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Arguably
 
 

Arguably [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Hitchens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Review

To say that, during the past three decades, the world would have been poorer, duller and altogether a smaller place without Hitchens and his writings would be to utter a cliché of the kind he despises. It would also be true. --New Statesman

He has no equal in contemporary Anglo American letters. --Financial Times

One of the most stimulating thinkers and entertaining writers we have. --New York Times



Essays on everything... remind us what we've lost in Hitchens someone to provoke assent, outrage, laughter and thought --Sunday Telegraph



Read it you must, partly as a tribute to a great life well lived, but mainly because it is so entertaining --Sunday Times



Hitchens at his most stylish, savage, literate and brilliant --Observer

Review

"Whether on the invasion of Iraq or the merits of Vladimir Nabokov's fiction, master controversialist Hitchens has an informed opinion. . . . Vintage Hitchens. Argumentative and sometimes just barely civil -- another worthy collection from this most inquiring of inquirers." -- "Kirkus Reviews" (starred)

"These 750 pages of bright, witty, nearly always charged reportage and argument are business as usual for one of the most lucid and humane voices of our age. . . . Purposeful and well told. . . . Here are more than 700 pages of a life lived fully through meaningful work." -- Charles Foran, "Globe and Mail"

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More About the Author

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was the author of Letters to a Young Contrarian, and the bestseller No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family. A regular contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly and Slate, Hitchens also wrote for The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and The Independent, and appeared on The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthew's Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and C-Span's Washington Journal. He was named one of the world's "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inarguably Good 25 Sep 2012
By Dave_42
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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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight 1 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover
This was a Christmas gift I was not expecting. This book has proved a major distraction this Christmas break (I am supposed to be marking a heap of undergraduate assignments). I have much sympathy with Hitchens' concern over the dangers of religion but without necessarily swallowing his final conclusions. He seems to me to be an atheist with much integrity, as well as being a very informed one.

This is book to be dipped into and relished. The subjects included are diverse; There is a brilliant article on Dr Johnson that reignited my enthusiasm for the doctor, as well as some brilliant and erudite articles on American politics and literature (the one on Saul Bellow is especially poignant). Hitchens' writing style grabs your attention; this is a book that is hard to put down. His recent death (which still happened to come as a bit of a shock) is going to prove a tremendous loss to the world of letters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchin' Brilliant 17 Nov 2012
By demola
Format:Paperback
Hitchens is scintillating and irreverent in this massive volume (750 pages) which is arranged in the following sections:

All American
Writings about the founders of the Republic and Washington (the city). Hitchens, I believe, became a naturalized American but it still jarred to hear this Englishman talk about "our founding fathers". Hitch, your founding father was from Middle England or thereabouts.

Eclectic Affinities
The best part of the book for me. Hitch reviews books and authors (Wodehouse, Burke, Waugh, Greene, Saki, Spender, Orwell, Marx, Powell etc) and references so many others that you realise with dismay just how well read he was. This was the part where my debit card suffered and my local bookshops rejoiced.

Amusements
This and that

Offshore Accounts
Politics. The one about visiting Iran is very revealing. The popular Western newspaper images are not all what happens inside Iran. Some of the essays I remember from Vanity Fair, the magazine for which they were written.

Totalitarianism
You can see Hitch's leftist background here and appreciate the incredible intellectual force and moral suasion of the Left in days gone by (and Arguably just as relevant in today's world of bailed out bankers and non-tax paying billionaires). Loved the essays on Victor Serge (whose "The Case Of Comrade Tulayev" I well recommend) and on Koestler ("Darkness At Noon" - brilliant) and ... well all the others really.

Words Worth
Sundry stuff including one on the shame of the West in not standing up for Denmark when that country was under attack from the religious terrorists of the you know which religion; the one whose name can't be mentioned in the same breath as the word "fatwa".
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tome to dip into 10 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
What a man! He covers such a wide range. I don't expect to read all of this, but have already enjoyed many of the items on literary figures. I learned things about Evelyn Waugh, Somerset Maugham and Philip Larkin. And of course Hitch is so funny. Try this: "If one scans the few and cringe-making attempts to describe man-woman sex in Maugham's fiction, or if one attempts to infer anything of his conjugal relations, one is forced to picture him screwing his courage to the sticking place (or perhaps vice versa)."
There is something for everyone in this capacious compendium, which includes plenty of serious politics and some delightfully scurrilous items about sex.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher and his kind.
This compendium covers The Hitch's contributions to just about every publication that ever employed him. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. G. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Amazing exposé of the author's erudition and use of the English language. His views on a wide variety of topics are informative, thought provoking and stimulating. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr G.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit highbrow for me and I find the writing style quite pompous
Published 2 months ago by pam kenworthy
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenge to read
A quite difficult read for one not native in English. Some of the chapters erupt a wow feeling, the most noteworthy is the one about religion in the US armed forces ( explicitly... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Our Book Club book
Published 3 months ago by M. E. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Love or hate of despise...you couldn't ignore Mr Hitchens, and it seems we should have listened a lot more than we did...gone but still bring proved right
Published 4 months ago by Neil S. Reddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
Always so acute. Brilliant.
Published 4 months ago by MR
5.0 out of 5 stars Massively articulate and interesting
Unbelievable. What a range of interest, education, knowledge - what a loss to the intellectual world Mr Hitchens was, taken too soon in life. Over 700 pages of fascinating stuff. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. G. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing as always
I came to Hitchens' writing late. I was always put off by his public persona. However his writing belies that abrasive public image. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ian Bertram
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Collection!
It is strange to reflect that Christopher Hitchens died in late 2011; somehow the date just doesn’t seem right. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Mottram
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