On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.
Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
MORTALITY is the exemplary story of one man's refusal to cower in the face of the unknown, as well as a searching look at the human predicament. Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Hitchens's testament is a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.
In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson, leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy over the past two hundred years, Hitchens brings the character of Jefferson to life as a man of his time and also as a symbolic figure beyond it.

Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature. Predicting that slavery would shape the future of America's development, this professed proponent of emancipation elided the issue in the Declaration and continued to own human property. An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy.

Jefferson's statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France, doubling the size of the nation, and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition, opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement. Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson's handling of the Barbary War, a lesser-known chapter of his political career, when his attempt to end the kidnapping and bribery of Americans by the Barbary states, and the subsequent war with Tripoli, led to the building of the U.S. navy and the fortification of America's reputation regarding national defense.

In the background of this sophisticated analysis is a large historical drama: the fledgling nation's struggle for independence, formed in the crucible of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and, in its shadow, the deformation of that struggle in the excesses of the French Revolution. This artful portrait of a formative figure and a turbulent era poses a challenge to anyone interested in American history -- or in the ambiguities of human nature.

"All first-rate criticism first defines what we are confronting," the late, great jazz critic Whitney Balliett once wrote. By that measure, the essays of Christopher Hitchens are in the first tier. For nearly four decades, Hitchens has been telling us, in pitch-perfect prose, what we confront when we grapple with first principles-the principles of reason and tolerance and skepticism that define and inform the foundations of our civilization-principles that, to endure, must be defended anew by every generation.

"A short list of the greatest living conversationalists in English," said The Economist, "would probably have to include Christopher Hitchens, Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and Sir Tom Stoppard. Great brilliance, fantastic powers of recall, and quick wit are clearly valuable in sustaining conversation at these cosmic levels. Charm may be helpful, too." Hitchens-who staunchly declines all offers of knighthood-hereby invites you to take a seat at a democratic conversation, to be engaged, and to be reasoned with. His knowledge is formidable, an encyclopedic treasure, and yet one has the feeling, reading him, of hearing a person thinking out loud, following the inexorable logic of his thought, wherever it might lead, unafraid to expose fraudulence, denounce injustice, and excoriate hypocrisy. Legions of readers, admirers and detractors alike, have learned to read Hitchens with something approaching awe at his felicity of language, the oxygen in every sentence, the enviable wit and his readiness, even eagerness, to fight a foe or mount the ramparts.

Here, he supplies fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.



A timely primer and a highly personal appreciation of one of the most influential and revolutionary works of political philosophy.
 
Christopher Hitchens, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of God Is Not Great has been called a Tom Paine for our times, and in this addition to the Books that Changed the World Series, he vividly introduces Paine and his Declaration of the Rights of Man, the world’s foremost defense of democracy. Inspired by his outrage at Edmund Burke’s attack on the French Revolution, Paine’s text is a passionate defense of man’s inalienable rights, and the key to his reputation. Ever since the day of publication in 1791, Declaration of the Rights of Man has been celebrated, criticized, maligned, suppressed, and co-opted, but in Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, Hitchens marvels at its forethought and revels in its contentiousness. Famous as a polemicist and provocative commentator, Hitchens is a political descendent of the great pamphleteer. In this engaging work he demonstrates how Thomas Paine’s book forms the philosophical cornerstone of the United States of America, and how “in a time when both rights and reason are under attack, the life and writing of Thomas Paine will always be part of the arsenal on which we shall need to depend.” Enlivened by Hitchens’s extraordinary prose, this “elegant and useful primer . . . ought still to engage us all” (The Guardian).
 
“Paine, as Hitchens notes in this lucid and fast-moving appreciation, has no proper memorial anywhere; this slender book makes a good start.” —Kirkus Reviews
The seminal, uncollected essays—lauded as “dazzling” (The New York Times Book Review)—by the late Christopher Hitchens, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller God Is Not Great, showcase the notorious contrarian’s genius for rhetoric and his sharp rebukes to tyrants and the ill-informed everywhere.

For more than forty years, Christopher Hitchens delivered essays to numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic that were astonishingly wide-ranging and provocative. His death in December 2011 from esophageal cancer prematurely silenced a voice that was among the most admired of contemporary voices—writers, readers, pundits and critics the world over mourned his loss.

At the time of his death, Hitchens left nearly 250,000 words of essays not yet published in book form. “Another great book of essays from a writer who we wish were still alive to produce more copy” (National Review), And Yet… ranges from the literary to the political and is a banquet of entertaining and instructive delights, including essays on Orwell, Lermontov, Chesterton, Fleming, Naipaul, Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk, and Dickens, among others, as well as his laugh-out-loud self-mocking “makeover.” The range and quality of Hitchens’s essays transcend the particular occasions for which they were originally written, yielding “a bounty of famous scalps, thunder-blasted targets, and a few love letters from the notorious provocateur-in-chief’s erudite and scathing assessments of American culture” (Vanity Fair). Often prescient, always pugnacious, formidably learned, Hitchens was a polemicist for the ages. With this posthumous volume, he remains, “America’s foremost rhetorical pugilist” (The Village Voice).
In 2007, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett filmed a landmark discussion about modern atheism. The video went viral. Now in print for the first time, the transcript of their conversation is illuminated by new essays from three of the original participants and an introduction by Stephen Fry.

At the dawn of the new atheist movement, the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen,” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett—sat down together over cocktails. What followed was a rigorous, pathbreaking, and enthralling exchange, which has been viewed millions of times since it was first posted on YouTube. This is intellectual inquiry at its best: exhilarating, funny, and unpredictable, sincere and probing, reminding us just how varied and colorful the threads of modern atheism are.

Here is the transcript of that conversation, in print for the first time, augmented by material from the living participants: Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. These new essays, introduced by Stephen Fry, mark the evolution of their thinking and highlight particularly resonant aspects of this epic exchange. Each man contends with the most fundamental questions of human existence while challenging the others to articulate their own stance on God and religion, cultural criticism, spirituality, debate with people of faith, and the components of a truly ethical life.

Praise for The Four Horsemen

“This bracing exchange of ideas crackles with energy. It’s fascinating to watch four first-class minds explore a rugged intellectual terrain. . . . The text affords a different, more reflective way of processing the truly vital exchange of ideas. . . . I commend the book to those seeking an honest reckoning with their religion—and those curious about how the world looks from a rigorously naturalistic and atheistic point of view.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The full, electrifying transcript of the one and only conversation between the quartet of luminaries dubbed the ‘four horsemen’ of the New Atheism, which took place in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Among the vast range of ideas and questions they discuss: Is it ever possible to win a war of ideas? Is spirituality the preserve of the religious? And, are there any truths you would rather not know?”—The Bookseller (UK) (starred review)
Mortalidad es la historia ejemplar de la resistencia de un hombre a retroceder al enfrentarse a lo desconocido, así como una penetrante mirada a la condición humana.

El 8 de junio de 2010, durante la gira de promoción de su libro de memorias, Hitch-22, un insoportable dolor en el pecho y el tórax dejó postrado a Christopher Hitchens en su habitación de hotel en Nueva York. Como escribiría más tarde en una de sus premiadas columnas en Vanity Fair, se vio deportado de repente «del país de los sanos al otro lado de la dura frontera que rodea la tierra de la enfermedad». A lo largo de los siguientes dieciocho meses, hasta su muerte en Houston el 15 de diciembre de 2011, siguió escribiendo con la misma frecuencia y brillantez que siempre, asombrando a sus lectores con su capacidad de trabajo en las peores condiciones.

Durante su enfermedad, un cáncer de esófago, Hitchens rechazó insistente y gallardamente el consuelo de la religión, y prefirió enfrentarse a la muerte mirándola de frente. En este emocionante relato de esos meses, Hitchens describe los tormentos de la enfermedad, discute sus tabúes y analiza cómo transforma la experiencia humana y cambia la relación del enfermo con el mundo que le rodea. Intenso y poderoso, atravesado de su característica inteligencia, el testamento de Hitchens es una obra literaria valiente y lúcida, una afirmación de la dignidad y el valor del ser humano.

«En mis tiempos, me he despertado más de una vez sintiendo que me moría. Pero nada me había preparado para la mañana de junio en la que, al recobrar la conciencia, me sentí como si de verdad estuviera encadenado a mi propio cadáver. Toda la cavidad de mi pecho y mi tórax parecía haberse vaciado y después llenado con cemento de secado lento. Me oía respirar débilmente, pero no podía inflar los pulmones. Mi corazón latía demasiado o demasiado poco. Cualquier movimiento, por pequeño que fuera, requería premeditación y planificación. Me exigió un esfuerzo extenuante cruzar la habitación de mi hotel de Nueva York y llamar a los servicios de urgencias. Llegaron con gran rapidez y se comportaron con inmensa cortesía y profesionalidad. Tuve tiempo de preguntarme para qué necesitaban tantas botas y cascos y tanto pesado equipamiento de apoyo, pero ahora que visualizo la escena retrospectivamente la veo como una deportación muy amable y firme, que me llevó desde el país de los sanos a la frontera inhóspita del territorio de la enfermedad. En unas horas, tras realizar una buena cantidad de trabajo en mi corazón y mis pulmones, los médicos de ese triste puesto fronterizo me habían enseñado unas cuantas postales del interior, y me habían dicho que mi siguiente e inmediata parada tendría que ser con un oncólogo. Alguna clase de sombra se proyectaba en los negativos.»
Christopher Hitchens

On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.
Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
MORTALITY is the exemplary story of one man's refusal to cower in the face of the unknown, as well as a searching look at the human predicament. Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Hitchens's testament is a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.
In 2007, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett filmed a landmark discussion about modern atheism. The video went viral. Now in print for the first time, the transcript of their conversation is illuminated by new essays from three of the original participants and an introduction by Stephen Fry.

At the dawn of the new atheist movement, the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen,” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett—sat down together over cocktails. What followed was a rigorous, pathbreaking, and enthralling exchange, which has been viewed millions of times since it was first posted on YouTube. This is intellectual inquiry at its best: exhilarating, funny, and unpredictable, sincere and probing, reminding us just how varied and colorful the threads of modern atheism are.

Here is the transcript of that conversation, in print for the first time, augmented by material from the living participants: Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. These new essays, introduced by Stephen Fry, mark the evolution of their thinking and highlight particularly resonant aspects of this epic exchange. Each man contends with the most fundamental questions of human existence while challenging the others to articulate their own stance on God and religion, cultural criticism, spirituality, debate with people of faith, and the components of a truly ethical life.

Read by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Stephen Fry.

Advance praise for The Four Horsemen

“The full, electrifying transcript of the one and only conversation between the quartet of luminaries dubbed the ‘four horsemen’ of the New Atheism, which took place in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Among the vast range of ideas and questions they discuss: Is it ever possible to win a war of ideas? Is spirituality the preserve of the religious? And, are there any truths you would rather not know?”—The Bookseller (UK) (starred review)

“If thinking were a sport, these four would be national superstars—and reading The Four Horsemen feels like having a front-row seat at the all-star game. This is more than a book about atheism and religion—it’s a lesson in how to use our intellect to cut through the haze of delusion and misconception inherent in any human society.”—Tim Urban, writer of Wait But Why?
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