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God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything [Paperback]

Christopher Hitchens
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Sep 2007
"God Is Not Great" is the ultimate case against religion. In a series of acute readings of the major religious texts, Christopher Hitchens demonstrates the ways in which religion is man-made, dangerously sexually repressive and distorts the very origins of the cosmos. Above all, Hitchens argues that the concept of an omniscient God has profoundly damaged humanity, and proposes that the world might be a great deal better off without 'him'.

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God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything + The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer + Hitch 22: A Memoir
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; First Trade Edition edition (8 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843545748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843545743
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Review

"'If Hitchens didn't exist, we wouldn't be able to invent him.' Ian McEwan 'Do yourself a favor and skip the Dawkins and Harris; they're smug, turgid, and boring, with all the human feeling of a tax return. Read Hitchens instead... A tendentious delight, a caustic and even brilliant book... Thank God for Christopher Hitchens.' - Mark Warren, Esquire 'Dazzling... A campaign to put this glittering anti-theist tract on the national curriculum for "religious education" should begin here.' - Johann Hari, Independent 'Hitchens is a grand rhetorician, and his double-barrelled shotgun of a book is high entertainment... As with Voltaire, his scornful laughter is a powerful weapon.' - Christopher Hart, Sunday Times 'The anti-religion case has never been put so well, so comprehensively or so definitively as in this razor-sharp book... Hitchens accumulates a devastating case... Outstanding.' - A.C. Grayling, Independent on Sunday 'Christopher Hitchens is a master craftsman of argument... God is not Great is undoubtedly the most boisterously entertaining contribution to the [atheism] debate.' - Siobhan Murphy, Metro 'God is not Great is easily the most brilliant and fascinating contemplation upon the role of religion in human society in recent times, the Das Kapital of a tolerant, if exasperated, atheism.' - Kevin Myers, Irish Independent"

Book Description

Christopher Hitchens, hailed as ¿one of the most brilliant journalists of our time¿ (London Observer), takes on his biggest subject yet¿the dangerous role of religion in the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Review of the BAD in Religions 16 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Christopher Hitchens died last year and until he died I had never heard of him. I read eulogies from his fellow journalists and then heard no more until last week when, by chance, I came across some video clips of Hitchens speaking about his views on religion and I found them fascinating.

I then found that Hitchens had written a book, God is not Great: how religion poisons everything. I bought the book and have now read it.

Firstly, I have only read a couple of chapters of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and I have to say that Hitchens did a far better job than Dawkins.

Religious people do not like God is not Great. Not because it tests their faith but because of what it reveals about what goes on in the name of religion. Hitchens tells us, almost in passing, that he has received death threats, nasty phone calls and threats of violence for holding his view that he believes that religions poison everything.

Having been born and brought up in a country where freedom of speech is taken for granted, I wonder at who it could be that would so object to someone's views that they threaten murder. That's for their conscience!

As for the book, it is entertainingly written and full of stories aimed at the three main monotheisms: Christianity, Jewry, Islam. He regales us with story after story of the things that clerics hiding under these three banners get up to and have got up to for millennia. Hitchens reveals a great number of sources too: he's not just letting off steam.

I have to say that I read this book for the overview it provided and not to learn the deep and detailed information that Hitchens sometimes goes into: it's there if you want it, of course.
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390 of 423 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's exactly what it claims to be 13 May 2009
Format:Paperback
This book is EXTREMELY well written. Witty, informative, and determined.

Many one-star-ers have noted that this book is one of two things:

1. The Atheist Camp claim that this book is not as 'good' as the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - the arguments are difficult to follow, it's not as scientific or academic as it might be.

Well, Christopher is not a scientist. The book is a fantastic diatribe against the parties of God - it doesn't claim to be anything more. It's a wonderful contribution to atheistic literature. It's funny, clever and well-researched. It's not supposed to be an academic thesis.

2. The God Camp claim that Hitchens succeed in attacking religion, but doesn't manage to prove that God himself does not exist.

While he outlines his reasons for not believing in God, Hitchens does not set out to prove that God does not exist. He sets out to do what it says underneath his main title - to demonstrate how religion poisons everything - and he does a fantastic job.

This book is highly recommended to those who want to laugh and cry at the same time.
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460 of 508 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Firstly - I've read the US version of this book, "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything", this is why I can write a review.

If you just want to comment on Hitchens/Atheism in general (either for or against) then please do it somewhere else!

I wasn't the greatest Hitchens fan but I have to admit that this book is something special. It's well written with lots of entertaining anecdotes and is easily more readable than Dawkins "The God Delusion". The pages fly by and his points are interesting and well made.

Obviously I was expecting a rabid attack on all things godly yet Hitchens turns out to be cleverer than that. He insists that people should be free to believe what they want - they just shouldn't try to force their beliefs on others. There's the expected examination of the Abrahamic religions here (yes, including Islam) but also critiques of other faiths too. Intelligent and inventive, this was far far better than the book that I was expecting.

Overall it's a great read with a convincing message that has convinced me to look at Hitchens back catalogue to see what other gems are hidden there...

I dare you to read this!
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294 of 326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it with an open mind 27 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover
This book is a worthy companion to Dawkins "The God Delusion". Whereas Dawkins is a scientist, this author takes more of a historical perspective.

I have read a great deal of the current fashion of these type of books. I have enjoyed them all, but Hitchens is perhaps the best of all. He is fearless and expresses himself with great eloquence. You really have to admire his convictions, even if you do not agree with his every point.

Hitchens shows why he believes religion to be a consequence of our evolutionary childhood, why he believes it should not be considered a source of morality and all the ways in which it has demonstrated (he believes) its tendency to forster totalitarian malevolence.

It is unfortunate that many of the reviews posted are vitreolic arguements from pro- or anti-creationists. Clearly many people take great offence to their faith being questioned. But surely if ones faith is trully strong, they should be able to respond to such challenges in a positive way? It is scarcely likely that a book is going to change your lifelong held beliefs, so surely it can be read with an open mind as to understanding other peoples point of view.

The only criticism I would make of this book is that sometimes too much knowledge is assumed of the reader. At times I found myself having to contentrate quite hard as I was not overly familiar with the historical events.
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