Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hitchens redux

After posting my response to Christopher Hitchens' awful god is not Great, I re-read this excellent review of the book by Amanda Bragg at Open Letters Monthly, which appeared a few months back. I'd forgotten that she made some of the same observations that I ended up making; for example, as she puts it, "Hitchens claims he’s been writing his book for years, but the work belies the claim: it’s everywhere botched, sloppy, and adolescent."

Later, Bragg writes: "In every chapter, virtually on every page, Hitchens accidentally demonstrates that this is not, in fact, the considered, lifelong intellectual tract he alludes it to be". A large portion of my post was focused on politics, in large part because it strikes me that it's the political situation that informs the sense of urgency behind Hitchens' book, along with the other recent anti-religion volumes. (A point lost on some readers, it seems.) But, in fact, Bragg is exactly right. I could have ignored politics altogether and spent my time on the numerous other problems with the book, and my assessment would not improve in the least. Anyway, do check out Bragg's review if you're still interested.

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