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Hitch-22: A Memoir [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Christopher Hitchens
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Kurzbeschreibung

3. Juni 2011
Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature. He is a fervent atheist, raised as a Christian, by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide.

In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.

This is the story of his life, lived large.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
  • Verlag: Twelve; Auflage: Reprint (3. Juni 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 044654034X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446540346
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 5,2 x 7,8 x 1,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 34.620 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

Mehr über den Autor

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"As contemptuous, digressive, righteous, and riotously funny as the rest of the author's incessant output, this memoir is an effective coming-of-age story, regardless of what one may think of the resulting adult . . . Hitchens paints a credible and even affecting self-portrait."—The New Yorker

"In this frank, often wickedly funny account, Hitchens traces his evolution as a fiercely independent thinker and enemy of people who are convinced of their absolute certainty ... Revealing and riveting."—Kirkus Review

"The most erudite and astute political and social commentator of this era has written a memoir that not only give the reader a view of the man behind the words but also a perceptive look at society over the past decades. Hitchens fascinates with the life he has lived and observed and, as always, relates his story with precision and consideration."—Bill Cusamano, Nicola's Books

"Hitch is as Hitch does, and he's not apologizing to anyone."—Drew Toal, Time Out New York

"[H]e has so many great quotes and quotables . . . that one cannot read his latest masterpiece for having to stop, find a pencil and page stickers in order to underline and signify his many remarks, each greater than the other."—Liz Smith, wowOwow.com

"Few writers can match his cerebral pyrotechnics. Fewer still can emulate his punch as an intellectual character assassin. It is hard not to admire the sheer virtuosity of his prose ... With Hitchens one simply goes along for the ride. The destination hardly matters."—Ed Luce, The Financial Times

"[D]electable, sassy fun . . . this book is intelligent and humane . . . Hitch-22 reminded me why I love the author of The Missionary Position, his fervent slapping of Mother Teresa, and his book about the war crimes of Henry Kissinger. Hitchens takes no prisoners, not even himself."—Mark Oppenheimer, The New Haven Review

"After reading Hitch-22, the only thing you can be sure of is that this flawed knight will not breathe contentedly unless he has a dragon to slay."—Ariel Gonzales, The Miami Herald

"... a fat and juicy memoir of a fat and juicy life."—Diana McLellan, The Washington Post

" ... a complex portrait of a public intellectual."—Alexandra Alter, The Wall Street Journal

"[An] extraordinary memoir by a truly astonishing figure of our literary age . . . This is among the most awaited books of the season, and while it confounds, misleads, exasperates and, on occasion, even bores, it also entertains to an almost shocking degree and illuminates almost as much. I laughed out loud - raucously and continuously - reading this book."—Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

"Hitch-22 is among the loveliest paeans to the dearness of one's friends . . . I've ever read. The business and pleasure sides of Mr. Hitchens's personality can make him seem, whether you agree with him or not, among the most purely alive people on the planet."—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"If you find yourself in the midst of Christopher Hitchens's memoir and he hasn't said something to anger, inspire, or at least annoy you, wait a few pages. More the account of an intellectual and political odyssey than a conventional autobiography, HITCH-22 chronicles the critic-journalist-activist's often storm-tossed journey across the ideological spectrum. What makes it a most rewarding trip is that he's a traveling companion with a vigorous mind and a gift for sparkling prose."—www.bookreporter.com

"Whether he's dodging bullets in Sarajevo, dissing Bill Clinton, (with whom he says he shared a girlfriend at Oxford) or explaining his switch from leftist to Iraq war supporter, this foreign correspondent, pundit, and bon vivant makes for an enlightening companion. Give HITCH 22 an 11 out of 10 for smarts, then double it for entertainment value."—Kyle Smith, People Magazine

"a fascinating, absorbing book: the rare contemporary memoir that is the record of a life of true accomplishment and authentic adventure . . . Htitchens is bravely, or at least defiantly, candid about qualities his detractors might use to undermine or perhaps explain his love of war and his rabid hatred for religious people"—Lee Seigel, The New York Observer

"[Hitchens] indulges in both an endearing critical self-examniation and an action-packed adventure story."—The New Haven Advocate

"Christopher Hitchens may long to be a cogent man of reason, and he can certainly be a pitiless adversary. But he knows there are two sides to any decent match, and it's touching, in HITCH-22, to see how often he'll race to the other side of the court to return his own serve. Which may explain why, though he tries to be difficult, he's so hard to dislike."—The New York Times Book Review

"At its heart, Hitch-22 is a celebration of literature and a denunciation of idleness. "Hitchens is inarguably a man of action: He pursues history as it happens . . . eloquent, enlightening, and entertaining."—Gregg LaGambina, The Onion's AV Club

Hitchens expresses ambivalence about the term "public intellectual" but, as "Hitch-22" demonstrates, it suits him. The disputatious bon vivant is alive on the page, behind the speaker's podium and in "unglamorous houses on off-peak cable TV."—The Sunday Oregonian

Christopher Hitchens' memoir has the same nerve and frankness that first made me admire him . . . His perspective on becoming an American citizen is refreshing at a time when it's easy to become jaded about our role in the world.—Mark Rahner, The Seattle Times

"With the possible exception of Tom Wolfe and Maureen Dowd's, Christopher Hitchens' marvelous byline is the most archly kinetic in current-day American letters. Every article, review and essay has the romantic whiff of a durable vintage. You might disagree with him. You might question his motives. But not for a second will you ever be bored . . . goes on to call the memoir cunning, illuminating . . . Being able to shape-change, shed skins, sit on the hillside overlooking suburbia like a coyote, Hitchens represents a dying breed of public intellectual whose voice matters precisely because it can't be easily pigeonholed or ignored."—Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Times

"One of the most engaging, exciting books I've read in years . . . The writing is lovely - introduction aside, which threatens early onset pretentia - Hitchens' cold-eyed evaluation of his younger self feels honest. To be sure, "Hitch 22'' is often a chronicle of Hitchens' best efforts. He teaches us that "cheap booze is false economy'' and reveals a youth engaged in boarding school homosexuality. But thankfully, Hitchens' efforts, friends, and close calls are rendered wonderfully in this strange book. Ultimately, "Hitch 22'' is about cultivating and maintaining one's intellectual integrity. As Hitchens writes, "[I]t is always how people think that counts for much more than what they think.''. . . But memoir generates pleasure through voice and sensibility, not through comprehensiveness. Nobody ever said self-awareness must lead to self-revelation, and even if you don't like what Hitchens thinks, it's easy to admire how he thinks."—Michael Washbum, The Boston Globe

"When the colorful, prolific journalist shares a tender memory, he quickly converts it into a larger observation about politics, always for him the most crucial sphere of moral and intellectual life."—The New York Times Book Review

"Hitchens offers up surprising revelations about the methods behind his madness as one of the world's most beloved and often hated scribes . . . bold and brassy Hitchens characteristically treats himself as the subject he knows best."—The Philadelphia City Paper

"Reading Hitch-22, his fascinating memoir of a career in combat journalism (both literal and figurative), one gets a sense that those looking for that tragic moment when a reliable man of the left became a fellow traveler of the right are asking the wrong question. On the big political issues that have long animated him-Middle Eastern politics, the dangers of religious messianism-his views have been surprisingly constant."—Michael C. Moynihan, Reason Magazine

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christopher Hitchens is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School. He is the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Orwell, Mother Teresa, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and his #1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award nominee, God Is Not Great.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Erinnerungen eines Journalisten 5. März 2013
Von A.R.
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Christopher Hitchens gehört zu den wenigen Journalisten, der von vielen geschätzt wurden, und der deshalb mit vielen Pominenten ein freundschaftliches Verhältnis hatte. Er war ein außergewöhnlicher Zeitzeuge, der versuchte seine sozialistische Gesinnung mit seinem ungewöhnlichen Leben in Einklang zu bringen - und scheiterte! Seine Erinnrerungen sind ungewöhnlich in ihrer Präzision und kontrovers in der Aussage, aber immer interessant.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen All you wish for. 28. Oktober 2013
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Personal, hilarious and heartbreaking read, not just for fans of the Hitch. Also a world history lesson of the last four decades. Must-have.
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Christopher Hitchens known to many as "Hitch" born in 1949 in Portsmouth, England was a highly acclaimed author and journalist of untouchable intransigence. A relentless and intelligent critic of the corrupt systems and manipulating figures in politics, society, religion et cetera all over the world. Starting out as a leftist student at Oxford Balliol college in the late 1960s he soon became a brilliant writer, debater and masterly accuser of worldwide abuse of power, assumption of authority, despotic political leaders, opportunism and totalitarianism and later with most public recognition and impact of religion.

Hitchen`s trenchant criticism and confrontative style- as strong-worded and uncompromising as it was- always was factual and to the very heart of the matter. His analysis of political regimes or situations in different countries was precise and with profound insight- including North Korea and war zones in near and middle east- which he knew from own experience because he went there. So he knew exactley what to adress in his many essays and books.

He was polemicist and provocative in the most eloquent style- intelligent and of strong public impact. His numerous debates with many of the most popular religious spokesmen became famous for their revealing and demonstrating quality and belong to the most entertaining discussions in front of an audience.
Combatants in such debates regularly failed to keep up to his adroit logic of argument and precise rhetorical skills and most clerics and religious proponents simply did not have the enormous breadth of knowledge which he so splendidly displayed with ease and often striking humor.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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5.0 von 5 Sternen What an interesting life! 5. Oktober 2013
Format:Audio CD|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Hitchens' life led him not only through the interesting times in his own country of birth, but a lot of places in the whole world were history happened: Cuba, Czechoslowakia, Bosnia, The Middle East and so on. Now I can imagine what shaped this man's versatile points of view. Hitchens grew from a predictable 68er to a experienced traveller, whose opinions on recent as well as past issues are worth reading, even if oneself disagrees with him.

After reading this I respect journalists a lot more, and envy them for their experiences; especially those that work abroad.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable and Enlightening Memoir by a Complex Man 15. April 2010
Von A Central Illinoisian in Chicago - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
"Hitch 22" is a memoir, not an autobiography, by Christopher Hitchens, who seems to go out of his way to ensure that everyone in the world has at least one compelling reason to disagree with him. Those well familiar with Hitchens will know what I'm talking about, but for those that only know him from one of his guises, a little perspective.

Hitchens works as a book reviewer for "The Atlantic", a political and culture commentator for both "Slate" and "Vanity Fair", a "talking head" on too many news shows to mention, a "semi-professional atheist" ('God is not Great'), an all around activist and speaker for the causes he deems important, and I'm sure a half dozen other roles I'm not aware of.

I defy anyone to agree with every single one of the comments below:

- Margaret Thatcher is kind of sexy
- Communism is good
- Pre-Glasnost Russia was bad
- Gore Vidal is full of it
- God does not exist
- Henry Kissigner is best viewed as a Mass Murderer
- George H.W. Bush knew that Iraq would attack Kuwait well beforehand
- The USA was justified in attacking both Iraq and Afghanistan post 9-11
- Bertie and Wooster are hilarious
- Mother Teresa was a sadist
- The USA is a great country
- British Boarding Schools are twisted

Well, we can probably all agree on the last one, but see what I mean? He does indeed "contain volumes", and his views have shifted over time - to the right in many cases, as he admits.

His memoir does not "explain" who Hitchens is, nor does he intend to. What he succeeds in doing admirably and engagingly is to give his perspectives on the people he's known, and the experiences he's had, not necessarily in chronological order. I don't have enough background in contemporary English Literature to appreciate everything he's written about the authors he's known, but even there, one finds that the people one would think both stuffy and reserved were in their time a "bawdy" and lewd group of jokesters, fond of obscene word games, and experiences both Cerebral and Slummy.

What I found most enlightening about his memoir is his memories of boarding school. Many reviews and articles about Hitch 22 will focus on the Hitchens' statements about the high degree of homosexual activity that he says existed in the boarding schools he attended. His claims (which I have no logical reason to doubt) seem pretty stunning to me, a small town boy from the midwest, but what I find most interesting how his perspective on religion seems to have been shaped by his schools.

Most Americans "get religion" through their families, and in my experience, see God and Church as something personal, rather than public. Hitchens on the other hand experienced religion as something that forbade the sexual experiences that he says were common in his schools (an oppressor of feeling and emotion), the presence of the State (Church of England) and "one more obligation" in his curriculum (compulsory attendance). The "hitch" however, was that while Hitchens HAD to go to Church services, his teachers could not force the students to worship or kneel. It seems intriguing that Hitchens chose to "resist" religion by not kneeling, in emulation of an older boy that he admired.

Now, I could be completely off base about this, but it seems as though Hitchens' antipathy to religion, was first established not on a mature consideration of faith and reason, but as the only available tactic for resisting the ever-present authority of the school and teachers that many of his readers will never face. Resisting religion ~may~ have been either the wellspring of what became a history of resisting authority and defying convention wisdom, or the first indication of that character he already had in him.

I could be way off base, and probably am, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to read and enjoy Mr. Hitchens' memoir. He's the kind of person that I would enjoy listening to as he held court over a table, with Spirits and words aflow. I am sure I could not agree with everything he said, and as an experienced debater, he would skewer anything I could have to say in return, and perhaps not always in the kindest manner. Even so, I'd gladly have, and later relish the experience.

I don't think anyone has to completely "like" Christopher Hitchens, but I do think that he is worthy of everyone's respect, at least for some aspect. Hate his politics? Read his book reviews - they're delicious. Disagree with him on religion? Read his thoughts on human rights and freedom.

And then, read his memoir, to better understand and appreciate him. He's worth it.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating life 25. März 2010
Von CGScammell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
It's really quite fascinating that Christopher Hitchens had as normal a life as he had considering all the events he experienced early in life. He starts his memoir with the suicide-homicide of his mother and her lover in the first chapter, then continues on with his commander dad. His parents alone were quite a contrasting couple that only stayed together because divorce caried such a stigma. Then he experienced boarding schools where bullying was quite common and where boys experimented with their sexuality.

His gift of the English language and the accompanying wit were established early on. Hitchen writes as he speaks, with passion and drama that may turn some people, especially those with a weak understanding of advanced English grammar, off. His life unfolds as the post-war wars of England in the 1950s and 1960s, giving this memoir a good example of a personal history of the times.

What struck me is the style of his writing. He writes from a deeply psychological perspective, as if everyone or everything around him is not quite in his senses. He maintains a certain distance, an aloofness, from all the events, but perhaps that is from the jobs he has held over the years as fighter for oppressed African states. Other parts, like chapter "Chris or Christopher" (pages 93-109) read like a political thriller in his often colorful and eyebrow-raising verbiage. He didn't like Bill Clinton ("the habitual and professional liar") even in his Oxford days and he certainly had no respect for American politicians during the Vietnam war.

It really should come as no surprise that he is an atheist, a left-leaner (International Socialist as he calls himself) after the life he's had; his stories alone carry the explanation. But I don't blame him. Hitchen addresses the reader as "dear Reader" as if he knows we want to read about his life. And at times the events he writes about appear fabricated just for us "Dear readers."

I started this book not knowing a thing about Hitchens, but finished the book quite impressed. I may not agree with all his political thinking, but his life alone explains why he thinks the way he does.

This book is excessively long. For a quick summary of Hitchens the one chapter I can recommend is "Something of Myself" toward the end of the book. There he summarizes his philosophies but doesn't explain them in detail as in other chapters.

I gave this four instead of five stars for two reasons: chapters tend to go on and on. (Seriously, did he have to be so wordy?!) But perhaps as a Vanity Fair writer this is expected. The other reason is his sometimes aggressive distaste for certain people, and his blatant refusal to accept differing political believes. This book may be detested by right-wingers and conservatives; let them be forewarned.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Sophisticated Story Telling From One Of Vanity Fair's Best 1. April 2010
Von Crabigail Cassidy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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Decidedly an interesting read, though I am still wondering how I managed to get through this book in a single (and very long) evening.
Described as a memoir, this book covers a lot of territory. Journalist/writer Hitchens details his childhood, family, life in English boarding school, college years at Oxford, dalliances with socialism, political and religious views(though an affirmed atheist), career as a war correspondent and author, and encounters with the famous and infamous. Along the way, he diverges into his parents indifferent marriage, his mother's suicide, and the discovery of his mother's jewish lineage years after her death.
While I thought the book in its entirety was interesting, some sections appealed to me more than others. Hitchens had an early encounter with Bill Clinton and was convinced that Clinton was possibly an operative reporting on american students anti-war activities to the CIA while at Oxford. He also claimed that he was probably present when Clinton didn't 'inhale' marijuana. Another section delved into researching his jewish heritage. And then there was his take on the Iraq War. The book was loaded with observations and insites that were interesting and at times deadly serious. Whether I agreed with him or not, he presented interesting points of view that reflected his varied life experiences.
Initially, my impression of Hitchen's writing style seemed to be more essayist than memoirist. However, it quickly became apparent that this was his story regardless of references to history, literature, and momentary divergences (such as the purpose and usage of the acronym WASP). While his text might at times seem elevated to the average reader, it took little time for me to get used to it. Often quite humorous, he managed to keep my attention.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Not flat, it's written in the full 360; outstanding book; delivered far more than what it promised 7. Juni 2010
Von J. Al-hashimi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
With exquisite articulation and guts, Hitchens uses his well-examined life along with switchback roads to literature and history to create a story with himself as the protagonist. If you pay attention, Hitchen's words cut through conditioned emotional bogs with sturdy reason and titrated wordage. The use of so much of his private life is bold, although in that regard Hitchens comes across as Gen Y "who cares?" modern, rightly calculating that the time is already here for this. The group psychology described seems so archaic as to belong in a time capsule, yet it is captured within a lifetime. Plenty of old cultural scripts are personalized, such as the opinion against divorce, unfair obstacles to education and class separation; Hitchens wrote how he felt straightforwardly-enough in his worst circumstances, there being a number of worsts. One thing that struck me was how uncontemporary the past seems in tone; harsh good against harsh bad, and vice versa.

To his credit Hitchen made vivid his personal stories with candor and self-analysis; this isn't a flat memoir; it's written in the full 360 degrees. Hitchens is admirably fearless in these things. Previews didn't lead me to anticipate depth and scope of this work, nor its' astuteness and charm, nor the elaborate writing style. That said, the audiobook can be edgier. Parts of it are akin to being on a train tour through abandoned foreign towns, one after the other, with a rambly guide on the microphone. But, that's pretty much the way it would have to be when a densely historical book is done on audiotape. The sound of his voice is rich and easy to listen to and he keeps his upward lilting voice going for the whole time; his stamina amazes. (For book and author references I refer to the text.) If I had to choose between the text and the audiobook, I'd choose the audiobook as, at points, it breathes life into the interesting story of this man's life, become a WiFi transfer of emotions; emotions caught in Hitchen's voice, loaded empty spaces of pause, an occasional sharp intake of breath and shifts in cadence and volume insinuate an emotional charge into like-minded parts of the listener's brain. This creates an unexpectedly intimate felt experience, personalized beyond that which even this well-writ text can deliver.

Gotta admit, I'm pretty taken aback by the vindictive reviews here which are not in the majority, but still... what's the beef? This is a memoir and it has insurance in the sense that you got his story of his life, just like the cover said you would.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen "Perhaps the finest living essayist in the English language" 5. August 2010
Von Douglas K. Pinner - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
High praise indeed from none other than Christopher Buckley but an accolade well warranted.Wit,intelligence,honesty,a master of the appropriate obscure word or phrase,also a partisan polemicist of the far left,atheist,outrageously anti religious,but surprisingly non doctrinaire,in short a complex and fascinating mind.Full disclosure... I am totally on the other end of the political,cultural,and metaphysical spectrum and my life encompassed the same period and yet have always been an admirer even when outraged at his positions in that they are always reasoned from his own integrity ,much as I admire Camille Paglia on a likewise ambivalent basis.In reading some of the negative reviews the term 'name dropper' was cast. Well what is a memoir but a compilation of one man's trials,victories and the cast of characters that formed his life. And what a cast it was.And what a period of national and international upheaval.Ironically and sadly publication of his bio coincided with the news of his probably terminal cancer.True to character,that too is grist for the mill of this clear eyed mordant thinker as he describes that last journey beginning with his first essay "Topic of Cancer" .Read this only if you can be open to a mind with contradictory facets but one totally engaged with life and events and an unmatched command of the languge.A fun and fascinating read from an impressive mind .
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