Hitch ’21: twelve reissues
Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011)
To commemorate ten years since the death of the world-renowned and controversial intellectual, Atlantic is reissuing twelve stylish paperback editions of his most wry and provocative works. All twelve will be available to purchase from 6th May 2021.
And Yet…: Essays
Christopher Hitchens was an unparalleled, prolific writer, who raised the polemical essay to a new art form, over a lifetime of thinking and debating the defining issues of our times. As an essayist he contributed to the New Statesman, Atlantic Monthly, London Review of Books, TLS and Vanity Fair. Any publication of a volume of Hitchens’ essays was a major event on both sides of the Atlantic. Now comes a volume of Hitchens’ previously uncollected essays, covering the themes that define Hitchens the thinker: literature, religion and politics. These essays remind us, once more, of the fierce, brilliant and trenchant voice of Christopher Hitchens.
Arguably collects Hitchens’ writing on politics, literature and religion when he was at the zenith of his career; it is the indispensable companion to the finest English essayist since Orwell.
Blood, Class and Empire
Since the end of the Cold War so-called experts have been predicting the eclipse of America’s “special relationship” with Britain. But as events have shown, especially in the wake of 9/11, the political and cultural ties between America and Britain have grown stronger. Blood, Class and Empire examines the dynamics of this relationship, its many cultural manifestations-the James Bond series, PBS “Brit Kitsch,” Rudyard Kipling-and explains why it still persists.
Contrarian, essayist and polemicist, Christopher Hitchens notes that while the relationship is usually presented as a matter of tradition, manners, and common culture, sanctified by wartime alliance, the special ingredient is empire; transmitted from an ancient regime that has tried to preserve and renew itself thereby. England has attempted to play Greece to the American Rome, but ironically having encouraged the United States to become an equal partner in the business of empire, Britain found itself supplanted.
For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports
The global turmoil of the late 1980s and early 1990s severely tested every analyst and commentator. Few wrote with such insight as Christopher Hitchens about the large events – or with such discernment and wit about the small tell-tale signs of a disordered culture.
First published in 1993, the writings in For the Sake of Argument range from the political squalor of Washington to the twilight of Stalinizm in Prague, from the Jewish quarter of Damascus in the aftermath of the Gulf War to the embattled barrios of Central America. Hitchens provides re-assessments of Graham Greene, P. G. Woodhouse and C. L. R. James, and his rogues’ gallery gives us portraits of Henry Kissinger, Mother Theresa and P. J. O’Rouke. The addition of pieces on political assassination in America, as well as a devastating indictment of the evisceration of politics by pollsters and spin doctors, and an entertaining celebration of booze and fags, complete this outstanding collection from a writer of unequalled talent.
God Is Not Great
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’. In god is Not Great Hitchens turned his formidable eloquence and rhetorical energy to the most controversial issue in the world: God and religion. The result is a devastating critique of religious faith.
In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.
Hitch-22 is, by turns, moving and funny, charming and infuriating, enraging and inspiring. It is an indispensable companion to the life and thought of our pre-eminent political writer.
Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays
Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays showcases the Hitchens’ rejection of consensus and cliché, whether he’s reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa (“a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud”), the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Mel Gibson and Michael Bloomberg.
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
In this frank and damning exposé of the Teresa cult, Hitchens details the nature and limits of one woman’s mission to help the world’s poor. He probes the source of the heroic status bestowed upon an Albanian nun whose only declared wish was to serve God. He asks whether Mother Teresa’s good works answered any higher purpose than the need of the world’s privileged to see someone, somewhere, doing something for the Third World.
He unmasks pseudo-miracles, questions Mother Teresa’s fitness to adjudicate on matters of sex and reproduction, and reports on a version of saintly ubiquity which affords genial relations with dictators, corrupt tycoons and convicted frauds. Is Mother Teresa merely an essential salve to the conscience of the rich West, or an expert PR machine for the Catholic Church? In its caustic iconoclasm and unsparing wit, The Missionary Position showcases the devastating effect of Hitchens’ writing at its polemical best.
During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his New York hotel room to excoriating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported ‘from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.’ Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing the ability to speak.
Mortality is the most meditative collection of writing Hitchens has ever produced; at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this eloquent confrontation with mortality, Hitchens returns a human face to a disease that has become a contemporary cipher of suffering.
No One Left to Lie to
In No One Left to Lie To, Christopher Hitchens portrays President Bill Clinton as one of the most ideologically skewed and morally negligent politicians of recent times. In a blistering polemic which shows that Clinton was at once philanderer and philistine, crooked and corrupt, Hitchens challenges perceptions – of liberals and conservatives alike – of this highly divisive figure.
With blistering wit and meticulous documentation, Hitchens masterfully deconstructs Clinton’s abject propensity for pandering to the Left while delivering to the Right and argues that the president’s personal transgressions were inseparable from his political corruption.
The Trial of Henry Kissinger
Christopher Hitchens goes straight for the jugular in The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Under his fearsome gaze, the former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor is accused of being a war criminal whose reckless actions and heinous disregard for international law have led to torture, kidnapping, and murder.
This book is a polemical masterpiece by a man who, for forty years, was the Anglosphere’s preeminent man of letters. In The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Hitchens’ verve, style and firebrand wit are on show at the height of their potency.
Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man
Thomas Paine is one of the greatest political advocates in history. Declaration of the Rights of Man, first published in 1791, is the key to his reputation. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke’s attack on the uprising of the French people, Paine’s text is a passionate defence of man’s inalienable rights.
In Rights of Man Paine argues against monarchy and outlines the elements of a successful republic, including public education, pensions and relief of the poor and unemployed, all financed by income tax. Since its publication, Rights of Man has been celebrated, criticized, maligned and suppressed but here the polemicist and commentator Christopher Hitchens marvels at its forethought and revels in its contentiousness. Above all, Hitchens demonstrates how Thomas Paine’s book forms the philosophical cornerstone of the first democratic republic, whose revolution is the only example that still speaks to us: the United States of America.