British Essayist Christopher Hitchens

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He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way.

But this latest departure promotes him from an advocate of harmless nonsense to positively sinister nonsense." Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949.

His father, Eric, was a "purse-lipped" Navy veteran known as "The Commander"; his mother, Yvonne, a romantic who later kill herself during an extramarital rendezvous in Greece. He was a "a mere weed and weakling and kick-bag" who discovered that "words could function as weapons" and so stockpiled them.

In college, Oxford, he met such longtime friends as authors Martin Amis and Ian Mc Ewan and claimed to be nearby when visiting Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton did or did not inhale marijuana.

"I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient." Eloquent and intemperate, bawdy and urbane, he was an acknowledged contrarian and contradiction — half-Christian, half-Jewish and fully non-believing; a native of England who settled in America; a former Trotskyite who backed the Iraq war and supported George W. But his passions remained constant and enemies of his youth, from Henry Kissinger to Mother Teresa, remained hated.

British Essayist Christopher Hitchens

He was a militant humanist who believed in pluralism and racial justice and freedom of speech, big cities and fine art and the willingness to stand the consequences.Radicalized by the 1960s, Hitchens was often arrested at political rallies, was kicked out of Britain's Labour Party over his opposition to the Vietnam War and became a correspondent for the radical magazine International Socialism.His reputation broadened in the 1970s through his writings for the New Statesman."I was met by immaculate specimens of young American womanhood, holding silver trays and flashing perfect dentition," he wrote. 'At this altitude gin would be very much more toxic than at ground level.' In that case, I said, make it a double." An emphatic ally and inspired foe, he stood by friends in trouble ("Satanic Verses" novelist Salman Rushdie) and against enemies in power (Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini). "We have known for a long time that Prince Charles' empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and cant," Hitchens wrote in 2010 after the heir to the British throne gave a speech criticizing Galileo for the scientist's focus on "the material aspect of reality." "He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post.His heroes included George Orwell, Thomas Paine and Gore Vidal (pre-Sept. He was bowled over by the charms of homeopathic medicine." and "Who are the most famous essayists from England?" These prominent essayists of England may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected English essayists.Hitchens was an old-fashioned sensualist who abstained from clean living as if it were just another kind of church.In 2005, he would recall a trip to Aspen, Colorado, and a brief encounter after stepping off a ski lift. 'Sir, that would be inappropriate.' In what respect?Wavy-haired and brooding and aflame with wit and righteous anger, he was a star of the left on paper and on camera, a popular television guest and a columnist for one of the world's oldest liberal publications, The Nation.In friendlier times, Vidal was quoted as citing Hitchens as a worthy heir to his satirical throne. He feuded with fellow Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, broke with Vidal and angered liberals by stating that the child's life begins at conception.

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