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Unhitched : The Trial of Christopher Hitchens

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Description

Among the ranks of the ex-Leftists, most of whom are readily forgotten, Christopher Hitchens stands out as someone determined to do just that. Rejecting the well-worn paths of hard-right evangelism and capitalist "realism," he identified with nothing outside his own idiosyncrasies. A habitual mugwump who occasionally masqueraded as a Marxist, the role he adopted late in his career - as a free radical within the US establishment - had ample precedents from his earlier incarnation. It wasn't the Damascene conversion he described. His long-standing admiration for America, his fascination with the Right as the truly "revolutionary" force, his closet Thatcherism, his theophobia and disdain for the actually existing Left had all been present in different ways throughout his political life. Post - 9/11, they merely found a new articulation. For all that, the Hitchensian idiolect was a unique, marketable formula. He is a recognizable historical type - the apostate leftist - and as such presents a rewarding, entertaining and an enlightening case study.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 15.24mm | 204.12g
  • Verso Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • ill
  • 184467990X
  • 9781844679904
  • 336,854

About Richard Seymour

RICHARD SEYMOUR lives, works and writes in London. He runs the Lenin's Tomb website, which comments on the War on Terror, Islamophobia and neoliberalism. He is the author of The Meaning of David Cameron and American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism.show more

Review quote

Praise for The Liberal Defence of Murder "A great deal of damning material on the apologists of recent illegalities." Philippe Sands, Guardian "Richard Seymour expertly traces their descent from humanitarian intervention to blatant islamophobia." Gary Younge "A powerful counterblast against the monstrous regiment of 'useful idiots.'" The Times of London "Indispensable ... Seymour brilliantly uncovers the pre-history and modern reality of the so-called 'pro-war Left.'" China Mieville "An excellent antidote to the propagandists of the crisis of our times." Independent on Sundayshow more

Review Text

"Clever, incisive ... Unhitched offers a more thorough and in-depth discrediting of Hitchens than anything previously published. And in doing so, Seymour has made an important contribution to understanding the political role of the intellectual celebrity in our time." - In These Times§§"Richard Seymour's Unhitched , a slim and scathing denunciation of turncoat scoundrel Christopher Hitchens, is a thoroughly satisfying and politically important book by one of the few remaining great radical left journalists." - Jordy Cummings, Rabble§§"Seymour reveals Hitchens as having had a lifelong admiration both for the United States and for empires as civilizing forces." - Washington Post Book World§§"Richard Seymour employs a unique technique to shred Hitchens's political philosophy to pieces: Seymour puts the late writer on trial." - The Christian Science Monitor§§"In Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens , we again find Seymour's customary clarity, rigor, and intelligence as he offers a brilliant analysis of the shifting landscape of Hitchens' path from socialist internationalist to Liberal Hawk. It is a work brimming with hot anecdotes and tangy tidbits as Seymour goes at it mano a mano with "The Great Contrarian," recapitulating the menu of contradictions that comprise the life of this practiced ironist." - Alan Wald, Against the Current§§"Well-argued ... I think Seymour rather pitied Hitchens, as the married man pities the philanderer." - Keith Miller, Daily Telegraph§§"He is not worthy of changing Christopher Hitchens's printer cartridge." - Stephen Robinson, The Times§§"A nasty piece of work ... (Full disclosure: Hitchens was a friend, mentor, and neighbor of mine.)" - James Kirchick, Newsweek§§"Seymour's book offers an exciting counterbalance to the often uncritical praise that has flowed heavily since Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June 2010." - Truthdig§§"Seymour is certainly master of the records; he knows the work closely and cites it scrupulously. But his headlong, foam-flecked interpretation, voiced in a manner recklessly close to Hitchens's own but without the grace, the wit, the tearing high spirits and the faultless ear for the fall of a cadence of his great original, becomes merely tedious, repetitive and unconvincing ... This little book is 134 pages long. The author shouldn't have done it. It is paltry and it is trivially abusive. Its subject was as eloquent, cultivated, exuberant, unstoppable, sheerly gigantic a journalist as British or American politics has known since George Orwell." - Fred Inglis, Independent§§"Caustic demolition of Hitchens - not dissimilar to Hitch's way with Mother Teresa or the Clintons." - The Big Issue In The Northshow more