For the sake of argument : essays and minority reports / Christopher Hitchens
Book | Verso | 1993

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Description
353 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents
Where were you standing? -- On the imagination of conspiracy -- Contempt for the little colony -- The state within the state -- Voting in the passive voice -- The hate that dared not speak its name -- A pundit who need never dine alone -- Hard on the houseboy -- New Orleans in a brown shirt -- Rioting in Mount Pleasant -- Billionaire populism -- The clemency of Clinton -- Clinton as Rhodesian -- Bill's Bills in Miami -- Realpolitik in the Gulf : a game gone tile -- Churchillian delusions -- No end of a lesson -- Befriending the Kurds -- Arise, Sir Norman -- Jewish in Damascus -- Songs fit for heroes -- Hating Sweden -- Squeezing Costa Rica -- The saviour -- Tio Sam -- The autumn of the patriarch -- Third thoughts -- Cretinismo Eroico -- The twilight of Panzerkommunismus -- Police mentality -- On the road to Timisoara -- Bricks in the wall -- The free market cargo cult -- How neo-conservatives perish -- Appointment in Sarajevo -- 'Society' and its enemies -- Credibility politics : Sado-monetarist economics -- Union jackshirt : Ingham's conservative chic -- Neil Kinnock : defeat without honour -- Bribing and twisting.
(Cont'd) How's the vampire? -- Charlie's angel -- Unhappy families -- Princess of dysfunction -- New York intellectuals and the prophet outcast -- Clubland intellectuals -- The 'We' fallacy -- Shouting anarchy -- Politically correct -- Friend of promise -- Booze and fags -- Nixon : maestro of resentment -- Kissinger : a touch of evil -- Berlin's mandate for Palestine -- Ghoul of Calcutta -- The life of Johnson -- A grave disappointment all around -- Too big for his boot -- P.J. O'Rourke : not funny enough -- Not funny enough (2) -- Warhol in one dimension -- Siding with Rushdie -- Goya's radical pessimism -- Degenerate art -- James Baldwin : humanity first -- Updike on the make -- P.G. Wodehouse in love, poverty and war -- Greene : where the shadow falls -- Kazuo Ishiguro -- Victor Serge -- C.L.R. James -- In defence of Daniel Deronda.
Summary
'For the sake of argument, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.'. The global turmoil of the last few years has severely tested every analyst and commentator. Few have written with such insight as Christopher Hitchens about the large events - or with such discernment and with about the small tell-tale signs of a disordered culture. For the Sake of Argument ranges from the political squalor of Washington, as a beleaguered Bush administration seeks desperately to stave off disaster and Clinton prepares for power, to the twilight of Stalinism in Prague; from the Jewish quarter of Damascus in the aftermath of the Gulf War to the embattled barrios of Central America and the imperishable resistance of Saralevo, as a difficult peace is negotiated with ruthless foes. Hitchens' unsparing account of Western realpolitik in the end shows it to rest on delusion as well as deception. The reader will find in these pages outstanding essays on political assassination in America as well as a scathing review of the evisceration of politics by pollsters and spin-doctors. Hitchens' knowledge of the tortuous history of revolutions in the twentieth century helps him to explain both the New York intelligentsia's flirtation with Trotskyism and the frailty of Communist power structures in Eastern Europe. Hitchens' pointed reassessments of Graham Greene, P.G. Wodehouse and C.L.R. James, or his riotous celebration of drinkiny and smoking, display an engaging enthusiasm and an acerbic wit. Equally entertaining is his unsparing rogues' gallery, which gives us unforgettable portraits of the lugubrious 'Dr'Kissinger, the comprehensively reactionary 'Mother' Teresa, the preposterous Paul Johnson and the predictable P.J. O'Rourke.
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Online version: Hitchens, Christopher. For the sake of argument. London ; New York : Verso, 1993 (OCoLC)624383094
ISBN
0860914356
9780860914358
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