Hitchens, Christopher Eric

Hitchens, Christopher Eric, 1949–2011, Anglo-American journalist and critic, b. Portsmouth, England, grad. Bailliol College, Oxford (1970). He wrote for the New Statesman, London Times, Daily Express, and other periodicals from 1971 to 1981, when he moved to the United States; he then wrote for The Nation (1982–2002) and Vanity Fair (1992–2011) and was a regular contributor to Slate and The Atlantic Monthly. In 2007 he became a U.S. citizen. Originally a socialist, he later adopted various neoconservative positions, e.g., supporting George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq.

Hitchens was a prolific, original, provocative, and often controversial master of prose style whose books include Cyprus (1984, rev. ed. 1997), extremely negative studies of Mother Teresa (1995), Bill Clinton (1999), and Henry Kissinger (2001), Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001), God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007), and the essays of Arguably (2011). Mortality (2012), a fearless analysis of his last months as he was dying of cancer, and And Yet. (2015), a collection of his essays, were published posthumously. As brilliant, fluent, and witty a talker as he was a writer, Hitchens frequently appeared on television and taught at several universities.

See his memoir, Hitch-22 (2010); S. Cottee and T. Cushman, ed., Christopher Hitchens and His Critics (2008); W. Mann, ed., The Quotable Hitchens (2011).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies