Hitch 22

By Christopher Hitchens


Christopher Hitchens’ (1949-2011) candid, funny and revealing memoir of his astonishing life, recounting his time as a student activist; a member of the Marxist Trotskyist yet libertarian left – although he would come to feel an outcast from the modern left; friends and colleagues; and his journalism which took him seemingly everywhere that was happening at the time – Cuba, Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Argentina, Chile, Israel and Czechoslovakia to name a few.

One of the joys of living in a world filled with stupidity and hypocrisy was to see Hitch respond. That pleasure is now denied us. The problems that drew his attention remain – and so does the record of his brilliance, courage, erudition, and good humor in the face of outrage. But his absence will leave an enormous void in the years to come. Hitch lived an extraordinarily large life. (Read his memoir, Hitch-22, and marvel.) It was too short, to be sure – and one can only imagine what another two decades might have brought out of him – but Hitch produced more fine work, read more books, met more interesting people, and won more arguments than most of us could in several centuries.

I will certainly come back to read this again, and can only say that whilst Hitch’s life was one well-lived, it is a great loss to us all that it was cut short. His premature absence brought-about by perhaps over-living the tobacco and alcohol parts of life, is sorely felt.