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Christopher Hitchens

Examining the commentator’s pre-internet celebrity, writing, and legacy

“Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence,” wrote Christopher Hitchens, a man whose afterlife on YouTube has come to define the entirety of his decades-long career. Though Hitchens always pilloried the existence of a higher power and those who believed in one, his earlier output—defined by his elite education, Marxism, and savvy deployments of Beltway gossip—seems at odds with his later years as a road-show atheist. In this episode, Christian Lorentzen, a freelance critic who reviewed a collection of Hitchens’s writings from the Nineties for the August issue of Harper’s Magazine, Maureen Tkacik, a Senior Fellow at the American Economic Liberties Project, and Luke Savage, a staff writer at Jacobin and the author of The Dead Center, reflect on the evolution of Hitchens’s style as a writer, thinker, and speaker.

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