How will Christopher Hitchens be Remembered?

“Will Christopher Hitchens (pictured here) be remembered as a great writer or as a great orator and intellectual entertainer? In his final interview, conducted with Richard Dawkins and published in the Christmas issue of the New Statesman, Christopher Hitchens said that the one consistency for him in his long, four-decade career as a writer was his being against the totalitarian, on the left and on the right.

“‘The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy – the one that’s absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes.’ And the ultimate totalitarian was God, against whom (or the notion of whom) he was raging until the end.”

Source: Jason Cowley in The Daily Beast


In his little memoir about writing Doktor Faustus, Thomas Mann raised the question en passant whether Nietzsche’s passionate atheism was an attack on Christianity from the outside or from the inside. He thought it was from the inside.

Assuming that the same is true of Christopher Hitchens – a view entirely consistent with the tone of Jason Cowley’s tribute – the question arises who, if not professed atheists, are the truly radical enemies of religion?

The answer is those who have no passionate convictions about anything and those to whom religion is a matter of complete indifference.


3 responses to “How will Christopher Hitchens be Remembered?

  1. Robert Ruderman

    For me. Mr. Hitchens will always be remembered as a staunch advocate of the invasion of Iraq, probably the greatest American foreign policy in our history.

  2. “probably the greatest American foreign policy [is there a word missing here? “blunder” comes to mind, or “obscenity”] in our history”

  3. Robert Ruderman

    Sorry, of course the missing word is “blunder” or something more catastrophic. Thank you for the correction.