreign correspondent, pundit, and bon vivant makes for an enlightening companion."
— Kyle Smith, People Magazine

"A conversation with Hitchens mimics a trip through Wikipedia. Every thought is hyperlinked, with one subject slaloming into the next in ways baffling and enlightening, confounding and profound." 
— Washington Post

"A great polemicist compellingly, effectively, sometimes bullyingly, attacks all gods and religions." 
—The Globe and Mail

"Electric and electrifying . . . high-spirited. . . . [Hitchens] has a mind like a Swiss Army knife, ready to carve up or unbolt an opponent's arguments with a flick of the wrist. . . . The business and pleasure sides of Mr. Hitchens's personality can make him seem, whether you agree with him or not, among the most purely alive people on the planet."
—New York Times

"Few writers can match his cerebral pyrotechnics. Fewer still can emulate his punch as an intellectual character assassin. It is hard not to admire the sheer virtuosity of his prose, yet it is rare to mistake it for wisdom or good judgment. With Hitchens one simply goes along for the ride. The destination hardly matters." 
—Financial Times

"[Hitchens] is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational. . . . He offers the open-minded plenty to think about." 
—Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate, and The Atlantic, authored numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. He was also the author of the international bestsellers god Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and Hitch-22: A Memoir. He died in December 2011.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the finest writing I've ever come across Nov. 8 2011
Format:Hardcover
This was my first exposure to Hitchens' writing and I was blown away. I have never come across another author whose skill with the English language left me shaking my head in wonder. His knowledge of literature is astounding and the ability to pull apart books and essays in reviews and then combine the contents with information from various sources and his personal experience is breathtaking.

Some of the content is heavy, reviewing authors from the 1920s and 30s while other essays focus on contemporary issues. You will likely need ready access to a dictionary and wikipedia to thoroughly understand some of the topics but several essays inspired me to go back and pick up some of the classic books of literature.

Some people may argue with his conclusions or disagree with his political views but I don't think anyone could argue with the incredible wordsmith power.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inarguably Good Sept. 25 2012
By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Christopher Hitchens had a mind which is sorely missed. Whether you agreed with what he was saying, or were on the other side of the issue, one had to respect and respond to what Hitchens had to say on the subject. "Arguably" is a collection of his essays (107 in all) put into six sections of the book, and which cover a wide variety of subjects. There are certainly a few here which are not going to be considered controversial, but the vast majority are Hitchens as he usually was, strongly opinionated on controversial subjects, and always with a significant stack of facts to back his positions; positions which he was not afraid to voice in the bluntest terms. In other words, this is Hitchens at his best (when you agree with him), and at his most difficult (when you don't).

This collection was published originally in September of 2011, with Hitchens writing a brief introduction in late June as he was suffering from oesophageal cancer from which he would pass away six months later at the all too young age of 62. The essays had been published over the course of years in a variety of publications. The subjects dealt with cover a wide range, from religion and politics, to why women aren't funny, and everything in between. The material ranges from columns, to book reviews, to book introductions.

Hitchens was one of the few members of the media who had actually visited the "axis of evil", along with many other places, and this most certainly contributed to his insights on many subjects. Hitchens was not the least bit tentative to express his opinion, but unlike other talking-heads, Hitchens was able to do it and still be credible on a subject.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably Jan. 15 2012
Format:Audio CD
Don't even contemplate buying this book as an audio text unless you are a member of the MENSA club. Hitchens' command of the english language and his skill at cobbling together sentences requires your full attention. Not to be listened to in rush hour traffic or on a long trip. You will find your eyes glazing over as you try to keep up with Mr Hitchens logic. Buy the e-edition if you don't relish the thought of lugging around an 800+ page book in your carry-on. The essays are brilliant. The shortcomings are ours alone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Nov. 29 2011
Format:Hardcover
Sadly, this will probably Christopher's last "prehumous" publication. His wit, tenacity and brutal honesty are all evident in these essays and it's a work he can and should be proud of.

If you have read Hitchens before you owe it to yourself to get this.
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