Love, Poverty and War - Christopher Hitchens

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Love, Poverty and War - Christopher Hitchens

ISBN: 1843544520

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Review of "Love, Poverty and War - Christopher Hitchens"

published 21/06/2012 | 1st2thebar
Member since : 11/05/2005
Reviews : 757
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About me :
''The Differend: Phrases in Dispute' -- Jean - Francois Lyotard; definitely a winter warmer.
Pro An education - highly informative - Orwellian styled anecdotes
Cons Passionate to say it mildly
very helpful
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How does it compare to similar works?
How does it compare to works by the same author?

"Message In A Throttle"

Hitchens doing what he does best - ignoring signs from the authorities.

Hitchens doing what he does best - ignoring signs from the authorities.

Notes from the author from each section:

"The first section, on Love, is chiefly devoted to literary criticism and to essays on those I regard as upholding the gold standard here.

The "Poverty" chapters are chiefly concerned with my hatred and contempt for religion and for the "faith-based" in general.

In its third section, directly concerned with the latest and bitterest war, namely the fight against jihadist nihilism, and it does contain my reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and some of my domestic battles with those who don't believe there is, or ought to be, a war in the first place"

Christopher Hitchens.

- - - -

When it comes to reading the qualities of a writer in books such as Hitchen's 'Letters to a Contrarian' - the readership takes note of the intellectual diversities of an awesome author, who truly preaches what he sows. And Hitchens wades in with his size nines, armed with an engaging observational wit. All subjects seem of interest to the polemic writer, now sadly deceased in December 2011. Some of the best writers of our modern age have dedicated their works to Hitchens in 2012. Most recently, Martin Amis's new book called; 'Lionel Abos' - simply had on a blank page with the name: 'Christopher Hitchens' on it. Considering it's being about 'The British State' - it was an in-joke - mocking the state; a witticism that Hitchens would've appreciated; being an Anglo-American, and being the same peers as Amis. 'Love, Poverty and War'; gives a credible insight of the man behind the famous polemic script. The writings embark in the early 1990's until the first few years after the invasion of Iraq; 'the toppling of Hussein's reign'.

'Love, Poverty, and War'; isn't exactly a diary as such - however, you do get a stark reminder of the kind of man Hitchens was. There is no doubt he was overtly enthused by 'conflict' - 'poverty' - 'political agendas' - religion' and 'historical events'. The journals emulated this, duly by quantity alone since the 'Twin Tower Attacks' on American soil. The first attack against the West in our modern era - for a journalist at the Washington Post, he was at the epicentre of the worse act against human-kind since the massacre of the Jews during WWII - the attacks that day disturbed a hornet's nest not only obvious reactionary, but to a man of Hitchens stature - his hunger for the ultimate truth had rekindled a flame inside - and with that, he ventured with it and embarked on a prolific journey, along came the public interest - suddenly Hitchens was a secular spokesman - Intellect and sharp witticisms was high on the menu. His chosen words actually meant something; the damnations and controversy fed a growing army of followers. Richard Dawkins and company had a charismatic leader in Hitchens - a figure-head for an alternative ideology. 'Love, Poverty, and War' indeed was the war cry - a taster of his writings, interviews, correspondence and publishing. If, this book tells you anything of note about Christopher Hitchens the 'journalist' - it's evidential that he blossomed in the spotlight while being in the 'lion's den of the controversial'. There he was, a man - far more than just a Washington Post journalist - his word was his sword and he wasn't afraid to use them, for the sake of his and our liberties. In the book, he doesn't just convey innate political stances - preach un-godly scriptures - feed young dissidents provocative pie - make the likes of Clinton and Kissinger squirm uncomfortably in their ivory towers. He explores and delves into literature, embraces film, and partakes in doing the 'Route 66' - enduring for many - pleasurable for a few.

One common ground that both the Hitchens brothers' (Christopher and Peter) had was their love of literature - an interest in unearthing the old romantics, not what you would expect from a notorious polemist whose thinking predominantly resides in the reality and factual content. Maybe the works of Byron and Greene was a form of escapism - respite from political rhetoric - war journals - secular beliefs - the deluded corrosions of democracy; 'semi democracy' as some would put it. When it came to 'style' Hitchens marinated in it - when it came to 'substance', Hitchens picnicked at its table. Notably mutual respect came via Saul Bellow (1915 - 2005); his name comes to the fore. Bellows work highly acclaimed by Hitchens - hence, ''The Adventures of Augie March" - Yes the novel panders too the impoverish state during 'the great depression' (American) - hierarchies of grotesque wealth and loss; this ticked a fair few of Hitchens 'curiosity boxes'. Again, Bellow incorporates witticisms into the sober content - not exactly done sarcastically - but done through a whimsical observational eye - in regards to wealth, poverty, and abandonment. Not in that order necessarily - Albeit, it tends to be the case. Bellow's novel echoes shades of the 'American Dream' analogy, a Jefferson-ism which was depicted in Hitchens book 'Author of America' - Similar threads, and as a reader you can see at first hand where Hitchens inspirations came from. A fascinating insight to his 'mindset' there lies evidence of where his ideologies derived - 'Love, Poverty, and War', indeed 'is' that window of opportunity in relating to Hitchens.

He takes the superfluous world with a pinch of salt: superficiality has an endearment quality, the foundations are frail, if not unfounded, maybe the result of a seismic tide of bimbos' procreating at pandemic levels, offloading the 'superfluous gene', into America - which many scholars and commentators called the 'plastic populous'- otherwise recognisable as the 'Miss World Syndrome'. Mastering the art of 'nicety' can harbour hatred or underlining animosity - similar to employing the fakeness as a 'human mask'. Americanism has culturally thrived on this human condition, and in return is the most culturally diverse part of the world. Indeed, there has to be a place in the democratic spectrum to embroider into the fabric of fakeness. I found that Hitchens saw superfluous qualities as 'refreshing'. He views it as harmless - he even protects its fundamental frailties and he doesn't vent 'his poverty' (poverty as in his disdain to secular groups) on obsessed consumerism, which is 'fakes' religion. He saves his 'poverty' for 'Mother Theresa of Calcutta' (1910 - 97)' - Hence, his book; 'The Missionary Position'. And other less saintly yet more powerful leaders who parade their organized steel fists into the sacred earth. His fiery passion resonates in his words - his knowledge of religion - secularism - and 'War' - may possibly be deemed as overtly egotistical at times. For the hardcore religious idealist, Hitchens intellect and stance and factually precise words / anecdotes will curdle in their mindset, and they'll promptly eject his words as untruths, without foundations whatsoever. Knowing about 'War' and its origins - evokes a price, whereby 'dancing with the enemy' is paramount for publishing a valid and correct premise. Hitchens exists via secular group knowledge and backgrounds (when I mean secular I'm referring to religions - ideologies - and beliefs) and secular groups are where the enemy lies. 'War' has shaped developed economies. Prosperity and capitalistic values explodes on 'War' - human endeavour systematically working against the odds. Hitchens, a professor of secularism, a very few can submit such an acclaim.

'Love, Poverty and War', is chronologically imbalanced. Most of the material used in the book is loose on the ground before 9/11 - albeit, coherently comes together- overall. I wonder why Hitchens felt he had to include the nonchalant period 'pre' the American attacks at all. I can only assume he professionally wanted to publish a 'semi biography' - (perhaps an honest, well rounded account of who 'Hitch' was?). An entrée before the main course aptly called; 'Arguably'. Amongst the intrinsic documents and journals are snippets of poignant scripts. Orwellian in style, and for me shows his true colours as a sublime author and social commentator - The last word comes from Hitchens, as per usual:© 1st2thebar 2012

"My hope is that literature can replace religion as the source of our ethics, without ceasing to be a pleasurable study and pursuit in its own right".

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Comments on this review

  • catsholiday published 23/06/2012
    An interesting review - the sort of book my son loves!!
  • Nar2 published 22/06/2012
    Well analysed here. Not something I would pour over in a jiffy but nevertheless an excellent account and review, here.
  • dawnymarie published 22/06/2012
    Intriguing! It's going onto my ever expanding 'to read' list. So many good books - so little time ;) Excellent review x
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Product Information : Love, Poverty and War - Christopher Hitchens

Manufacturer's product description

ISBN: 1843544520

Product Details

Title: Love, Poverty and War

Author: Christopher Hitchens

EAN: 9781843544524

ISBN: 1843544520


Listed on Ciao since: 09/05/2012