Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an Anglo-American author, literary critic and journalist.
He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Atlantic, London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Slate and Vanity Fair. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of over thirty books, including five collections of essays, on a range of subjects, including politics, literature and religion. A staple of talk shows and lecture circuits, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded and controversial figure. Known for his contrarian stance on a number of issues, Hitchens excoriated such public figures as Mother Teresa; Bill Clinton; Henry Kissinger; Noam Chomsky; Diana, Princess of Wales; and Pope Benedict XVI. He was the elder brother of the conservative journalist and author Peter Hitchens.
A noted critic of religion and an antitheist, he said 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”. According to Hitchens, the concept of a god or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilisation. His anti-religion polemic, New York Times Bestseller, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, sold over 500,000 copies.
Hitchens died on 15 December 2011 from complications arising from esophageal cancer, a disease that he acknowledged was more than likely due to his lifelong predilection for heavy smoking and drinking.
Narration — Christopher Hitchens
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