Journalist, critic and eminent atheist Christopher Hitchens died today of pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer; he was 62. A longtime columnist for Vanity Fair magazine, where he was famously waterboarded, Hitchens had a long and distinguished career as a public intellectual who savored a debate as much as he loved his Scotch and cigarettes. He wrote about everything from Charles Dickens to Iran, and wasn’t afraid of butchering a sacred cow or two—witness “The Missionary Position,” his takedown of Mother Teresa. His literary oeuvre is lengthy, varied and provocative, the perfect record of the travels and passions of a singular man of letters with a voracious philosophical appetite.
His most recent book, Arguably, is a mammoth compendium of the polemicist’s best work, and a perfect showcase of the talents of a divisive but always incisive professional contrarian.
In his remarkably revealing memoir, Hitchens detailed his journey from 1970s Socialist to hawkish supporter of the invasion of Iraq, and all the warzones—literal, political, personal—visited between.
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Hitchens investigates all of religion and found it uniformly lacking. To promote the book, Hitchens toured the country to debate leading religious thinkers.
More from the Hitchens reading list: