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God Is Not Great


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The provocative bestseller from Britain's foremost controversial thinker is now in paperback: 'If Hitchens didn't exist, we wouldn't be able to invent him.' Ian McEwan

Table of Contents

1: Putting It Mildly 2: Religion Kills 3: A Short Digression on the Pig; or, Why Heaven Hates Ham 4: A Note on Health, to Which Religion Can Be Hazardous 5: The Metaphysical Claims of Religion Are False 6: Arguments from Design 7: Revelation: The Nightmare of the "Old" Testament 8: The "New" Testament Exceeds the Evil of the "Old" One 9: The Koran Is Borrowed from Both Jewish and Christian Myths 10: The Tawdriness of the Miraculous and the Decline of Hell 11: "The Lowly Stamp of Their Origin": Religion's Corrupt Beginnings 12: A Coda: How Religions End 13: Does Religion Make People Behave Better? 14: There Is No "Eastern" Solution 15: Religion as an Original Sin 16: Is Religion Child Abuse? 17: An Objection Anticipated: The Last-Ditch "Case" Against Secularism 18: A Finer Tradition: The Resistance of the Rational 19: In Conclusion: The Need for a New Enlightenment

About the Author

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and Visiting Professor in liberal studies at the New School in New York. He was the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Orwell, Mother Theresa, Henry Kissinger and Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as the international bestseller and National Book Award nominee, god Is Not Great.


In November 2006, Wired magazine published an article called "The Church of the Non-Believers," which profiled the new atheism movement along with its proponents: the formidable Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Missing from this erudite lineup was the learned Hitchens, journalist and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. Fortunately, Hitchens disseminates his views here, cataloging the major arguments against religion, which he deems a pernicious force. First, he writes, faith misrepresents the origin of the cosmos as well as that of humanity; second, it fosters servility, solipsism, and sexual repression; and, third, it is based on wishful thinking. Hitchens spares no targets in this manifesto, criticizing both Western and Eastern faiths. Ultimately, he calls for a "New Enlightenment" and the pursuit of "unfettered scientific inquiry." This provocative, challenging, and passionate work--a religious believer's and apologist's nightmare--is recommended without reservation for public and academic libraries.--C. Brian Smith, Arlington Heights Memorial Lib., IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Do yourself a favor and skip the Dawkins and Harris; they're smug, turgid, and boring, with all the human feeling of a tax return. Read Hitchens instead... A tendentious delight, a caustic and even brilliant book... Thank God for Christopher Hitchens. -- Mark Warren * Esquire *
Dazzling... A campaign to put this glittering anti-theist tract on the national curriculum for "religious education" should begin here. -- Johann Hari * Independent *
Hitchens is a grand rhetorician, and his double-barrelled shotgun of a book is high entertainment... As with Voltaire, his scornful laughter is a powerful weapon. -- Christopher Hart * Sunday Times *
The anti-religion case has never been put so well, so comprehensively or so definitively as in this razor-sharp book... Hitchens accumulates a devastating case... Outstanding. -- A.C. Grayling * Independent on Sunday *
Christopher Hitchens is a master craftsman of argument... God is not Great is undoubtedly the most boisterously entertaining contribution to the [atheism] debate. -- Siobhan Murphy * Metro *
God is not Great is easily the most brilliant and fascinating contemplation upon the role of religion in human society in recent times, the Das Kapital of a tolerant, if exasperated, atheism. -- Kevin Myers * Irish Independent *

Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. And can he turn a phrase!: "monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents." Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that "Eastern" religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons "everything," which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy. (May 30) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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