A Voice, Still Vibrant, Reflects on Mortality

“He has this great love of life, which I rather envy, because I think I may be deficient in that respect. It’s an odd thing to say, but he’s almost like a Tibetan monk. It’s as if he’d become religious.” – Martin Amis CHARLES McGRATH HOUSTON — Christopher Hitchens, probably the country’s most famous unbeliever, … Continue reading

Pakistan Is the Enemy

We know that Pakistan’s intelligence service is aiding terrorists. What are we going to do about it? Christopher Hitchens Adm. Mike Mullen testifies before the Senate armed services committee on Pakistan In Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Lt. Milo Minderbinder transforms the mess accounts of the American airbase under his care into a "syndicate" under whose terms … Continue reading

From Abbottabad to Worse

Hating the United States—which funds Islamabad’s army and nuclear program to the humiliating tune of $3 billion a year—Pakistan takes its twisted, cowardly revenge by harboring the likes of the late Osama bin Laden. But the hypocrisy is mutual, and the shame should be shared. By Christopher Hitchens  Illustration by Barry Blitt Salman Rushdie’s upsettingly … Continue reading

Refutations from a Stalinist Commissar-Lookalike

May 24, 2011 This response to a response to a response to a response takes George Scialabba and Noam Chomsky to task for seemingly hasty analogies and false accusations. By Christopher Hitchens Photo by Jutta Degener George Scialabba confidently and effectively re-states the differences between Noam Chomsky and myself as they stood almost ten years … Continue reading

Hitchens Distorts Noam Chomsky

May 11, 2011 George Scialabba on how “panting polemicist” Christopher Hitchens’s remarks against Noam Chomsky are evidence of a widespread and troubling failure among intellectuals. By George Scialabba After 9/11, Noam Chomsky wrote that, from a historical point of view, what was new about the murder of 3000 civilians was that it was carried out … Continue reading

Unspoken Truths

Until cancer attacked his vocal cords, the author didn’t fully appreciate what was meant by “a writer’s voice,” or the essential link between speech and prose. As a man who loved to talk, he turns to the masters of such conversation, both in history and in his own circle. By Christopher Hitchens• Illustration by Mark … Continue reading

Amis on Hitchens

‘He’s one of the most terrifying rhetoricians the world has seen’ Martin Amis hails the peerless intelligence and rhetorical ingenuity of his exceptional friend, Christopher Hitchens Martin Amis Spontaneous eloquence seems to me a miracle," confessed Vladimir Nabokov in 1962. He took up the point more personally in his foreword to Strong Opinions (1973): "I … Continue reading

Philip Larkin, the Impossible Man

How the most exasperating of poets met his match By Christopher Hitchens Image credit: Philip Larkin Estate In May 1941, Philip Larkin was the treasurer of the Oxford University English Club and in that capacity had to take the visiting speaker George Orwell out to dinner after he had addressed the membership on the subject … Continue reading

Beware the In-Laws

Does Kate Middleton really want to marry into a family like this? By Christopher Hitchens Prince William and Kate MiddletonA hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician. But try pointing this out when everybody is seemingly moist with excitement about the cake plans and gown schemes … Continue reading

Godless in Tumourville

The writer, polemicist and devout atheist Christopher Hitchens talks about his memoirs, Hitch-22, and his fight against cancer Christopher Hitchens in May 2010 Photo: Rex Features By Mick Brown Writing in his memoirs, Hitch-22, of the numerous perils that he has faced as a reporter around the globe in places as various as Afghanistan, Northern … Continue reading

Is Barack Obama Secretly Swiss?

The administration’s pathetic, dithering response to the Arab uprisings has been both cynical and naive. By Christopher Hitchens President Obama makes a statement on Libya, Feb. 23, 2011 However meanly and grudgingly, even the new Republican speaker has now conceded that the president is Hawaiian-born and some kind of Christian. So let’s hope that’s the … Continue reading

News Flash: The Taliban Violate Human Rights

The human rights community finally notices the Taliban’s war crimes. By Christopher Hitchens Even in a week that concentrated all eyes on the magnificent courage and maturity of the people of Cairo, a report from Kabul began with what must surely be the most jaw-dropping opening paragraph of the year. Under the byline of the … Continue reading

How To Make a Decent Cup of Tea

Ignore Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and heed George Orwell’s tea-making advice. By Christopher Hitchens There are rules to making a proper cup of tea.Now that "the holidays"—at their new-style Ramadan length, with the addition of Hanukkah plus the spur and lash of commerce—are safely over, I can bear to confront the moment at their … Continue reading

Mr. Kissinger, Have You No Shame?

Ignore the recent excuses. Henry Kissinger’s entire career was a series of massacres and outrages. By Christopher Hitchens Henry KissingerUntil the most recent release of the Nixon/Kissinger tapes, what were the permitted justifications for saying in advance that the slaughter of Jews in gas chambers by a hostile foreign dictatorship would not be "an American … Continue reading

How Can Anyone Defend Kissinger Now?

The Nixon tapes remind us what a vile creature Henry Kissinger is. By Christopher Hitchens Henry Kissinger Over the last few weeks, this modest little column of mine has been acquiring an almost eerie prescience and potency. I called for the death sentence on Tariq Aziz to be commuted, and it was only a matter … Continue reading

Don’t Be an Ass About Airport Security

The enemy is inventive and imaginative. Our response is neither. By Christopher Hitchens A TSA agent conducts a pat-down In the more recent instances, the explosive substance involved was a fairly simple one known as PETN. Now consider again: Late last August, the Saudi Arabian deputy minister of the interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, was … Continue reading

Miss Manners And the Big C

By Christopher Hitchens• Photograph by Jonas Fredwall Karlsson DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL The author at home in Washington, D.C. Ever since I was felled in mid-book tour this summer, I have adored and seized all chances to play catch-up and to keep as many engagements as I can. Debating and lecturing are part of the … Continue reading

Tumortown

Peach pits, open chakras, macrobiotic diets: cancer patients get more unsolicited advice than they could possibly follow. Cutting-edge medicine seems to offer limitless options, too—until the author runs smack into the lethal idiocy of the godly opponents of stem-cell research. Plus: Ed Coaster tries to persuade Christopher Hitchens to join him on a lucrative cancer-themed … Continue reading