The Hitch

«After Mother Teresa was nominated for beatification in 1997, the Vatican invited Christopher Hitchens to argue the case against her. Smart choice. He had already proven his willingness to diss the world's most famous saint-in-waiting. In his book The Missionary Position Hitchens deemed the "Ghoul of Calcutta" a "fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud."

Though the book did raise eyebrows, it should have come as no surprise. This is the same man who called Ghandi a "half-naked fakir," Bill Clinton a "rapist," Ronald Reagan a "cruel and stupid lizard," and the queen "Britain's favorite fetish." Christopher Hitchens likes to raise eyebrows.

But Hitchens is much more than a shock jock for the Volvo set. Underneath the schoolboy taunts is a very serious man. The role Hitchens played in Mother Teresa's beatification was traditionally performed by the official Vatican skeptic known as the advocatus diaboli. Though he might not consider himself an advocate for the devil — he is an atheist, after all — Hitchens is a true skeptic. He believes in questioning everything. A true contrarian, unfettered by allegiance to party or ideology — or, admittedly, politesse — Hitchens is unafraid to take any position, no matter how unlikely or how unpopular.

He's also a first-rate writer. One of the most informed journalists in the country (he seems to have been everywhere, met everyone, and read everything), he is also one of the most entertaining. His command of the language is legendary; his wit ferocious. His skill in marshalling facts in service to an argument is a wonder to behold.

So it's about time this devil's advocate took on the daddy of them all: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitchens wastes no time getting to the point: just go back and reread that subtitle. But readers won't pick up this book just to find out what Christopher Hitchens thinks about religion. They'll read it because, whether or not he persuades, he always makes it worth your while to hear him out.»

C. P. Farley interviews Christopher Hitchens for From religion to literature you can sprinkle your mind and browse your eyes through the world of Hitchens, the auhtor of great books such as Why Orwell Matters and the man that stands to stick his finger to all the other things that matter. You can follow the interview here. We will have him at BLOOM very soon.


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