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Christopher Hitchens on Latest Book: 'Might Be My Very Last'

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    (Photo: The Atlantic via The Christian Post)
    In this still image, Christopher Hitchens discusses anti-Semitism, Iran, religion, and cancer with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg (not pictured).
By Eryn Sun, Christian Post Reporter
August 24, 2011|5:14 pm

Prolific writer and political journalist Christopher Hitchens will release a new book this September titled Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens.

The first new book of essays since 2004, Arguably features a collection of essays previously written for Vanity Fair – of which he is a contributing editor – Slate, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.

Speaking on a range of topics and subjects, which includes everything from anti-Semitism to how to win an argument over a Georgetown dinner table, the 62-year-old author continues to frankly and passionately tell readers about all the wonders and pitfalls of humanity, however grave or seemingly trivial.

Some titles include: “God of Our Fathers: The United States of Enlightenment”; “America the Banana Republic”; “Why Women Aren’t Funny”; “First, Silence the Whistle-Blower”; “Iran’s Waiting Game”; “Easter Charade”; “Words Matter”; and “Wine Drinkers of the World, Unite.”

Hitchens also focuses on a handful of major characters in history and their enduring legacies. Charles Dickens, Issac Newton, Ezra Pound, J.G. Ballard, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx and George Orwell are among those mentioned. Harry Potter also appears to take a notable seat in his novel.

Publisher Twelve noted, “ARGUABLY burnishes Christopher Hitchens’ credentials as – to quote Christopher Buckley – our ‘greatest living essayist in the English language.’”

Order Online: Is Christianity Good for the World?

Additionally, the book, of course, is not without any religious speech. An outspoken atheist, Hitchens dallies in a few theoretical questions that “[stir] up trouble,” according to Kirkus Book Reviews.

“His pieces on religion seem calculated to offend as many believers as possible, which is of course the point.”

Tackling the topic of faith on several other occasions, the English-American columnist has written a few notable books on the subject.

His best-selling book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, was nominated for a National Book Award and hailed as “the best of...atheist manifestos.”

Is Christianity Good For the World?, co-written with Christian theologian and pastor Douglas Wilson, featured debates on the title question, which was originally published as a series in Christianity Today before becoming a book.

A champion of “New Atheism,” the belief that religion should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument, according to CNN, Hitchens calls himself an antitheist rather than an atheist.

“You could be an atheist and wish that the belief was true. You could; I know some people who do,” he previously shared. “An antitheist, a term I’m trying to get into circulation, is someone who’s very relieved that there’s no evidence for this proposition.”

Renowned for his confrontational and intellectual debates on everything from religion to politics, Hitchens seeks to continually stir conversation and thought in the world with his speech, whether vocal or penned.

Though he has lost his speaking voice due to oesophageal cancer, of which he was diagnosed with in 2010, his voice, the one that has captivated and at many times angered others, is still being heard through his writings, which he continues to pen even through his sickness.

“...About a year ago, I was informed by a doctor that I might have as little as another year to live. In consequence, some of these articles were written with the full consciousness that they might be my very last,” Hitchens wrote in his introduction to Arguably.

“Sobering in one way and exhilarating in another, this practice can obviously never become perfected. But it has given me a more vivid idea of what makes life worth living, and defending, and I hope very much that some of this may infect those of you who have been generous enough to read me this far.”

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens will be made available starting Sept. 1 in hardcover.

Amazon currently has the title in stock for more than 40 percent off the $30 list price. The book is 384 pages and is ranked on Amazon as #1,119 in Books.

 

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