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Articles by and about Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, April 13 1949 - December 15, 2011

Welcome to The Hitchens Zone, an unofficial resource . Here you can easily find the latest articles written by and about Christopher Hitchens.  Have a Christopher Hitchens article or video you don't see here, send them to

In Memoriam, my courageous brother Christopher, 1949-2011
 -Mail Online  December 16, 2011 By Peter Hitchens

An Update from Christopher Hitchens
-Vanity Fair June 30, 2010
"I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice."

Author Christopher Hitchens diagnosed with cancer
-Guardian July 01, 2010
"The author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens yesterday announced he was cutting short a promotional book tour in order to undergo chemotherapy treatment."

Multicultural Masochism: The "war on terrorism" didn't cause the Fort Hood shootings.
-Slate November 23, 2009
"It's both amusing and educational to observe a consensus when it suddenly starts to give way at all points without yielding an inch. A couple of weeks ago, the consoling view was that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a man more to be pitied than feared, a full-blown officer in the U.S. armed forces who was too shaken up by the stories of returned veterans to be able to function properly, and a physician too stressed-out to bear in mind that there was such a thing as a Hippocratic oath."

Hard Evidence: Seven salient facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
-Slate November 16, 2009
"The admonition not to rush to judgment or jump to conclusions might sound fair and prudent enough, perhaps even statesmanlike when uttered by the president, as long it's borne in mind that such advice is itself a judgment that is more than halfway to a conclusion. What it plainly implies in the present case is that the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan should not be assumed in any meaningful way to be related to his Muslim faith."

Sarah Palin's Political Instincts
-Newsweek November 14, 2009
"Sarah Palin herself can apparently never tire of contrasting her folksy provincialism with the pointy-headed intellectuals, and with those in the despised city of "Washington," where her supporters want—it would seem against her own better instincts—to move her. To hear the woman talk, you would imagine that populism was a magic formula that had never been tried before (though Continetti and his colleagues at the conservative Weekly Standard eagerly compare Palin to the raucous demagogue and onetime Klan-fan William Jennings Bryan: remember—they said it, not me)."

The Intelligence Squared Debate - Is the Catholic church a force for good in the world?

-BBC World November 07, 2009

Underqualified for the Overrated: Christopher Hitchens on Obama's undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.
-Newsweek October 10, 2009
"Alfred Nobel had one odd thing in common with Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway and Marcus Garvey. He had the chance to read about his own death in the newspapers. It seems that he was so depressed by the emphasis that the obituarists laid on his pioneering work on dynamite—the WMD of its day—that he resolved at once to upgrade his real death notice by endowing an award for international peace."

Don't Say a Word: A U.N. resolution seeks to criminalize opinions that differ with the Islamic faith.
-Slate March 02, 2009
"The Muslim religion makes unusually large claims for itself. All religions do this, of course, in that they claim to know and to be able to interpret the wishes of a supreme being. But Islam affirms itself as the last and final revelation of God's word, the consummation of all the mere glimpses of the truth vouchsafed to all the foregoing faiths, available by way of the unimprovable, immaculate text of "the recitation," or Quran."

Christopher Hitchens and the Battle of Beirut February 25, 2009
"Last week Christopher Hitchens and I were attacked in Beirut. Less than 24 hours after we landed at the international airport, a half dozen members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party jumped us on Hamra Street when he defaced one of their signs. "

Christopher Hitchens Discusses Obama's Iraq, Afghanistan Plans (VIDEO)

-Huffington Post / MSNBC February 25, 2009
"Christopher Hitchens appeared on Hardball tonight to discuss President Obama's plan to withdraw a significant number of U.S. combat troops from Iraq. Hitchens, an early and very vocal supporter of the Iraq war, said Obama and the Democrats have been "saved" by Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki because once the Iraqis themselves start asking the U.S. to go, people who warn against a withdrawal start to look "out of step."

Avigdor Lieberman's Chutzpah: The right to return cannot confer the right to expel.
-Slate February 23, 2009
"A reliable friend and colleague swears that he saw the following incident in the Israeli-occupied territories a couple of years ago. A Palestinian physician, in urgent need of permission to travel, was trying to persuade a soldier at a roadblock to allow him to hurry on to the next town."

Don't Let the Mullahs Run Out the Clock: Obama must talk directly to the Iranian people.
-Slate February 16, 2009
"It's strange how some totalitarian types feel the urge to be blunt and honest, even almost confessional. I call as my witness the senior member of the Robert Mugabe coterie who was quoted in the New York Times on Feb. 11 concerning the sham swearing-in of Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister of Zimbabwe."

Is Zimbabwe Now a Rogue State? And is it germ warfare when cholera sufferers are forced to cross international boundaries?
-Slate February 09, 2009
"The situation in Zimbabwe has now reached the point where the international community would be entirely justified in using force to put Robert Mugabe under arrest and place him on trial. Why do I say this now?"

Farewell to a Much-Misunderstood Man: John Updike preferred to be wrong on account of the right reservations than right because of the wrong ones.
-Slate  February 02, 2009
"Most of the celebrations and elegies for the great John Updike were abysmally bland, praising him as the bard and chronicler of the great American middle (middle-class, middle-minded, and so forth). One obituarist got it more nearly right, saying that Updike seemed like a paragon of the bourgeoisie to some while appearing as a worrying outrider of sexual liberation and subversion to others"

A Wonderful Day for Washington, D.C: Now it's time to hold President Obama accountable for his promises.
-Slate January 26, 2009
"By all means the speech, but first, if you will allow me, a few words also on the day itself. Washington, D.C., is in many ways a provincial town, still highly segregated and occasionally mutually suspicious. It has been much too easy to count the moments of civic esprit down the years."

More Than a Good Feeling: Why are so many oligarchs, royal families, and special-interest groups giving money to the Clinton Foundation?
-Slate January 12, 2009
"Here is a thought experiment that does not take very much thought. Picture, if you will, Hillary Clinton facing a foreign-policy conundrum. With whom will she discuss it first and most intently: with her president or her husband?"

The Man Who Made Us Whole: Lincoln, himself, was paradoxical—as is the way we see him now. To really know the 16th president, look past the ways in which we remember him.
-Newsweek  January 10, 2009
"Here's the view from the White House as the new president gazes gloomily out of its windows in 1861. The Washington Monument is an abandoned stump, surrounded by scattered blocks of stone. The Capitol has no dome. Slaves toil in the stinking heat, and the Potomac is an open sewer"

Bad Timing:Gaza could have been a model of the future Palestinian state. Instead, it is a place of repression and aggression.
-Slate January 05, 2009
"The deaths of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, and of Israelis (Muslim and Christian Arab, and Druse and Bedouin, as well as Jewish, don't forget, in Ashdod and Sderot), are hardly ennobled by the sordid realization that the timing of the carnage has been determined by three sets of electoral calculation"

Shame on You, Rick Warren: Still more reasons to boot the huckster of Saddleback from the inauguration.
-Slate December 29, 2008
"It seems to have been agreed by every single media outlet that only one group has the right to challenge Obama's promotion of "Pastor" Rick Warren, and that group is the constituency of politically organized homosexuals. But why should that be?"

Three Questions About Rick Warren's Role in the Inauguration: If we must have an officiating priest, surely we can do better than this vulgar huckster.
-Slate December 19, 2008
"It is theoretically possible to make an apparently bigoted remark that is also factually true and morally sound. Thus, when the Rev. Bailey Smith, one of the deputies of the late Jerry Falwell, claimed that "God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew," I was in complete agreement with him. This is because I do not believe that there is any supernatural supervisor who lends an ear to any prayer."

'Tis the Season To Be Incredulous: The moral and aesthetic nightmare of Christmas.
-Slate December 15, 2008
"I had never before been a special fan of that great comedian Phyllis Diller, but she utterly won my heart this week by sending me an envelope that, when opened, contained a torn-off square of brown-bag paper of the kind suitable for latrine duty in an ill-run correctional facility."

Inconvenient Truths: The media's disingenuous failure to state the obvious.
-Slate December 08, 2008
"The obvious is sometimes the most difficult thing to discern, and few things are more amusing than the efforts of our journals of record to keep "open" minds about the self-evident, and thus to create mysteries when the real task of reportage is to dispel them."

Our Friends in Bombay: We must stand by our most important ally.

-Slate December 01, 2008
"It's in human nature to mention any personal connection when offering solidarity, so I shall just briefly say that on my first visit to India, in 1980, I stayed at the Taj Mahal in Bombay, visited the "Gateway of India" and took a boat to Elephanta Island, toured the magnificent railway station, had my first diwali festival at Juhu beach, and paced the amazing corniche that was still known by some—after its dazzling string of lights—as "Queen Victoria's necklace."

Christopher Hitchens debates Paul Begala on Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State
-CNN Larry King Live November 25, 2008

Serving the Clintonian Interest: The last thing we need is a Clinton in charge of foreign policy.
-Slate November 24, 2008
"It was apt in a small way that the first endorser of Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state should have been Henry Kissinger. The last time he was nominated for any position of responsibility—the chairmanship of the 9/11 commission—he accepted with many florid words about the great honor and responsibility, and then he withdrew when it became clear that he would have to disclose the client list of Kissinger Associates."

Christopher Hitchens on Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State
-MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews, November 17, 2008

Fidel Gets Religion: Why on earth did Castro build a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Havana?
-Slate November 17, 2008
"In January of 2009—on New Year's Day, to be precise—it will have been half a century since the brave and bearded ones entered Havana and chased Fulgencio Batista and his cronies (carrying much of the Cuban treasury with them) off the island."

Barack to Reality: Obama's victory didn't magically eliminate America's problems and enemies.
-Slate November 10, 2008
"Yes, yes, yes. I, too, took pleasure in standing in line and in exchanging pleasantries and greetings with the amazingly courteous staff at my polling station and the many citizens of my delightfully diverse Washington neighborhood. I, too, am still wearing my lapel sticker, with the jaunty words "I Voted." And I found it pretty easy to cast a vote that told the Republican Party, for which I recommended a vote last time, not to try any of this shit again. No more McCarthy tactics;"

Hitchens Debates Rabbi Wolpe on God
-New York Times City Room November 03, 2008
"More than 1,500 people went to Temple Emanu-El, one of the largest synagogues in the world, on Wednesday evening for a wide-ranging debate on that age-old question. On one side: Christopher Hitchens, the writer, wit and author of the polemic “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” published last year by Twelve/Warner Books. On the other side: Rabbi David J. Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, whom Newsweek has called the No. 1 rabbi in America and the author of “Why Faith Matters,” published last month by HarperOne. "

McCain's Shameful Slur. The Republican's appalling attack on Rashid Khalidi
-Slate November 03, 2008
"On the clouded synapses of Sen. John McCain, it became clear as his campaign limped and lurched to its close, the termites had been dining long and dining well."

Sarah Palin's War on Science. The GOP ticket's appalling contempt for knowledgte and learning.
-Slate October 27, 2008
"In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber."

Speak Up! Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference.

-Slate October 20, 2008
"The new line of the day, taken by many conservative intellectuals, is that criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin is essentially a blend of snobbery and sexism. This, I presume, is intended as a sort of strike against the considerable number of conservative commentators, from David Frum to Christopher Buckley, who have openly said that the woman is not qualified to be vice president."

Christopher Hitchens' talks with Laura Ingraham on the O'Reilly Factor about voting for Obama
-Fox News Channel The O'Reilly Factor October 17, 2008

Vote For Obama: McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace.
-Slate October 13, 2008
"I used to nod wisely when people said: "Let's discuss issues rather than personalities." It seemed so obvious that in politics an issue was an issue and a personality was a personality, and that the more one could separate the two, the more serious one was. After all, in a debate on serious issues, any mention of the opponent's personality would be ad hominem at best and at worst would stoop as low as ad feminam. "

America the Banana Republic
-Vanity Fair October 09, 2008
"The ongoing financial meltdown is just the latest example of a disturbing trend that, to this adoptive American, threatens to put the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave on a par with Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea. "

How To Win Afghanistan's Opium War
-Slate October 06, 2008
"I used to know Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Her Majesty's ambassador in Kabul, and I have no reason to doubt that he was quoted correctly in the leaked cable from the deputy French ambassador to Afghanistan that has since appeared in the Parisian press"

The Eton Empire
-Vanity Fair October 02, 2008
"It looked as if the 60s had ended Eton’s centuries-long dominance over British life. Yet the fabled school, training ground for 18 prime ministers, countless literary greats, and fictional icons such as James Bond and Bertie Wooster, is once again center stage. "

Write, Repeat by John G. Rodwan Jr.
-Open Letters Monthly October 2008
“Like many a journalist before and since, Marx was not shy about recycling his best lines,” observes journalist, essayist, and reviewer Christopher Hitchens, who could have been describing himself – or a great many writers. The tendency to reuse material might initially look like a journalist shortcut, but it’s one capable of serving a larger purpose."

Vanity Fair: The Portraits
-Vanity Fair October 2008
"With the publication of Vanity Fair, The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images, and a touring show that opens this month at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Christopher Hitchens charts the magazine’s omnivorous yet discriminating sensibility, in which personality, style, and wit meet the grittier issues of the day. "

Disregarding Henry: Both candidates kowtowed to the disgraceful Kissinger. Only Obama cited him correctly.
-Slate September 28, 2008
"How extraordinary to find that, for two straight days, the American media would preoccupy themselves with the question of who had the greater right—in a debate over foreign-policy "experience," of all things—to quote Henry Kissinger."

God 0, Atheism 2: Hitchens Eats Another Religious Figure for Lunch

-Discover Magazine Blogs September 23, 2008
"Are you there God, and if so, will you please provide an emissary that can go head-to-head with Christopher Hitchens without getting spectacularly flayed?"

Is Obama Another Dukakis? Why is Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?
-Slate September 22, 2008
"Last week really ought to have been the end of the McCain campaign. With the whole country feeling (and its financial class acting) as if we lived in a sweltering, bankrupt banana republic, and with this misery added to the generally Belarusian atmosphere that surrounds any American trying to board a train, catch a plane, fill a prescription, or get a public servant or private practitioner on the phone, it was surely the moment for the supposedly reform candidate to assume a commanding position."

Pakistan Is The Problem: And Barack Obama seems to be the only candidate willing to face it.
-Slate September 15, 2008
"At a recent dinner party in the British embassy in Kabul, one of the guests referred to "the Afghan-Pakistan war." The rest of the table fell silent. This is the truth that dare not speak its name. Even mentioning it in private in the Afghan capital's green zone is enough to solicit murmurs of disapproval. Few want to accept that the war is widening; that it now involves Pakistan, a country with an unstable government and nuclear weapons."

The Best Woman? Don't patronize Sarah Palin.
-Slate September 09, 2008
"In The Best Man, the only useful or amusing film—or play—ever to have been set at an American political convention, Gore Vidal presents us with Joe and Mabel Cantwell (Cliff Robertson and Edie Adams in the 1964 movie version), who are a right-wing "family values" couple with a large and grisly brood. The two have the appalling habit of referring to each other as "Papa Bear" and "Mama Bear," and when it seems that Cantwell has the goods on his rival, William Russell, and is sure of the nomination, Mabel exclaims horridly that this means that "Papa Bear and Mama Bear and all of the baby bears are on their way to the White House."

Let Them Count Houses: Can't we escape this tiresome damagoguery about candidate's income property?
-Slate September 01, 2008
"Sen. John McCain's now-notorious answer to the question of how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own was first repeated to me as if he had been deliberately joking. And I must say that I thought his reported response—that he'd have to ask his staff to check and "get to you" with a full count—was really quite funny. But then everybody began acting as if he'd just told all the poor and unemployed to eat cake, so I thought I ought to check the original."

The Verbal Revolution: How the Prague Spring broke world Communism's main spring.
-Slate August 25, 2008
"The Warsaw Pact no longer exists. Czechoslovakia no longer exists. The Soviet Union, which tried by force to keep the second entity as a part of the first one, likewise no longer exists. Yet few events in memory can be as real and "concrete"—to borrow a favorite term of Marxist propaganda—as the struggle that once took place in these far-from-ethereal regions of Central and Eastern Europe."

South Ossetia Isn't Kosovo: Whatever Moscow says, there are at least six significant differences between the two situations.
-Slate August 18, 2008
"While it is almost certainly true that Moscow's action in the Ossetian and (for good measure) the Abkhazian enclave of Georgia has been, in a real sense, the revenge for the independence of Kosovo (on Feb. 14 Vladimir Putin said publicly that Western recognition of Kosovar independence would be met by intensified Russian support for irredentism in South Ossetia), it is extremely important to bear in mind that this observation does not permit us the moral sloth of allowing any equivalence between the two dramas."

God on Trial: A Debate Over the Existence of God - Dinesh D'Souza & Christopher Hitchens  St. Louis Missouri September 10, 2008
-Fixed Point Foundation - tickets available from the St. Louis Symphony Hall

Iraq's Budget Surplus Scandal: Why do we have such a hard time hearing good news from Baghdad?
-Slate August 11, 2008
"One day I will publish my entire collection of upside-down Iraq headlines, where the true purport of the story is the inverse of the intended one. (Top billing thus far would go to the greatest downer of them all: the tale of Iraq's unemployed gravediggers, their always-insecure standard of living newly imperiled by the falling murder rate."

The Man Who Kept On Writing: Alexander Solzhenitsyn lived as if there were such a thing as human dignity.

-Slate August 04, 2008
"Every now and then it happens. The state or the system encounters an individual who, bafflingly, maddeningly, absurdly, cannot be broken. Should they manage to survive, such heroes have a good chance of outliving the state or the system that so grossly underestimated them."

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