A Memoir

Publisher: Signal
#1 New York Times bestselling author and finalist for the National Book Award—one of the most admired and controversial public intellectuals of our time—shares his personal life story.

Most who have observed Christopher Hitchens over the years would agree that he possesses a ferocious intellect and is unafraid to tackle the most contentious subjects. Now 60, English-born and American by adoption; all atheist and partly Jewish; bohemian (even listing "drinking" along with "disputation" as "hobbies" in Who's Who), he has held to a consistent thread of principle whether opposing war in Vietnam or supporting intervention in Iraq. As a foreign correspondent in some of the world's nastiest places, a lecturer and teacher and an esteemed literary critic, Hitchens manifests a style that is at once ironic, witty, and tough-minded. A legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for literature, he has sometimes ridiculed those who claim that the personal is political, though he has often seemed to illustrate that very idea. Readers will find that his own many opposites attract, as do his many sketches of friendship and ex-friendship, from Martin Amis to Noam Chomsky. Condemned to be able to see both sides of any argument, Christopher Hitchens has contradictions that contain their own multitudes.


There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in . . .
— Graham Greene: The Power and the Glory
Something I owe to the soil that grew —
More to the life that fed —
But most to Allah who gave me two
Separate sides to my...
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"[Hitch-22] is a memoir that should be given to high school and college students of a literary bent. In the age of the Internet and the academy, it will open up different models for how to be a thoughtful person, how to engage in political life and what sort of things one should know in order to be truly educated." The New York Times

"As contemptuous, digressive, righteous, and riotously funny as the rest of the author's incessant output, this memoir is an effective coming-of-age story, regardless of what one may think of the resulting adult...Hitchens paints a credible and even affecting self-portrait." The New Yorker

"In this frank, often wickedly funny account, Hitchens traces his evolution as a fiercely independent thinker and enemy of people who are convinced of their absolute certainty.... Revealing and riveting." (Kirkus Review)

"Few writers can match his cerebral pyrotechnics. Fewer still can emulate his punch as an intellectual character assassin. It is hard not to admire the sheer virtuosity of his prose.... With Hitchens one simply goes along for the ride. The destination hardly matters." The Financial Times

"A fat and juicy memoir of a fat and juicy life." The Washington Post

"With the possible exception of Tom Wolfe and Maureen Dowd's, Christopher Hitchens' marvelous byline is the most archly kinetic in current-day American letters. Every article, review and essay has the romantic whiff of a durable vintage. You might disagree with him. You might question his motives. But not for a second will you ever be bored." The Los Angeles Times