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Cover image for Love, poverty, and war : journeys and essays
Format:
Title:
Love, poverty, and war : journeys and essays
ISBN:
9781560255802
Publication Information:
New York : Nation Books, ©2004.
Physical Description:
xv, 475 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Essays.
Contents:
The medals of his defeats -- A man of permanent contradictions -- The old man -- Huxley and Brave New World -- Greeneland -- Scoop -- The man of feeling -- The misfortune of poetry -- The acutest ear in Paris -- Joyce in bloom -- The immortal -- It happened on Sunset -- The ballad of Route 66 -- The adventures of Augie March -- Rebel ghosts -- America's poet? : Bob Dylan's achievement -- I fought the law in Bloomberg's New York -- For Patriot dreams -- Martha Inc. -- Scenes from an execution -- In sickness and by stealth -- The strange case of David Irving -- Why Americans are not taught history -- A hundred years of muggery -- Unfairenheit 9/11 : the lies of Michael Moore -- Virginity regained -- The divine one -- The devil and Mother Teresa -- Blessed are the phrasemakers -- Jewish powers, Jewish peril -- The future of an illusion -- The gospel according to Mel -- The struggle of the Kurds -- Thunder in the Black Mountains -- Visit to a small planet -- Havana can wait -- The Clinton-Douglas debates -- We're still standing -- The morning after -- Against rationalization -- Of sin, the Left, & Islamic fascism -- A rejoinder to Noam Chomsky -- Blaming Bin Laden first -- The ends of war -- Pakistan : on the frontier of apocalypse -- Saddam's long good-bye -- A liberating experience.
Summary:
Showcases America's leading polemicist's rejection of consensus and cliché, whether he's reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa ("a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud"), the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Mel Gibson and Michael Bloomberg. Hitchens began the nineties as a "darling of the Left" but has become more of an "unaffiliated radical" whose targets include those on the Left, who he accuses of "fudging" the issue of military intervention in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, as Hitchens shows in his reportage, cultural and literary criticism, and opinion essays from the 1990s to 2004, he has not jumped ship and joined the Right but is faithful to the internationalist, contrarian and democratic ideals that have always informed his work.--From publisher description.
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Library
Call Number
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814.54 Hitchens 2004
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Summary

Summary

"I did not, I wish to state, become a journalist because there was no other 'profession' that would have me. I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information." Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays showcases America's leading polemicist's rejection of consensus and cliché, whether he's reporting from abroad in Indonesia, Kurdistan, Iraq, North Korea, or Cuba, or when his pen is targeted mercilessly at the likes of William Clinton, Mother Theresa ("a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud"), the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky, Mel Gibson and Michael Bloomberg. Hitchens began the nineties as a "darling of the left" but has become more of an "unaffiliated radical" whose targets include those on the "left," who he accuses of "fudging" the issue of military intervention in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, as Hitchens shows in his reportage, cultural and literary criticism, and opinion essays from the last decade, he has not jumped ship and joined the right but is faithful to the internationalist, contrarian and democratic ideals that have always informed his work.


Author Notes

Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England on April 13, 1949. He was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and wrote for numerous other publications throughout his lifetime. He was the author of numerous books including No One Left to Lie To, For the Sake of Argument, Prepared for the Worst, God Is Not Great, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died due to complication from esophageal cancer on December 15, 2011 at the age of 62.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Branded an apostate by the left for his post-9/11 embrace of the U.S.'s war on terror, former Nation columnist Hitchens reprints some of the offending pieces, along with lighter fare. The title names the book's three sections. "Love" turns out to be "of literature"; displaying an eclectic range, Hitchens analyzes the new English translations of Marcel Proust as perceptively as he attacks Christopher Ricks's Dylan's Vision of Sin, among other works. When he shifts to "Poverty," Hitchens's caustic intolerance for the hypocrisy he sees in public figures comes to the fore. Some objects of his scorn are familiar-Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton-but he also finds new targets ranging from Martha Stewart to the Dalai Lama and Mel Gibson, with special opprobrium for Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 is dubbed "a sinister exercise in moral frivolity." The "War" material more fully documents Hitchens's break with the left and finds him passionately arguing against citing U.S. foreign policy, past or present, to rationalize terrorism. In other essays throughout the collection, from a nostalgic account of a drive along historic Route 66 to fond memories of the WTC towers, readers may be surprised to see the master of cynicism engaging in open sentimentality. Even when Hitchens isn't quite what one anticipates, however, he's as sharp a writer as one has come to expect. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

A nicely provocative, if disparate mix of field notes, book reviews, essays, and appreciations. "An antique saying has it that a man's life is incomplete unless or until he has tasted love, poverty, and war," the author explains of his title. Polemicist Hitchens (Why Orwell Matters, 2002, etc.) admits to having been fortunate in love, hungry but never starved, and farther away from dangerous action than many journalistic colleagues. Tying together these various pieces from The Atlantic Monthly, The Times Literary Supplement, and other journals is the Orwellian--in the good sense of the word--insistence on the need for writers to stand up and speak against the received wisdoms of left and right alike. Hitchens announces, for instance, a fierce and nuanced patriotism in the wake of 9/11. "One has to be capable of knowing when something is worth fighting for," he insists. "One has to be capable of knowing an enemy when one sees one." There's nothing knee-jerk about his newfound positions. A former but unrepentant socialist, he attacks with equal attentiveness Noam Chomsky on the far left, David Irving on the far right, and a host of unfortunates who lie somewhere in between but are not sufficiently committed to ideas to gain his sympathy. At turns he writes about such heady matters as the historical revisionism now surrounding Winston Churchill (who, Hitchens ventures, made it possible for the US to be a global superpower); the political paradoxes that pepper the writings of Rudyard Kipling; the willful inaccuracies of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11; the mediocrity of contemporary politics, publishing, and media; the hamburgers of Middle America; and the sights and sounds of such uncongenial places as Pyongyang, Podgorica, and Baghdad, to say nothing of such uncongenial people as Mel Gibson and Osama bin Laden. A well-turned collection with scarcely a false note. A pleasure for Hitchens's many fans, and certainly no comfort for his enemies. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Agree or disagree with polemicist Hitchens, there is no denying the clarity of his thinking, the depth of his reading, the thoroughness of his inquiries, the independence of his opinions, and the brio of his superbly fashioned prose. An expat Brit who has written for the Nation and Vanity Fair and authored a number of stinging books, Hitchens cannot abide fuzzy logic, cant, hypocrisy, or lies and has enraged the Right and the Left with his vehement criticism of religion and his thrashing of Michael Moore and Bill Clinton. Hitchens writes astutely about post-9/11 patriotism and war and about why history is no longer taught in American schools. But this daring political analyst is also passionate about literature and offers discerning interpretations of Proust, Huxley, and Bellow. And he even shares glimpses of his less toxic self, reading Kipling to Borges in Buenos Aires, and driving across southern Illinois in a red Corvette looking for sites commemorating Abraham Lincoln. Hitchens' compassion is as sure as his ire is hot, making for a bracing and provocative collection. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2005 Booklist


Library Journal Review

"An antique saying has it that a man's life is incomplete unless or until he has tasted love, poverty, and war." So begins the introduction to this latest book from contrarian Hitchens (A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq), which gathers a decade's worth of essays, articles, and columns from such magazines as the Nation and Vanity Fair. "Love," the book's opening section, contains essays on the beauty and timelessness of literature. Simultaneously critical and reverential, Hitchens speaks of many notable writers, including Byron, Joyce, Borges, and Huxley. In "Poverty," he reflects on his relationship to, and hatred of, the poverty of ideas and political hypocrisy found in the world, including terrorism, religious extremism, and capital punishment. "War" includes Hitchens's passionate and intense essays on the aftermath of 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Kurdish Iraq. Whether writing about literature, religion, or foreign policy, Hitchens is not easily categorized as a predictable member of the Left or the Right, so his collection should appeal to all those who call themselves political junkies. Recommended for all public and academic libraries with journalism collections.-Katherine E. Merrill, SUNY at Geneseo Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
I Love
The Medals of His Defeatsp. 3
A Man of Permanent Contradictionsp. 29
The Old Manp. 43
Huxley and Brave New Worldp. 55
Greenelandp. 69
Scoopp. 77
The Man of Feelingp. 87
The Misfortune of Poetryp. 99
The Acutest Ear in Parisp. 109
Joyce in Bloomp. 123
The Immortalp. 131
Americana
It Happened on Sunsetp. 143
The Ballad of Route 66p. 155
The Adventures of Augie Marchp. 179
Rebel Ghostsp. 191
America's Poet? Bob Dylan's Achievementp. 201
I Fought the Law in Bloomberg's New Yorkp. 211
For Patriot Dreamsp. 219
II Poverty
Martha Inc.p. 229
Scenes from an Executionp. 235
In Sickness and by Stealthp. 247
The Strange Case of David Irvingp. 255
Why Americans Are Not Taught Historyp. 265
A Hundred Years of Muggeryp. 279
Unfairenheit 9/11: The Lies of Michael Moorep. 289
Virginity Regainedp. 301
The Divine Onep. 305
The Devil and Mother Teresap. 309
Blessed Are the Phrasemakersp. 319
Jewish Power, Jewish Perilp. 323
The Future of an Illusionp. 333
The Gospel According to Melp. 339
III War
Before September
The Struggle of the Kurdsp. 351
Thunder in the Black Mountainsp. 365
Visit to a Small Planetp. 373
Havana Can Waitp. 387
The Clinton-Douglas Debatesp. 397
After September
We're Still Standingp. 403
The Morning Afterp. 407
Against Rationalizationp. 411
Of Sin, the Left, & Islamic Fascismp. 415
A Rejoinder to Noam Chomskyp. 421
Blaming bin Laden Firstp. 429
The Ends of Warp. 433
Pakistan: On the Frontier of Apocalypsep. 437
Saddam's Long Good-byep. 451
A Liberating Experiencep. 463