Mon., June 4th, 2007 7:00 PM. Los Angeles. Christopher Hitchens in conversation with Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times columnist, about "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"
http://www.vanityfair.com/online/dail... Vanity Fair In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949--2011, by Juli Weiner, Dec 15th 2011. Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. "My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends," he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born 13 April 1949) is an Anglo-American author and journalist whose books, essays, and journalistic career span more than four decades. He has been a columnist and literary critic at The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, Free Inquiry, and became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution in September 2008. He is a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits and in 2005 was voted the world's fifth top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll.
Hitchens is known for his admiration of George Orwell, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson and for his excoriating critiques of, among others, Mother Teresa, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Henry Kissinger. His confrontational style of debate has made him both a lauded and controversial figure. As a political observer, polemicist and self-defined radical, he rose to prominence as a fixture of the left-wing publications in his native Britain and in the United States. His departure from the established political left began in 1989 after what he called the "tepid reaction" of the Western left following Ayatollah Khomeini's issue of a fatwa- calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie. The 11 September 2001 attacks strengthened his internationalist embrace of an interventionist foreign policy, and his vociferous criticism of what he called "fascism with an Islamic face." His numerous editorials in support of the Iraq War caused some to label him a neoconservative, although Hitchens insists he is not "a conservative of any kind."
Identified as a champion of the "New Atheism" movement, Hitchens describes himself as an antitheist and a believer in the philosophical values of the Enlightenment. Hitchens says 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." He argues that the concept of 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 civilization. He wrote at length on atheism and the nature of religion in his 2007 book God Is Not Great.
Though Hitchens retained his British citizenship, he became a United States citizen on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial on 13 April 2007, his 58th birthday. Asteroid 57901 is named after him. His memoir, Hitch-22, was published in June 2010. Touring for the book was cut short later the same month so that he could begin treatment for newly diagnosed oesophageal cancer.