Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens

Overview
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born 13 April 1949) is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

, World Affairs
World Affairs (journal)
World Affairs is a bimonthly magazine covering international relations. It is the official journal of the American Peace Society. The magazine has been published since 1837 and was re-launched in January 2008 as a new publication. Each issue contains articles offering diverse perspectives on global...

, The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

, Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry is a bi-monthly journal of secular humanist opinion and commentary published by the Council for Secular Humanism, which is part of the Center for Inquiry. Philosopher Paul Kurtz is the editor-in-chief and Thomas W. Flynn the editor. Feature articles cover a wide range of topics from a...

, and became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

 in September 2008. He is a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits and in 2005 was voted the world's fifth top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll.

Hitchens is known for his admiration of George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

, Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

, and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and for his excoriating critiques of, among others, Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

, Bill
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and Hillary Clinton, and Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

.
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Quotations

A good liar must have a good memory. Henry Kissinger|Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.

The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2002)

Now just wait a minute, a second ago you mentioned character assassination. Be careful that your character doesn't commit suicide in front of everyone in this room!

Debate with Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, 92nd Street Y (2008)
Encyclopedia
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born 13 April 1949) is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

, World Affairs
World Affairs (journal)
World Affairs is a bimonthly magazine covering international relations. It is the official journal of the American Peace Society. The magazine has been published since 1837 and was re-launched in January 2008 as a new publication. Each issue contains articles offering diverse perspectives on global...

, The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

, Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry
Free Inquiry is a bi-monthly journal of secular humanist opinion and commentary published by the Council for Secular Humanism, which is part of the Center for Inquiry. Philosopher Paul Kurtz is the editor-in-chief and Thomas W. Flynn the editor. Feature articles cover a wide range of topics from a...

, and became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

 in September 2008. He is a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits and in 2005 was voted the world's fifth top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll.

Hitchens is known for his admiration of George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

, Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

, and Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and for his excoriating critiques of, among others, Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa , born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu , was a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950...

, Bill
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and Hillary Clinton, and Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

. His confrontational style of debate has made him both a lauded and controversial
Controversy
Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of opinion. The word was coined from the Latin controversia, as a composite of controversus – "turned in an opposite direction," from contra – "against" – and vertere – to turn, or versus , hence, "to turn...

 figure. As a political observer, polemicist and self-defined radical
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

, he rose to prominence as a fixture of the left-wing publications in his native Britain and in the United States. His departure from the established political left began in 1989 after what he called the "tepid reaction" of the Western left following Ayatollah Khomeini's issue of a fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie. The 11 September 2001 attacks strengthened his internationalist
Internationalism (politics)
Internationalism is a political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all...

 embrace of an interventionist
Interventionism (politics)
Interventionism is a term for a policy of non-defensive activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy or society...

 foreign policy, and his vociferous criticism of what he called "fascism with an Islamic face
Islamofascism
The term Islamofascism is a neologism which draws an analogy between the ideological characteristics of specific Islamist movements from the turn of the 21st century on, and a broad range of European fascist movements of the early 20th century, neofascist movements, or totalitarianism.-Origins of...

." His numerous editorials in support of the Iraq War caused some to label him a neoconservative
Neoconservatism
Neoconservatism in the United States is a branch of American conservatism. Since 2001, neoconservatism has been associated with democracy promotion, that is with assisting movements for democracy, in some cases by economic sanctions or military action....

, although Hitchens insists he is not "a conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 of any kind."

Identified as a champion of the "New Atheism
New Atheism
New Atheism is the name given to a movement among some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises." New atheists argue that recent...

" movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

, Hitchens describes himself as an antitheist
Antitheism
Antitheism is active opposition to theism. The etymological roots of the word are the Greek 'anti-' and 'theismos'...

 and a believer in the philosophical values of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

. Hitchens says that a person "could be an atheist and wish that belief in god were correct," but that "an antitheist, a term I’m trying to get into circulation, is someone who is relieved that there’s no evidence for such an assertion." He argues that the concept of god or a supreme being is a totalitarian
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. He wrote at length on atheism and the nature of religion in his 2007 book God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything is a book by author and journalist Christopher Hitchens criticising religion. It was published in the United Kingdom as God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion....

.

Though Hitchens retained his British citizenship
British nationality law
British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom that concerns citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex because of the United Kingdom's former status as an imperial power.-History:...

, he became a United States citizen
Citizenship in the United States
Citizenship in the United States is a status given to individuals that entails specific rights, duties, privileges, and benefits between the United States and the individual...

 on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third President of the United States....

 on 13 April 2007, his 58th birthday. His memoir, Hitch-22, was published in June 2010. Touring for the book was cut short later the same month so that he could begin treatment for newly diagnosed oesophageal cancer.

Early life and education


His mother, Yvonne Jean (née Hickman), and father, Eric Ernest Hitchens (1909–1987), met in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 while both were serving in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 during World War II. Yvonne was at the time a "Wren" (a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service
Women's Royal Naval Service
The Women's Royal Naval Service was the women's branch of the Royal Navy.Members included cooks, clerks, wireless telegraphists, radar plotters, weapons analysts, range assessors, electricians and air mechanics...

), and Eric a "purse-lipped and silent" commander, whose ship HMS Jamaica
HMS Jamaica (C44)
HMS Jamaica, a Crown Colony-class cruiser of the Royal Navy, was named after the island of Jamaica, which was a British possession when she was built in the late 1930s. The light cruiser spent almost her entire wartime career on Arctic convoy duties, except for a deployment south for the landings...

 helped sink Nazi Germany's battleship Scharnhorst
German battleship Scharnhorst
Scharnhorst was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of the German Kriegsmarine. She was the lead ship of her class, which included one other ship, Gneisenau. The ship was built at the Kriegsmarinewerft dockyard in Wilhelmshaven; she was laid down on 15...

in the Battle of North Cape
Battle of North Cape
The Battle of the North Cape was a Second World War naval battle which occurred on 26 December 1943, as part of the Arctic Campaign. The German battlecruiser , on an operation to attack Arctic Convoys of war materiel from the Western Allies to the USSR, was brought to battle and sunk by superior...

. The father's naval career required the family to move and reside in bases throughout Britain and her dependencies, including in Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, where Christopher's brother Peter
Peter Hitchens
Peter Jonathan Hitchens is an award-winning British columnist and author, noted for his traditionalist conservative stance. He has published five books, including The Abolition of Britain, A Brief History of Crime, The Broken Compass and most recently The Rage Against God. Hitchens writes for...

 was born in Sliema
Sliema
Tas-Sliema is a city located on the northeast coast of Malta. It is a centre for shopping, restaurants and café life. Tas-Sliema is also a major commercial and residential area and houses several of Malta's most modern hotels. Tas-Sliema, which means 'peace, comfort', was once a quiet fishing...

 in 1951.

Because Yvonne argued that "if there is going to be an upper class in this country, then Christopher is going to be in it," he was educated at the independent Leys School
The Leys School
The Leys School is a co-educational Independent school, located in Cambridge, England, and is a day and boarding school for about 550 pupils aged between 11 and 18 years...

, in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, and then later at Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

. He was tutored there by Steven Lukes
Steven Lukes
Steven Michael Lukes is a political and social theorist. Currently he is a professor of politics and sociology at New York University...

, and read philosophy, politics, and economics
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Philosophy, politics, and economics is a popular interdisciplinary undergraduate/graduate degree which combines study from the three disciplines...

. Hitchens was "bowled over" in his adolescence by Richard Llewellyn
Richard Llewellyn
Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd , better known by his pen name Richard Llewellyn, was a Welsh novelist.Llewellyn Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd (8 December 1906 – 30 November 1983), better known by his pen name Richard Llewellyn, was a Welsh novelist.Llewellyn Richard Dafydd...

's How Green Was My Valley
How Green Was My Valley
How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn, telling the story through narration of the main character, of his Welsh family and the mining community in which they live. The author had claimed to have based the book on his own knowledge of the Gilfach Goch area, but this was proven...

, Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler CBE was a Hungarian author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria...

's Darkness at Noon
Darkness at Noon
Darkness at Noon is a novel by the Hungarian-born British novelist Arthur Koestler, first published in 1940...

,
Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. This is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his...

, R. H. Tawney
R. H. Tawney
Richard Henry Tawney was an English economic historian, social critic, Christian socialist, and an important proponent of adult education....

's critique on Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, and the works of George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

. In 1968, he took part in the TV quiz show University Challenge
University Challenge
University Challenge is a British quiz programme that has aired since 1962. The format is based on the American show College Bowl, which ran on NBC radio from 1953 to 1957, and on NBC television from 1959 to 1970....

.

Hitchens has written of his homosexual experiences when in boarding school in his memoir, Hitch-22. These experiences continued in his college years when he allegedly had relationships with two men who eventually became a part of the Thatcher government
Thatcher ministry
Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 4 May 1979 and 28 November 1990, during which time she led a Conservative government. She was the first woman to hold that office...

.

In the 1960s, Hitchens joined the political left, drawn by his anger over the Vietnam war
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, nuclear weapons, racism, and "oligarchy
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

", including that of "the unaccountable corporation". He would express affinity to the politically charged countercultural and protest movements of the 1960s and 70s
Counterculture of the 1960s
The counterculture of the 1960s refers to a cultural movement that mainly developed in the United States and spread throughout much of the western world between 1960 and 1973. The movement gained momentum during the U.S. government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam...

. However, he deplored the rife recreational drug use of the time, which he describes as hedonistic.

He joined the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 in 1965, but was expelled in 1967 along with the majority of the Labour students' organization
Labour Students
Labour Students is a student organisation affiliated to the British Labour Party.Membership comprises affiliated college and university clubs . Membership of Labour Students is through membership of a university or college Labour Club. Affiliation is open to any Labour Club generally supportive of...

, because of what Hitchens called "Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

's contemptible support for the war in Vietnam". Under the influence of Peter Sedgwick
Peter Sedgwick
Peter Sedgwick was a translator of Victor Serge, author of a number of books including PsychoPolitics and a revolutionary socialist activist.-Life:...

, translator of Russian revolutionary and Soviet dissident Victor Serge
Victor Serge
Victor Serge , born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich , was a Russian revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern as a journalist, editor and translator...

, Hitchens forged an ideological interest in Trotskyist
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 and anti-Stalinist
Anti-Stalinist left
The anti-Stalinist left is an element of left-wing politics that is critical of Joseph Stalin's policies and the political system that developed in the Soviet Union under his rule...

 socialism. Shortly thereafter, he joined "a small but growing post-Trotskyist Luxemburgist
Luxemburgism
Luxemburgism is a specific revolutionary theory within Marxism, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg. According to M. K...

 sect". Throughout his student days, he was on many occasions arrested and assaulted in the various political protests and activities in which he participated.

Journalistic career (1970–1981)


Hitchens began working as a correspondent for the magazine International Socialism
International Socialism (journal)
International Socialism is a British-based quarterly magazine of socialist theory published by the Socialist Workers Party. It is currently edited by Alex Callinicos, who took over after the death of Chris Harman in November 2009....

, published by the International Socialists, the forerunners of today's British Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far left party in Britain founded by Tony Cliff. The SWP's student section has groups at a number of universities...

. This group was broadly Trotskyite, but differed from more orthodox Trotskyite groups in its refusal to defend communist states as "workers' states". Their slogan was "Neither Washington nor Moscow but International Socialism".

Hitchens left Oxford with a third class
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 degree. His first job was with the London Times Higher Education Supplement, where he served as social science editor. Hitchens admits that he hated the job and was later fired, recalling, "I sometimes think if I'd been any good at that job, I might still be doing it." In the 1970s, he went on to work for the New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

, where he became friends with, among others, the authors Martin Amis
Martin Amis
Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, the author of many novels including Money and London Fields . He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, but will step down at the end of the 2010/11 academic year...

 and Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan
Ian Russell McEwan CBE, FRSA, FRSL is a British novelist and screenwriter, and one of Britain's most highly regarded writers. In 2008, The Times named him among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945"....

. At the New Statesman, he acquired a reputation as a fierce left-winger, aggressively attacking targets such as Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and the Roman Catholic Church.

In November 1973, Hitchens' mother committed suicide in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 in a suicide pact
Suicide pact
A suicide pact is an agreed plan between two or more individuals to commit suicide. The plan may be to die together, or separately and closely timed. Suicide pacts are important concepts in the study of suicide, and have occurred throughout history, as well as in fiction.Suicide pacts are generally...

 with her lover, a former clergyman named Timothy Bryan. They overdosed
Drug overdose
The term drug overdose describes the ingestion or application of a drug or other substance in quantities greater than are recommended or generally practiced...

 on sleeping pills in adjoining hotel rooms, and Bryan slashed his wrists in the bathtub. Hitchens flew alone to Athens to recover his mother's body. Hitchens said he thought his mother was pressured into suicide by fear that her husband would learn of her infidelity, as their marriage was strained and unhappy. Both her children were then independent adults. While in Greece, Hitchens reported on the constitutional crisis of the military junta. It became his first leading article for the New Statesman.

American career (1981–present)


After emigrating to the United States in 1981, Hitchens wrote for The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

where he penned vociferous critiques of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, George H.W. Bush and American foreign policy in South
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and Central America. He became a Contributing Editor of Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (magazine)
Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

in 1992, writing ten columns a year. He left The Nation in 2002, after profoundly disagreeing with other contributors over the Iraq War. There is speculation that Hitchens was the inspiration for Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe, Jr. is a best-selling American author and journalist. He is one of the founders of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 1970s.-Early life and education:...

's character Peter Fallow in the 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bonfire of the Vanities is a 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe. The story is a drama about ambition, racism, social class, politics, and greed in 1980s New York City and centers on four main characters: WASP bond trader Sherman McCoy, Jewish assistant district attorney Larry Kramer, British expatriate...

, but others — including Hitchens — believe it to be Spy Magazines "Ironman Nightlife Decathlete" Anthony Haden-Guest
Anthony Haden-Guest
Anthony Haden-Guest is a British-American writer, reporter, cartoonist, art critic, poet, and socialite who lives in New York and London. He is a frequent contributor to major magazines and has had several books published.-Family:...

.

Hitchens spent part of his early career in journalism as a foreign correspondent in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. Through his work there he met his first wife Eleni Meleagrou, a Greek Cypriot, with whom he has two children, Alexander and Sophia. His son, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, born in 1984, has worked as a researcher for London think tanks the Policy Exchange
Policy Exchange
Policy Exchange is a British conservative think tank based in London. The Daily Telegraph has described it as "the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right"...

 and the Centre for Social Cohesion
Centre for Social Cohesion
The Centre for Social Cohesion is a British think tank headquartered in London and founded in 2007.-Foundation and constitution:CSC was established with funding of circa £275,000 from Civitas. The organisation is constituted as a company limited by guarantee, and was incorporated and registered...

. Hitchens has continued writing essay-style correspondence pieces from a variety of locales, including Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, Uganda and the Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

 region of Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. His work has taken him to over 60 countries.

In 1989 he met Carol Blue, a California writer, whom he later married and with whom he had a daughter, Antonia. In 1991 he received a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.

Prior to Hitchens' political shift, the American author and polemicist Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

 was apt to speak of Hitchens as his "Dauphin" or "heir". In 2010, Hitchens attacked Vidal in a Vanity Fair piece headlined "Vidal Loco," calling him a "crackpot" for his adoption of 9/11 conspiracy theories
9/11 conspiracy theories
9/11 conspiracy theories are theories that disagree with the widely accepted account that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated solely by al-Qaeda. These theories arose because of what proponents of the conspiracy theories believe to be inconsistencies in the official conclusions or some...

. Also, on the back of his book Hitch-22, among the praise from notable writers and figures, a Vidal quote endorsing Hitchens as his successor is crossed out with a red 'X' and a message saying "NO C.H."

His strong advocacy of the war in Iraq had gained Hitchens a wider readership, and in September 2005 he was named one of the "Top 100 Public Intellectuals
The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll
The Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll was conducted in November 2005 and June 2008 by Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy on the basis of responding readers' ballot...

" by Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

and Prospect
Prospect (magazine)
Prospect is a monthly British general interest magazine, specialising in politics and current affairs. Frequent topics include British, European, and US politics, social issues, art, literature, cinema, science, the media, history, philosophy, and psychology...

magazines. An online poll ranked the 100 intellectuals, but the magazines noted that the rankings of Hitchens (5), Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 (1), and Abdolkarim Soroush
Abdolkarim Soroush
Abdolkarim Soroush , born Hosein Haj Faraj Dabbagh , is an Iranian thinker, reformer, Rumi scholar and a former professor at the University of Tehran. He is arguably the most influential figure in religious intellectual movement in Iran. Professor Soroush is currently a visiting scholar at the...

 (15) were partly due to supporters publicising the vote.

In 2007 Hitchens' work for Vanity Fair won him the National Magazine Award
National Magazine Award
The National Magazine Awards are a series of US awards that honor excellence in the magazine industry. They are administered by the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City...

 in the category "Columns and Commentary".
He was a finalist once more in the same category in 2008 for some of his columns in Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

but lost out to Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi
Matthew C. "Matt" Taibbi is an American author and journalist reporting on politics, media, finance, and sports for Rolling Stone and Men's Journal, often in a polemical style. He has also edited and written for The eXile, the New York Press, and The Beast.- Early years :Taibbi grew up in the...

 of Rolling Stone.
He won this award in 2011

Hitchens also serves on the Advisory Board of Secular Coalition for America
Secular Coalition for America
The Secular Coalition for America is an advocacy group located in Washington D.C., representing atheists, humanists, freethinkers, agnostics, and other non-theistic people with a naturalistic worldview in American politics. Sean Faircloth, a five-term Maine state legislator, served as Executive...

 and offers advice to Coalition on the acceptance and inclusion of nontheism in American life.

Literature reviews


Hitchens writes a monthly essay on books in The Atlantic and contributes occasionally to other literary journals. One of his books, Unacknowledged Legislation: Writers in the Public Sphere, is a collection of such works, and Love, Poverty and War contains a section devoted to literary essays. In Why Orwell Matters, he defends Orwell's writings against modern critics as relevant today and progressive for his time. In the 2008 book Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left, many literary critiques are included of essays and other books of writers, such as David Horowitz
David Horowitz
David Joel Horowitz is an American conservative writer and policy advocate. Horowitz was raised by parents who were both members of the American Communist Party. Between 1956 and 1975, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left before rejecting Marxism completely...

 and Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

.

During a three-hour interview by Book TV, he named authors who have had influence on his views, including Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

, George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

, Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

, P G Wodehouse and Conor Cruise O'Brien
Conor Cruise O'Brien
Conor Cruise O'Brien often nicknamed "The Cruiser", was an Irish politician, writer, historian and academic. Although his opinion on the role of Britain in Northern Ireland changed over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, he always acknowledge values of, as he saw, the two irreconcilable traditions...

.

Political views



The San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
thumb|right|upright|The Chronicle Building following the [[1906 San Francisco earthquake|1906 earthquake]] and fireThe San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, but distributed throughout Northern and Central California,...

referred to Hitchens as a "gadfly with gusto". In 2009, Hitchens was listed by Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine as one of the "25 most influential liberals
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 in the U.S. media". However, the same article noted that he would "likely be aghast to find himself on this list", since it reduces his self-styled radicalism to mere liberalism.

Socialism


Hitchens became a socialist "largely [as] the outcome of a study of history, taking sides ... in the battles over industrialism and war and empire." In 2001, he told Rhys Southan of Reason
Reason (magazine)
Reason is a libertarian monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. The magazine has a circulation of around 60,000 and was named one of the 50 best magazines in 2003 and 2004 by the Chicago Tribune.- History :...

magazine that he could no longer say "I am a socialist." Socialists, he claimed, had ceased to offer a positive alternative to the capitalist system. Capitalism had become the more revolutionary economic system, and he welcomed globalisation as "innovative and internationalist
Internationalism (politics)
Internationalism is a political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all...

." He stated that he had a renewed interest in the freedom of the individual from the state, but that he still considered libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 "ahistorical" both on the world stage and in the work of creating a stable and functional society, adding that libertarians are "more worried about the over-mighty state than the unaccountable corporation" whereas "the present state of affairs ... combines the worst of bureaucracy with the worst of the insurance companies."

In 2006, in a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 debating the Jewish Tradition
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 with Martin Amis, Hitchens commented on his political philosophy by stating "I am no longer a socialist, but I still am a Marxist". In a June 2010 interview with the New York Times, he stated that: "I still think like a Marxist in many ways. I think the materialist conception of history is valid. I consider myself a very conservative Marxist". In 2009, in an article for The Atlantic entitled "The Revenge of Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

", Hitchens frames the late-2000s recession in terms of Marx's economic analysis and notes how much Marx admired the capitalist system he was calling for the end of, but says that Marx ultimately failed to grasp how revolutionary capitalist innovation was. Hitchens was an admirer of Argentine revolutionary
Cuban Revolution
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro...

 Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

, commenting that "[Che's] death meant a lot to me and countless like me at the time, he was a role model, albeit an impossible one for us bourgeois romantics
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 insofar as he went and did what revolutionaries were meant to do — fought and died for his beliefs." In a 1997 essay, however, he distanced himself somewhat from some of Che's actions.

He continues to regard both Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 as great men, and the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 as a necessary event in the modernization of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. In 2005, Hitchens praised Lenin's creation of "secular Russia" and his discreditation of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, describing it as "an absolute warren of backwardness and evil and superstition".

Iraq War and the war on terror


The years after the fatwa
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

issued against Salman Rushdie saw Hitchens looking for allies and friends. In the United States he became increasingly critical of what he called "excuse making" on the left. At the same time, he was attracted to the foreign policy ideas of some on the Republican-right that promoted pro-liberalism intervention, especially the neoconservative group that included Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

. Around this time, he befriended the Iraqi
Iraqi people
The Iraqi people or Mesopotamian people are natives or inhabitants of the country of Iraq, known since antiquity as Mesopotamia , with a large diaspora throughout the Arab World, Europe, the Americas, and...

 dissident and businessman Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi is an Iraqi politician. He was interim oil minister in Iraq in April-May 2005 and December-January 2006 and deputy prime minister from May 2005 until May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was...

. In 2004, Hitchens stated that neoconservative support for US intervention in Iraq convinced him that he was "on the same side as the neo-conservatives" when it came to contemporary foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 issues. He has also been known to refer to his association with "temporary neocon allies".

Following the 11 September attacks, Hitchens and Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 debated the nature of radical Islam
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 and the proper response to it. In October 2001, Hitchens wrote criticisms of Chomsky in The Nation. Chomsky responded and Hitchens issued a rebuttal to Chomsky to which Chomsky again responded. Approximately a year after the 11 September attacks and his exchanges with Chomsky, Hitchens left The Nation, claiming that its editors, readers and contributors considered John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

 a bigger threat than Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, and that they were making excuses on behalf of Islamist terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

; in the following months he wrote articles increasingly at odds with his colleagues. This highly charged exchange of letters involved Katha Pollitt
Katha Pollitt
Katha Pollitt is an American feminist poet, essayist and critic. She is the author of four essay collections and two books of poetry...

 and Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Claud Cockburn is an American political journalist. Cockburn was brought up in Ireland but has lived and worked in the United States since 1972. Together with Jeffrey St. Clair, he edits the political newsletter CounterPunch...

, as well as Hitchens and Chomsky.

Christopher Hitchens argued the case for the Iraq War in a 2003 collection of essays entitled A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq
A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq
A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation of Iraq is a collection of twenty two articles written by Christopher Hitchens for the online magazine Slate. The articles support the impending American led invasion of Iraq and were written between November 7, 2002 and April 18, 2003...

, and he has held numerous public debates on the topic with everyone from George Galloway
George Galloway
George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

 to Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter
William Scott Ritter, Jr. was an important United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and later a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Ritter stated that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass...

. Though he admits to the numerous failures of the war, and its high civilian casualties, he sticks to the position that deposing Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 was a long-overdue responsibility of the United States, after decades of poor policy, and that holding free elections in Iraq has been a success not to be scoffed at. He argues that a continued fight in Iraq against insurgents, whether they be former Saddam loyalists or Islamic extremists, is a fight worth having, and that those insurgents, not American forces, should be the ones taking the brunt of the blame for a slow reconstruction and high civilian casualties.

An updated summary of his views on Iraq and the war on terror can be found in his memoirs Hitch 22.

Criticism of George W. Bush


Prior to 11 September 2001, and the invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 and Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, Hitchens was highly critical of Bush's "non-interventionist
Non-interventionism
Nonintervention or non-interventionism is a foreign policy which holds that political rulers should avoid alliances with other nations, but still retain diplomacy, and avoid all wars not related to direct self-defense...

" foreign policy. He has also criticized Bush's support of intelligent design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

 and capital punishment
Capital punishment in Texas
Capital punishment has been used in the U.S. state of Texas and its predecessor entities since 1819.As of 16 November 2011, 1,228 individuals have been executed. Only Virginia has executed more individuals overall; however, since the death penalty was re-instituted in the United States in the...

.

Although Hitchens defends Bush’s post-11 September foreign policy, he has criticized the actions of U.S. troops in Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib
The city of Abu Ghraib in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq is located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000. The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib...

 and Haditha
Haditha
Haditha is a city in the western Iraqi Al Anbar Governorate, about 240 km northwest of Baghdad. It is a farming town situated on the Euphrates River at . Its population of around 100,000 people is predominantly Sunni Muslim Arabs...

, and the U.S. government's use of waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

, which he unhesitatingly deemed as torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 after being invited by Vanity Fair to voluntarily undergo it. In January 2006, Hitchens joined with four other individuals and four organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 and Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

, as plaintiffs in a lawsuit, ACLU v. NSA
ACLU v. NSA
American Civil Liberties Union et al., v. National Security Agency / Central et al., 493 F.3d 644 , is a case decided July 6, 2007, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the plaintiffs in the case did not have standing to bring the suit against the NSA, because...

, challenging Bush's warrantless domestic spying program
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

; the lawsuit was filed by the ACLU.

Presidential endorsements


Hitchens would elaborate on his political views and ideological shift in a discussion with Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman is an American English teacher, historian, journalist, author, media critic, blogger, and educator. His political weblog named Altercation was hosted by MSNBC.com from 2002 until 2006, moved to Media Matters for America until December 2008, and is now hosted by The...

 on Bloggingheads.tv
Bloggingheads.tv
Bloggingheads.tv is a political, world events, philosophy, and science video blog discussion site in which the participants take part in an active back and forth conversation via webcam which is then broadcast online to viewers...

. In this discussion Hitchens revealed himself as a supporter of Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, who was disenchanted with the candidacy of both George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

.
Hitchens made a brief return to The Nation just before the 2004 U.S. presidential election and wrote that he was "slightly" for Bush; shortly afterwards, Slate polled its staff on their positions on the candidates and mistakenly printed Hitchens' vote as pro-John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

. Hitchens shifted his opinion to "neutral", saying: "It's absurd for liberals to talk as if Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht
Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, and also Reichskristallnacht, Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and...

 is impending with Bush, and it's unwise and indecent for Republicans to equate Kerry with capitulation. There's no one to whom he can surrender, is there? I think that the nature of the jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

ist enemy will decide things in the end".

In the 2008 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, Hitchens in an article for Slate would state, "I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that "issue" I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity." He was critical of both main party candidates, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

. Hitchens would go on to support Obama, calling McCain "senile", and his choice of running mate Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.She was...

 "absurd", calling Palin a "pathological liar" and a "national disgrace".

Blumenthal–Hitchens feud


Hitchens and Carol Blue chose to submit an affidavit to the trial managers of the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 in the trial of impeachment of Bill Clinton
Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998, but acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of...

. In the affidavit, Blue and Hitchens swore that their then-friend, Sidney Blumenthal
Sidney Blumenthal
Sidney Blumenthal is a former aide to President of the United States Bill Clinton and a widely published American journalist, especially on American politics and foreign policy....

, had described Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky
Monica Samille Lewinsky is an American woman with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an "improper relationship" while she worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996...

 as a stalker. This allegation contradicted Blumenthal's own sworn deposition in the trial, and it resulted in a hostile exchange of opinion in the public sphere between Hitchens and Blumenthal. Following the publication of Blumenthal's The Clinton Wars, Hitchens wrote several pieces in which he accused Blumenthal of manipulating the facts.

Israel–Palestine


Hitchens has said of himself
A review of his autobiography, Hitch-22, in the Jewish Daily Forward, refers to Hitchens as "a prominent anti-Zionist" and says that he views Zionism "as an injustice against the Palestinians". Others have commented on his anti-Zionism as well suggesting that his memoir was "marred by the occasional eruption of [his] anti-Zionism" The Jewish Daily Forward quotes him saying of Israel's prospects for the future, “I have never been able to banish the queasy inner suspicion that Israel just did not look, or feel, either permanent or sustainable.”

In Slate
Slate
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. The result is a foliated rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering...

, Hitchens ponders the notion that, instead of curing anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 through the creation of a Jewish state, "Zionism has only replaced and repositioned" it, saying: "there are three groups of 6 million Jews. The first 6 million live in what the Zionist movement used to call Palestine. The second 6 million live in the United States. The third 6 million are distributed mainly among Russia, France, Britain, and Argentina. Only the first group lives daily in range of missiles that can be (and are) launched by people who hate Jews." Hitchens argues that instead of supporting Zionism, Jews should help "secularize and reform their own societies", believing that unless one is religious, "what the hell are you doing in the greater Jerusalem area in the first place?"

During a town hall function in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 with Martin Amis
Martin Amis
Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, the author of many novels including Money and London Fields . He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, but will step down at the end of the 2010/11 academic year...

, Hitchens stated that "one must not insult or degrade or humiliate people" and that he "would be opposed to this maltreatment of the Palestinians if it took place on a remote island with no geopolitical implications". Hitchens described Zionism as "an ethno-nationalist quasi-religious ideology" and stated his desire that if possible, he would "re-wind the tape [to] stop Hertzl from telling the initial demagogic lie (actually two lies) that a land without a people needs a people without a land
A land without a people for a people without a land
"A land without a people for a people without a land" is a widely-cited phrase associated with the reintroduction of a Jewish state in Palestine....

".

He continues to say that Zionism "nonetheless has founded a sort of democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 state which isn’t any worse in its practice than many others with equally dubious origins." He stated that settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 in order to achieve security for Israel is "doomed to fail in the worst possible way", and the cessation of this "appallingly racist and messianic delusion" would "confront the internal clerical and chauvinist forces which want to instate a theocracy for Jews". However, Hitchens contends that the "solution of withdrawal would not satisfy the jihadists" and wonders "What did they imagine would be the response of the followers of the Prophet
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

?" Hitchens bemoans the transference into religious terrorism of Arab secularism as a means of democratization: "the most depressing and wretched spectacle of the past decade, for all those who care about democracy and secularism, has been the degeneration of Palestinian Arab nationalism into the theocratic and thanatocratic hell of Hamas and Islamic Jihad". Hitchens maintains that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a "trivial squabble" that has become "so dangerous to all of us" because of "the faith-based element."

Hitchens collaborated on this issue with prominent Palestinian advocate Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

, in 1988 publishing Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question.

Domestic policy


Hitchens actively supports drug policy reform
Drug policy reform
Drug policy reform, also known as drug law reform, is a term used to describe proposed changes to the way most governments respond to the socio-cultural influence on perception of psychoactive substance use...

 and has called for the abolition of the "War on Drugs
War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

" which he described as an "authoritarian war" during a debate with William F. Buckley. He has supported the legalization of cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 for both medical and recreational purposes, citing it as a cure for glaucoma
Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye and progressing to complete blindness if untreated. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye...

 and as treatment for numerous side-effects induced by chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with an antineoplastic drug or with a combination of such drugs into a standardized treatment regimen....

, including severe nausea, describing the prohibition of the drug as "sadistic". On the issue of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

, Hitchens prioritizes in affirming that he believes a fetus should be regarded as an "unborn child", but opposes the overturning of Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion,...

and supports the development of medical abortion
Medical abortion
A medical abortion is a type of non-surgical abortion in which abortifacient pharmaceutical drugs are used to induce abortion. An oral preparation for medical abortion is commonly referred to as an abortion pill....

 techniques, and fundamentally believes in access to contraceptives and reproductive rights
Reproductive rights
Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:...

 as "the only thing that is known to cure poverty", and in order to prevent surgical abortion altogether.

Other


Other issues Hitchens has written on include his support for the reunification of Ireland
United Ireland
A united Ireland is the term used to refer to the idea of a sovereign state which covers all of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland. The island of Ireland includes the territory of two independent sovereign states: the Republic of Ireland, which covers 26 counties of the island, and the...

, abolition of the British monarchy
Republicanism in the United Kingdom
Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the movement which seeks to remove the British monarchy and replace it with a republic that has a non-hereditary head of state...

, and his condemnation of the war crimes of Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

 and Franjo Tuđman in Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, and the Bosnian War
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

.

Specific individuals



Over the years, Hitchens has become famous for his scathing critiques of public figures. Three figures — Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and Mother Teresa — were the targets of three separate full length texts, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton, The Trial of Henry Kissinger
The Trial of Henry Kissinger
The Trial of Henry Kissinger is Christopher Hitchens' examination of the alleged war crimes of Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State for President Nixon and President Ford...

, and The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
The Missionary Position (book)
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice is a book by Christopher Hitchens about Mother Teresa's life and work. The book criticizes Teresa as a political opportunist who adopted the guise of a saint in order to raise money and spread an extreme religious ideology...

. Hitchens has also written book-length biographical essays about Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 (Thomas Jefferson: Author of America
Thomas Jefferson: Author of America
Thomas Jefferson: Author of America is a short biography of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence , by author, journalist and literary critic Christopher Hitchens....

), George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 (Why Orwell Matters
Why Orwell Matters
Why Orwell Matters, released in the UK as Orwell's Victory, is a book-length biographical essay by Christopher Hitchens. In it, the author relates George Orwell's thoughts on and actions in relation to: the British Empire; the British left; the British right; the United States; English...

), and Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

 (Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man": A Biography).

However, the majority of Hitchens's critiques take the form of short opinion pieces, some of the more notable being his critiques of: Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. was an evangelical fundamentalist Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and a conservative commentator from the United States. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia...

, George Galloway
George Galloway
George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

, Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO is an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.After appearing in...

, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

, Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes is an American historian, writer, and political commentator. He is the founder and director of the Middle East Forum and its Campus Watch project, and editor of its Middle East Quarterly journal...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, Jesse Helms
Jesse Helms
Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr. was a five-term Republican United States Senator from North Carolina who served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1995 to 2001...

, and Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President...

.

Religion




Hitchens often speaks out against the Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

, or what he calls "the three great monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

s" (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). He said: "The real axis of evil is Christianity, Judaism, and Islam". In his book, God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything is a book by author and journalist Christopher Hitchens criticising religion. It was published in the United Kingdom as God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion....

, Hitchens expanded his criticism to include all religions, including those rarely criticized by Western secularists such as Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and neo-paganism. His book had mixed reactions, from praise in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

for his "logical flourishes and conundrums" to accusations of "intellectual and moral shabbiness" in The Financial Times. God Is Not Great was nominated for a National Book Award
National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

 on 10 October 2007.

Hitchens contends that organized religion is "the main source of hatred in the world", "[v]iolent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children", and that accordingly it "ought to have a great deal on its conscience". In God Is Not Great, Hitchens contends that:

above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of mankind is man and woman [referencing Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

]. This Enlightenment will not need to depend, like its predecessors, on the heroic breakthroughs of a few gifted and exceptionally courageous people. It is within the compass of the average person. The study of literature and poetry, both for its own sake and for the eternal ethical questions with which it deals, can now easily depose the scrutiny of sacred texts that have been found to be corrupt and confected. The pursuit of unfettered scientific inquiry, and the availability of new findings to masses of people by electronic means, will revolutionize our concepts of research and development. Very importantly, the divorce between the sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse. And all this and more is, for the first time in our history, within the reach if not the grasp of everyone.


His book made him one of the four major advocates of the "new atheism
New Atheism
New Atheism is the name given to a movement among some early-21st-century atheist writers who have advocated the view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises." New atheists argue that recent...

", and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society
National Secular Society
The National Secular Society is a British campaigning organisation that promotes secularism and the separation of church and state. It holds that no-one should gain advantage or disadvantage because of their religion or lack of religion. It was founded by Charles Bradlaugh in 1866...

. Hitchens said he would accept an invitation from any religious leader who wished to debate with him. He also serves on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America
Secular Coalition for America
The Secular Coalition for America is an advocacy group located in Washington D.C., representing atheists, humanists, freethinkers, agnostics, and other non-theistic people with a naturalistic worldview in American politics. Sean Faircloth, a five-term Maine state legislator, served as Executive...

, a lobbying group for atheists and humanists in Washington, DC. In 2007, Hitchens began a series of written debates on the question "Is Christianity Good for the World?" with Christian theologian and pastor, Douglas Wilson
Douglas Wilson (theologian)
Douglas James Wilson is a conservative Reformed and evangelical theologian, pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, faculty member at New Saint Andrews College, and prolific author and speaker...

, published in Christianity Today
Christianity Today
Christianity Today is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in Carol Stream, Illinois. It is the flagship publication of its parent company Christianity Today International, claiming circulation figures of 140,000 and readership of 290,000...

magazine. This exchange eventually became a book by the same title in 2008. During their book tour to promote the book, film producer Darren Doane
Darren Doane
Darren Doane is a Christian filmmaker and music video director. In 2007, Darren formed a new commercial, music video and branded content production company called LEVEL4 with Executive Producer Josh Karchmer...

 sent a film crew to accompany them. Doane produced the film Collision
Collision (film)
Collision is a documentary film released on October 27, 2009 featuring a debate between prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson, Presbyterian pastor of Christ Church Moscow...

: "Is Christianity GOOD for the World?" which was released on 27 October 2009.

On 26 November 2010 Hitchens appeared in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada at the Munk Debates
Munk Debates
The Munk Debates are a biannual series of debates on major policy issues held in Toronto, Canada. They are run by the Aurea Foundation. A charitable foundation set up by Peter Munk, founder of Barrick Gold and his wife...

, where he debated religion with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, a Roman Catholic convert. Blair argued religion is a force for good, while Hitchens was against it. Preliminary results on the Munk website said 56 per cent of the votes backed the proposition (Hitchens' position) before hearing the debate, with 22 per cent against (Blair's position), and 21 per cent undecided, with the undecided voters leaning toward Hitchens, giving him a 68 per cent to 32 per cent victory over Blair, after the debate.

In February 2006, Hitchens helped organize a pro-Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 rally outside the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC in response to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

.

Hitchens has been accused by William A. Donohue
William A. Donohue
William Anthony "Bill" Donohue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, a position he has held since 1993.-Life and career:...

 of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Liberties
Catholic League (U.S.)
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, often shortened to the Catholic League, is an American Catholic anti-defamation and civil rights organization...

 of being particularly anti-Catholic. Hitchens responded, "when religion is attacked in this country [...] the Catholic Church comes in for a little more than its fair share". Hitchens has also been accused of anti-Catholic bigotry by others, including Brent Bozell, Tom Piatak in The American Conservative
The American Conservative
The American Conservative is a monthly U.S. opinion magazine published by Ron Unz. Its first editor was Scott McConnell, his successors being Kara Hopkins and the present incumbent, Daniel McCarthy....

, and UCLA Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge
Stephen Bainbridge
Stephen Bainbridge is the William D. Warren Professor of Law at UCLA, teaching courses on corporations and business law. Bainbridge graduated with an A.B. Western Maryland College, 1980; a Master of Science in Chemistry, University of Virginia, 1983; and a Juris Doctor from the University of...

. In an interview with Radar
Radar (magazine)
RadarOnline is an American online publication. It started as a magazine first printed in 2003 as a test issue, relaunched twice in 2005 and 2006, and ceased publication in 2008. The magazine published articles on entertainment, fashion, politics, and human interest...

in 2007, Hitchens said that if the Christian right
Christian right
Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

's agenda were implemented in the United States "It wouldn't last very long and would, I hope, lead to civil war, which they will lose, but for which it would be a great pleasure to take part." When Joe Scarborough
Joe Scarborough
Charles Joseph "Joe" Scarborough is an American cable news and talk radio host, lawyer, author, and former politician. He is currently the host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, and previously hosted Scarborough Country on the same channel...

 on 12 March 2004 asked Hitchens whether he was "consumed with hatred for conservative Catholics", Hitchens responded that he was not and that he just thinks that "all religious belief is sinister and infantile". Piatak claimed that "A straightforward description of all Hitchens’s anti-Catholic outbursts would fill every page in this magazine", noting particularly Hitchens' assertion that U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 Justice John Roberts
John Roberts
John Glover Roberts, Jr. is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the United States. He has served since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist...

 should not be confirmed because of his faith.

Hitchens was raised nominally Christian, and went to Christian boarding schools but from an early age declined to participate in communal prayers. Later in life, Hitchens discovered that he was of partially Jewish ancestry. According to Hitchens, when his brother Peter took his fiancée to meet their maternal grandmother, Dodo, who was then in her 90s, Dodo said, "She's Jewish, isn't she?" and then announced: "Well, I've got something to tell you. So are you." She said that her real surname was Levin, not Lynn, and that some of her ancestors had the family name Blumenthal, and were from Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. His great-great-grandfather was Nathan Blumenthal of Kempen, Prussia, who emigrated to Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

. In Hitch-22, Hitchens detailed his Jewish ancestry: his matrilineal great-great-grandmother had converted to Judaism
Conversion to Judaism
Conversion to Judaism is a formal act undertaken by a non-Jewish person who wishes to be recognised as a full member of the Jewish community. A Jewish conversion is both a religious act and an expression of association with the Jewish people...

 before marrying Nathan Blumenthal. According to Hitchens, in 1893, his maternal grandmother's parents were married in England “according to the rites of the German and Polish Jews. My mother’s mother, whose birth name was Dorothy Levin, was born three years later, in 1896.” Hitchens' maternal grandfather converted to Judaism before marrying Dorothy Levin.

In an article in the The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

on 14 April 2002, Hitchens stated that he could be considered Jewish because Jewish descent is matrilineal.

In February 2010 he was named to the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Freedom From Religion Foundation
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is an American freethought organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. Its purposes, as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the separation of church and state and to educate the public on matters relating to atheism, agnosticism and nontheism. The FFRF publishes...

's Honorary Board of distinguished achievers.

Personal life



Marriage and children


Hitchens married Eleni Meleagrou, a Greek Cypriot, in 1981. They have two children, Alexander and Sophia. In 1989 Hitchens left Meleagrou for Carol Blue, an American writer. They have one daughter, Antonia.

Relationship with younger brother


Hitchens' younger brother by two-and-a-half years, Peter Hitchens
Peter Hitchens
Peter Jonathan Hitchens is an award-winning British columnist and author, noted for his traditionalist conservative stance. He has published five books, including The Abolition of Britain, A Brief History of Crime, The Broken Compass and most recently The Rage Against God. Hitchens writes for...

, is a Christian and socially conservative
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

 journalist in London, although, like his brother, he had been a Trotskyite in the 1970s. The brothers had a protracted falling-out after Peter wrote that Christopher had once joked that he "didn't care if the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 watered its horses at Hendon
Hendon
Hendon is a London suburb situated northwest of Charing Cross.-History:Hendon was historically a civil parish in the county of Middlesex. The manor is described in Domesday , but the name, 'Hendun' meaning 'at the highest hill', is earlier...

" (a suburb of London). Christopher denied having said this and broke off contact with his brother. He then referred to his brother as "an idiot" in a letter to Commentary
Commentary (magazine)
Commentary is a monthly American magazine on politics, Judaism, social and cultural issues. It was founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945. By 1960 its editor was Norman Podhoretz, a liberal at the time who moved sharply to the right in the 1970s and 1980s becoming a strong voice for the...

, and the dispute spilled into other publications as well. Christopher eventually expressed a willingness to reconcile and to meet his new nephew; shortly thereafter the brothers gave several interviews together in which they said their personal disagreements had been resolved. They appeared together on 21 June 2007 edition of BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 current affairs discussion show Question Time
Question Time (TV series)
Question Time is a topical debate BBC television programme in the United Kingdom, based on Any Questions?. The show typically features politicians from at least the three major political parties as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience...

. The pair engaged in a formal televised debate for the first time on 3 April 2008, at Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University is a public liberal arts university located in Allendale, Michigan, United States. The university was established in 1960, and its main campus is situated on approximately west of Grand Rapids...

, and at the Pew Forum on October 12, 2010.

Smoking and drinking


A June 2006 profile on Hitchens by NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

 stated: "Hitchens is known for his love of cigarettes and alcohol — and his prodigious literary output." However, in early 2008 he gave up smoking
Smoking cessation
Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. This article focuses exclusively on cessation of tobacco smoking; however, the methods described may apply to cessation of smoking other substances that can be difficult to stop using due to the...

, undergoing an epiphany
Epiphany (feeling)
An epiphany is the sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something...

 in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

. His brother Peter later wrote of his surprise at this decision. It was while writing his memoir Hitch-22 that he resumed smoking cigarettes and continued until his cancer diagnosis. Hitchens admits to drinking heavily; in 2003 he wrote that his daily intake of alcohol was enough "to kill or stun the average mule", noting that many great writers "did some of their finest work when blotto, smashed, polluted, shitfaced, squiffy, whiffled, and three sheets to the wind."

Anti-war British politician George Galloway
George Galloway
George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

, on his way to testify in front of a United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 sub-committee investigating the scandals in the U.N. Oil for Food program, called Hitchens a "drink-sodden ex-Trotskyist popinjay", to which Hitchens quickly replied, "only some of which is true". Later, in a column for Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

 promoting his debate with Galloway which was to take place on 14 September 2005, he elaborated on his prior response: "He says that I am an ex-Trotskyist (true), a 'popinjay' (true enough, since the word's original Webster's
Webster's Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary refers to the line of dictionaries first developed by Noah Webster in the early 19th century, and also to numerous unrelated dictionaries that added Webster's name just to share his prestige. The term is a genericized trademark in the U.S.A...

 definition is a target for arrows and shots), and that I cannot hold a drink (here I must protest)."

Oliver Burkeman writes, "Since the parting of ways on Iraq [...] Hitchens claims to have detected a new, personalised nastiness in the attacks on him, especially over his fabled consumption of alcohol. He welcomes being attacked as a drinker 'because I always think it's a sign of victory when they move on to the ad hominem
Ad hominem
An ad hominem , short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it...

.' He drinks, he says, 'because it makes other people less boring. I have a great terror of being bored. But I can work with or without it. It takes quite a lot to get me to slur.'"

In the question and answer session following a speech Hitchens gave to the Commonwealth Club of California on 9 July 2009, one audience member asked what was Hitchens' favorite whisky. Hitchens replied that "the best blended scotch in the history of the world" is Johnnie Walker Black Label. He also playfully indicated that it was the favorite whisky of, among others, the Iraqi Baath Party
Baath Party
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba'ath is also spelled Ba'th or Baath and means...

, the Palestinian Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

, the Libyan dictatorship, and "large branches of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

". He concluded his answer by calling it the "breakfast of champions" and exhorted the audience to "accept no substitute".

In his 2010 memoir Hitch-22, Hitchens wrote: "There was a time when I could reckon to outperform all but the most hardened imbibers, but I now drink relatively carefully." He described his current drinking routine on working-days as follows: "At about half past midday, a decent slug of Mr. Walker's amber restorative
Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch Whisky owned by Diageo and originated in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky in the world, sold in almost every country with yearly sales of over 130 million bottles.-History:Originally known as Walker's...

, cut with Perrier
Perrier
Perrier is a brand of bottled mineral water made from a spring in Vergèze in the Gard département of France. The spring is naturally carbonated...

 water (an ideal delivery system) and no ice. At luncheon, perhaps half a bottle of red wine: not always more but never less. Then back to the desk, and ready to repeat the treatment at the evening meal. No 'after dinner drinks' — ​most especially nothing sweet and never, ever any brandy. 'Nightcaps' depend on how well the day went, but always the mixture as before. No mixing: no messing around with a gin here and a vodka there."

Reflecting on the lifestyle that supported his career as a writer he said:
"I always knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle... I decided to take it because it helped my concentration, it stopped me being bored – it stopped other people being boring. It would make me want to prolong the conversation and enhance the moment. If you ask: would I do it again? I would probably say yes. But I would have quit earlier hoping to get away with the whole thing. I decided all of life is a wager and I'm going to wager on this bit... In a strange way I don't regret it. It's just impossible for me to picture life without wine, and other things, fueling the company, keeping me reading, energising me. It worked for me. It really did."

Cancer treatment



In June 2010, Hitchens postponed his book tour for Hitch-22 to undergo treatment for oesophageal cancer. He announced that he is undergoing treatment in a Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (magazine)
Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

piece entitled "Topic of Cancer". Hitchens said that he recognises the long-term prognosis is far from positive, and that he would be a "very lucky person to live another five years". In November 2010, Hitchens cancelled a scheduled appearance in New York, where he was to debate religion writers David Hazony
David Hazony
David Hazony is an American-born Israeli writer and magazine editor.David Hazony has studied at Columbia University, received a B.A. and M.A...

 and Stephen Prothero
Stephen Prothero
Stephen Prothero is a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books on religion in America.He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs and on television on CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,...

 on the subject of the Ten Commandments. Earlier that year, he published a piece in Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (magazine)
Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

 on the subject, and is working on a book about the Ten Commandments as well.

In April 2011, Hitchens was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance at the American Atheist Convention, and instead sent a letter that stated, "Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death." He closed with "And don't keep the faith." The letter also dismissed the notion of a possible deathbed conversion, in which he claimed that "redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before." In June 2011, he spoke to a University of Waterloo audience via a home video link.

In October 2011, Hitchens made a public appearance at the Texas Freethought Convention in Houston, TX. Atheist Alliance of America was also a participant in the joint convention.

In November 2011 George Eaton wrote in the New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

:
The tragedy of Hitchens's illness is that it came at a time when he enjoyed a larger audience than ever. Of his tight circle of friends - Amis, Fenton, McEwan, Rushdie - Hitchens was the last to gain international renown, yet he is now read more widely than any of them. The great polemicist is certain to be remembered, but, as he is increasingly aware, perhaps not as he would like.

Film and television appearances


As referenced from the Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to movies, television shows, actors, production crew personnel, video games and fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. It is one of the most popular online entertainment destinations, with over 100 million...

, Hitchens Web or Charlie Rose.
Year Film
1984 Opinions: "Greece to their Rome"
1988 Frontiers
Frontiers (TV series)
Frontiers is an eight-part BBC television series, and accompanying book, that explored the boundaries between different countries in the world. Eight writers and journalists in a variety of countries investigated the economic, political, geographical and historical reasons that account for why...

1993 Everything You Need to Know
1994 Tracking Down Maggie: The Unofficial Biography of Margaret Thatcher
1994 Hell's Angel
Hell's Angel
Hell's Angel is a 1994 Channel 4 television documentary about Mother Teresa by Christopher Hitchens, a precursor to his book, The Missionary Position. The film claims that she urged the poor to accept their fate, while the rich are portrayed as being favored by God. Hitchens and Tariq Ali wrote...

1996 Where's Elvis This Week?
Where's Elvis This Week?
Where's Elvis This Week? was a short-lived, half-hour, weekly comedy television program hosted by Jon Stewart that aired on Sunday nights in the United Kingdom on BBC Two. It was filmed at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City and featured a set of panelists—two from the United Kingdom, and two...

1996–2010 Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose (talk show)
Charlie Rose is an American television interview show, with Charlie Rose as executive producer, executive editor, and host. The show is syndicated...

(13 episodes)
1998 Princess Diana: The Mourning After
1999–2002 Dennis Miller Live
Dennis Miller Live
Dennis Miller Live is a weekly talk show on HBO, hosted by comedian Dennis Miller. The show ran 215 episodes from 1994 to 2002, and received five Emmy awards, plus an additional 11 Emmy nominations...

(4 episodes)
2002 The Trials of Henry Kissinger
The Trials of Henry Kissinger
The Trials of Henry Kissinger , is a documentary film inspired by Christopher Hitchens' 2001 book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, examining the alleged war crimes of Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford.The film was directed by...

2003 Hidden in Plain Sight
2003–2009 Real Time with Bill Maher
Real Time with Bill Maher
Real Time with Bill Maher is a talk show that airs weekly on HBO, hosted by comedian and political satirist Bill Maher. Much like his previous show, Politically Incorrect on ABC , Real Time features a panel of guests that discuss current events in politics and the media...

(6 episodes)
2004 Mel Gibson: God's Lethal Weapon
2004–2006 Newsnight
Newsnight
Newsnight is a BBC Television current affairs programme noted for its in-depth analysis and often robust cross-examination of senior politicians. Jeremy Paxman has been its main presenter for over two decades....

(3 episodes)
2004–2010 The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

(4 episodes)
2005 Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (1 episode, s03e05)
2005 The Al Franken Show
The Al Franken Show
The Al Franken Show was the flagship talk show of the former talk radio network, Air America Radio. Hosted by Al Franken, it featured commentary and interviews arguing for left-wing positions on the issues of the day, and comically poking fun at the George W. Bush Administration. The show began as...

(1 episode)
2005 Confronting Iraq: Conflict and Hope
2005 Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
Heaven on Earth: the Rise and Fall of Socialism
Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism is a 3 hour PBS documentary film hosted by Ben Wattenberg and narrated by Henry Strozier...

2005–2008 Hardball with Chris Matthews
Hardball with Chris Matthews
Hardball with Chris Matthews is a talk show on MSNBC, broadcast weekdays at 5 and 7 PM hosted by Chris Matthews. It originally aired on now-defunct America's Talking and later CNBC. The current title was derived from a book Matthews wrote in 1988, Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who...

(3 episodes)
2006 American Zeitgeist
American Zeitgeist
American Zeitgeist is a 2006 documentary film by Rob McGann. It discusses the war on terror and religion. It was the winner to the best feature length documentary at the Houston International Film Festival.-Cast:Tariq AliPaul BermanRichard Bulliet...

2006 Blog Wars
Blog Wars
Blog Wars is a 2006 documentary film about the rise of political blogging and its influence on the 2006 midterm Connecticut senate election. Original musical score is composed by Samuel Sim....

2007 Manufacturing Dissent
Manufacturing Dissent
Manufacturing Dissent is a 2007 documentary that asserts that filmmaker Michael Moore has used misleading tactics, primarily using on-camera statements by interviewees with personal grievances against Moore as proof...

2007 Question Time
Question Time (TV series)
Question Time is a topical debate BBC television programme in the United Kingdom, based on Any Questions?. The show typically features politicians from at least the three major political parties as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience...

(1 episode)
2007 Your Mommy Kills Animals
2007 Personal Che
2007 Heckler
Heckler (film)
Heckler is a 2007 documentary film. After a brief examination of the means, methods, and motives of hecklers , the film segues into a longer examination of film and music critics, including their effect on performers...

2007 In Pot We Trust
2008 Discussions with Richard Dawkins: Episode 1: "The Four Horsemen"
2008 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a 2008 documentary film, directed by Nathan Frankowski and hosted by Ben Stein. The film contends that the mainstream science establishment suppresses academics who believe they see evidence of intelligent design in nature and who criticize evidence supporting...


2009 Holy Hell
2009 Presidency
2009 Collision
Collision (film)
Collision is a documentary film released on October 27, 2009 featuring a debate between prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson, Presbyterian pastor of Christ Church Moscow...

: "Is Christianity GOOD for the World?"
2010 Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune
Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune is a documentary film on the life and times of folk singer-songwriter Phil Ochs. The film, released theatrically in January 2011, was written and directed by Kenneth Bowser...


External links


in 2010

Articles by Hitchens
  • Contributor page at Vanity Fair
    Vanity Fair (magazine)
    Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

  • Column archive at The Atlantic
  • Christopher Hitchens Blog The Mirror (British tabloid)
  • Article archive at The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

  • Hitchens articles at Slate
    Slate (magazine)
    Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

  • Article archive at Journalisted