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Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens, 2007
Christopher Hitchens, 2007
Occupation Author, journalist, activist, pundit
Nationality British, American
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Genre Polemicism, journalism, essays, biography, literary criticism

Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an Anglo-American atheist, writer and debater. He wrote for various magazines including The Nation, Free Inquiry, Slate, and others. He was a supporter of the philosophical movement humanism.

Hitchens was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. After graduation in 1970, he became a magazine writer. In 1982, he moved to Washington, D.C. In 1988, he learned from his grandmother that his mother was Jewish, but had kept her religion a secret. Hitchens remained an atheist and did not adopt any religious faith. He did not write about his religious views until his 2007 book God Is Not Great: how religion poisons everything.

Hitchens tried to write from first-hand experience. To write his essays, he braved gunfire in Sarajevo, he was jailed in Czechoslovakia, and in 2008, he was brutally beaten in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2009, Hitchens agreed to be waterboarded. He wrote in Vanity Fair magazine, "If waterboarding does not constitute torture then there is no such thing as torture".

Hitchens died of oesophageal cancer.

Books by Hitchens

  • 1984 Cyprus. Quartet. Revised editions as Hostage to history: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger, 1989.
  • 1990 The Monarchy, Chatto & Windus
  • 1990 Blood, class and nostalgia: Anglo-American ironies, Farrar Straus & Giroux.
  • 1997 The Parthenon marbles: the case for reunification, Verso
  • 1999 No one left to lie to: the values of the worst family, Verso
  • 2000 Unacknowledged legislation: writers in the public sphere, Verso
  • 2001 The trial of Henry Kissinger. Verso.
  • 2001 Letters to a young contrarian, Basic Books
  • 2008 Christopher Hitchens and his critics: terror, Iraq and the Left. (with Simon Cottee and Thomas Cushman), New York University Press

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