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Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays

Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Hitchens
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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"'Christopher Hitchens is a remarkable commentator. He jousts with fraudulence of every stripe and always wins. I regret he has only one life, one mind.' Joseph Heller; 'His allies, of whom I count myself one, rejoice in the sureness of his aim. May his targets cower.' Susan Sontag"


"'Christopher Hitchens is a remarkable commentator. He jousts with fraudulence of every stripe and always wins. I regret he has only one life, one mind.' Joseph Heller; 'His allies, of whom I count myself one, rejoice in the sureness of his aim. May his targets cower.' Susan Sontag"

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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
138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to annoy just about everyone 26 April 2005
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Christopher Hitchens is one of those writers whose prodigious output of letters, essays, and commentaries on the life, the universe, and everything is so pointed and provocative that he is capable of irritating anyone, sometimes repeatedly so, familiar enough with his work to have read more than just one of his essays. This should not be construed as a negative. In fact, if one is going to fall into paroxysms of anger or annoyance when reading an essay at the very least it should be well written, intelligent, and amusing. "Love, Poverty, and War" a collection of essays written by Christopher Hitchens has all three attributes in abundance and will please anyone willing to take the risk that his/her cultural or political icons may be subject to one of Hitchens' literary assaults.
As noted, Hitchens is prolific. Many of the essays in this anthology were originally published in a variety of magazines. In addition the anthology includes prefaces that Hitchens has written for new editions of classic works of fiction such Saul Bellow's Adventures of Augie March and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
It is fair to say that Hitchens does not suffer fools or cultural icons gladly. In short order he takes aim at Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Mel Gibson, and allegedly oppressive no smoking regulations implemented by the Mayor of New York. Given the diversity of political and social views held by these subjects it is hard to accuse Hitchens of toeing a particular ideological line. One may wince, for example, when Hitchens takes on Churchill and then applaud when he eviscerates Chomsky. No matter whether one agrees with the substance of any particular essay it is hard to disagree with the intellect and writing style of the drafter.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book contains valuable (inside) information on J. L. Borges (religions believe `in immortality, but the veneration paid to the first century of life is proof that they truly believe only in those hundred years, for they destine all the rest, throughout eternity, to rewarding or punishing what one did when alive.'), A. Huxley and eugenics, M. Proust (`exposes and clarifies the springs of human motivation'), W. Churchill and his hypocritical overture to Stalin's heirs, a visionary L. Trotzky, Byron's hubris, J. Joyce and handjobs, a reactionary E. Waugh, a democratic and cosmopolitan S. Bellow or the importance of the `emigration of genius' for the US (B. Wilder).

C. Hitchens criticizes severely the US deliberate negligence of history education (`there is still an unmet need for an intelligible past'), the J. F. Kennedy myth, Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 7/11) and Mel Gibson (The Passion of Christ).
He castigates religion (`that most toxic of foes'), be it in the name of the Dalai Lama (`proclaiming reincarnation') or Mother Teresa (no empowerment of women).
He is viscerally opposed to capital punishment (`I feel permanently degraded and somewhat unmanned as a complicit spectator.')

But there is, at least, one false note in his reporting (on the Iraq war). Here we can quote G. Orwell in his evaluation of R. Kipling's work: he didn't understand that `an empire is primarily a money-making concern'.

This book will mostly appeal to literary buffs. So, only for the happy few.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not always easy going, but rewarding. 15 Sep 2010
Christopher Hitchens pisses people off. Thats what he does. Fortunately, he speaks only the truth, and consequently is one of the most important and influential figures to have ever graced the British and American left.

As well as being a cutting edge journalist who is not afraid to put his neck on the line for groundbreaking reportage, he is also a sound literary critic and a fluent and elegant writer. All these qualities are displayed flamboyantly here in this selection of essays. Many in the first section (Love) are reviews of or introductions to other literary works, and I found that a full understanding of these passages required prior knowledge. In fact, this is my only gripe about the book in general; when Hitchens invariably crosses into self-indulgent territory, the literary and historical references come thick and fast, and sometimes it's hard to keep up.

But this is a minor issue. Overall the man is an intellectual giant, and this compilation stands as a legacy of one of the 20th/21st centuries more enduring and important authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous 31 May 2012
By anozama
Christopher Hitchens' erudition and passion are a formidable combination. Such a richly informed and radical thinker, he makes compelling, consistently impressive,

He delivers inspirational advocacy of a variety of liberal causes. Firstly, and perhaps most famously, he eloquently defends `liberal civilisation' against 21st century fascism, robustly and at some length supporting the Iraq war.

He is riveting, too, in an account of the horrors of witnessing (in the US) the capital punishment of a known PTSD sufferer.

His well-known `revisionist' study of Churchill is included. Praising him for his emphatic (though late) identification of the profoundness of the Nazi evil, Hitchens also wants the record straightened to reveal the slimness of the difference between Churchill and Chamberlain: the former initially expressed some pro-Nazi sympathies, while the latter did deliver some significant support for war. He wants Churchill criticised, too, for his failure to deal effectively with Japan, for arguing too much with Roosevelt, and too little with Stalin. Finally he wants Churchill's ruthlessness acknowledged ( for example in his ordering of the destruction of the French fleet): he was not the avuncular figure of his PR.

He endeavours to remodel the myths surrounding other fabled figures. The physical, psychological, moral and political failings of JFK are listed. Hitchens even targets Mother Teresa of Calcutta for her preference for propagating her rather extreme religious dogma to the poor and sick to making any constructive difference to their plight.

There's some lighter stuff here, too. We're treated to a couple of American journeys: a fascinating one down the memory-laden Sunset Strip, and a rather kicks-light one down a now worn-out Route 66.

Add to this some stimulating literary reviews (Ulysses, Augie March, Swann's Way, Lucky Jim) and the overall result is an absolute intellectual feast.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Most books about the Empire does not give the detailed ...
Most books about the Empire does not give the detailed information about life and the human existance in the British Empire including America, Australia, NZ and the Caribbean. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by koolkoolie
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written essays and articles
Not the Hitchens you know. Beautifully written essays and articles. Was a pleasant surprise - I thought he was just an 'angry atheist'. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dizzistef
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
all very good
Published 2 months ago by piggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Mr. B. Farrar
5.0 out of 5 stars Recomended collection of articles/essays
I highly recommend this if you are a hitchens fan or just looking for essays on americana, the middle east/american relationship, 911 and post 911 atmosphere (according to a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by osian gruffudd
5.0 out of 5 stars Good brain food
This is great for those of you who are at all sceptical. Not yet finished the book but it's a very enlightening read.
Published 16 months ago by N A TURNER
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This book will keep you entertained and will give you a new perspective on literature and political analysis. Well worth sitting down with on a rainy day.
Published 21 months ago by Alex Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchens at his best
Great book, as expected. One star knocked off for small print! But at least this means that large volume of words can be packed into manageable sized book!
Published on 22 Nov 2012 by judithm
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of fine writing and polemic
Love, Poverty and War. Journeys and essays. By Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens had a great way with words, both as writer and orator. Read more
Published on 29 April 2012 by R. J. Farrer
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb read
A superb collection of writings. Having also read Hitch-22, I'd highly recommend this book as you see the eloquence and lucidity of Hitchens, who may have found more success with... Read more
Published on 15 April 2012 by style83
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