File Size: 1006 KB
Print Length: 212 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (April 12, 2016)
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
The author is a Christian and speaks in that voice. However, this individual is respectful toward Hitchens the man, is obviously fond of him, litters the book with verifiable events, appearances, and quotations and then adds to these private occasions that don't contradict them in the least, but rather humanize Hitchens and show that there was, indeed, a person there.
That is impossible to read the book and not become attached to Hitchens, and I say this as a longtime atheist. Hitchens comes off as fearless, thoughtful, intellectually curious and generous, and in reality decent—a man of integrity and kindness (if as well as a few basic flaws) when not onstage. This individual comes off, in reality, rather a lot better than the writer himself, and I like Hitchens all the more for having read the guide, not less.
There is no state to a deathbed conversion here, and in reality an extremely clear statement that there is no evidence of one. The writer does, as a Alfredia (and what else might we expect him to do, if he has any integrity? ) indicate that he hopes that there was one, noiselessly, despite the lack of evidence, because he is quite simply that attached to Hitchens.
More importantly, what is in evidence is a strong friendship grounded in mutual respect and interest between two individuals in whose own followers too often miss the point and purpose that drives these to speak in the first place—that of making the world and human life somehow better. Both seem to understand that they share this deep motivation and value, even when they disagree on almost the rest. And just as important, they courageously confront this disagreement, together, and listen to one another with regard.
I find it to be an edifying and positive account that does not betray anything that Hitchens stood for.
Anyone offended at this time guide is quite simply an ideologue who—unlike Hitchens—is very thinking about not hearing things that challenge our preconceptions or require us to honestly grapple with them as fortification for our intellectual and moral mettle., This is a very interesting book, and well worth the time taken in reading it., great read, Well written book capturing the complexity of Hitchens., Slightly repetitive in places (particularly in the part discussing the public and private world of Hitchins) this is, however, an amazing alternate view of the well-known and very general public atheist. Taunton, an evangelical Christian, built up a considerable friendship with the man in his previous years, even to the extent of discussing the Bible with him in some detail, and playing baseball back and forth what Christianity was all about.
Hitchins stayed a really public atheist to the end; he'd built up a huge following through his writings, and it would have been a substantial sidestep to admit that he had any doubts about atheism (he certainly didn't support all their 'tenets') or he had doubts at all. His / her fans seemed to hate the idea that he consorted with Christians, and many didn't believe that he actually performed. Yet in one of his many hugely popular debates, he often took the atheist view onstage (to the delight of his audience) while discussing long conversations with the same opponents offstage, in restaurants and bars.
Hitchins comes across as a man with considerable integrity: he resented cant and deceit and fraud in people who claimed to be Christians but plainly didn't think what they said. And after 9/11, he changed from being anti-patriotic and against war to another viewpoint. This individual couldn't stand some of his fellow atheists, especially those who took atheism to its extreme, regarding human life as not of any value whatsoever., Yes! We can argue and remain in a friendly relationship!, Intriguing story. Loved getting to know the history of Christopher Hitchens which shed some light on the man he had become. Enjoyed reading about the fascinating and unlikely friendship between Hitchens and Taunton. Well written and interesting. A great read.
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