"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Letters To A Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens
Letters To A Young Contrarian is supposed to be a book for young people - I'm assuming by young they mean late high school or college.
I am a high school teacher and I can tell you that Hitchens' repeated use of foreign phrases without translations (such as "saeva indignatio" - p. 8 and "dei sacrificium intellectus" - p. 23 and "cette 'fugutive du camp des vainqueurs'" - pp. 91-2) and his continual references to the 60s and the Cold War without any background will lose nearly every young person who attempts to read it.
If by young, they meant 36 years old, than this 36 year old found the text to be interesting and challenging. However, I have to give it a poor score because he will fail to hit the stated target audience - and he will miss by a long shot.
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Letters to a Young Contrarian.
Reviewed on August 21, 2004.