English / Journalism

Christopher Hitchens obituary

With only a few hours of a rather cold, wet and windy Friday left, I couldn’t let this sad event go unmarked on our blog; from The Guardian:

Maverick, polemical journalist whose career was a rollercoaster of love and loathing

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens – ‘one of the greatest conversationalists of our age’. Photograph: Catherine Karnow/Corbis

For most of his career, Christopher Hitchens, who has died of oesophageal cancer aged 62, was the left’s biggest journalistic star, writing and broadcasting with wit, style and originality in a period when such qualities were in short supply among those of similar political persuasion. Nobody else spoke with such confidence and passion for what Americans called “liberalism” and Hitchens (regarding “liberal” as too “evasive”) called “socialism”.

His targets were the abusers of power, particularly Henry Kissinger (whom he tried to bring to trial for his role in bombing Cambodia and overthrowing the Allende regime in Chile) and Bill Clinton. He was unrelenting in his support for the Palestinian cause and his excoriation of America’s projections of power in Asia and Latin America. He was a polemicist rather than an analyst or political thinker – his headteacher at the Leys school in Cambridge presciently forecast a future as a pamphleteer – and, like all the best polemicists, brought to his work outstanding skills of reporting and observation.(read the rest of the article)