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Full title Letters to a Young Contrarian [permalink]
Language English
Author Christopher Hitchens (author)
Publisher Basic Books
Categories Journalism and philosophy
Publisher series Art of Mentoring (1/15)
Publication year 2005
Original publication year 2001
ISBN 978-0-465-03033-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 141
Synopsis

A collection of imaginary letters to a young contrarian. The beginning of each letter imagines that the reader has sent a reply to the previous one, and the current one is a reply to that, so that reading the book seems to be a conversation. The book deals with how to be a public intellectual with contrary views, and how to deal with all the hardships that come with that obligation.

Review

It's a very short book, and once started, it's very hard to put it down. Hitchens is a very eloquent writer, besides being knowledgeable and engaged. In the book he deals a little bit with his public confrontations (his criticism of Mother Theresa and Henry Kissinger, for instance), really as examples for pontificating on the life of a contrarian. There's a little part of the book that I liked where he explores various words for a contrarian, such as rebel, revolutionary, and an "angry young man".

Images Back of Letters to a Young Contrarian.Spine of Letters to a Young Contrarian.Front of Letters to a Young Contrarian.

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