Christopher Hitchens Biographysource:
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Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author and journalist. Hitchens contributed to ''New Statesman'', ''The Nation'', ''The Atlantic'', ''The London Review of Books'', ''The Times Literary Supplement'' and ''Vanity Fair''. He was the author of twelve books and five collections of essays, and concentrated on a range of subjects, including politics, literature and religion. A staple of talk shows and lecture circuits, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded and controversial figure. Known for his contrarian stance on a number of issues, he excoriated such public figures as Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Lady Diana, Ayn Rand, and Pope Benedict XVI. He was the older brother of author Peter Hitchens. Initially describing himself as a socialist, Hitchens began his break from the established political left after what he called the "tepid reaction" of the Western left to the Rushdie Affair. The September 11 attacks "exhilarated" him, strengthening his embrace of an interventionist foreign policy, and his criticism of what he called "fascism with an Islamic face". His numerous editorials in support of the Iraq War caused some to label him a neoconservative, although Hitchens insisted he was not "a conservative of any kind", and his friend Ian McEwan described him as representing the anti-totalitarian left. Indeed, in a 2010 BBC interview, he maintained that he was a Leftist. A noted critic of religion and an antitheist, he said that a person "could be an atheist and wish that belief in God were correct", but that "an antitheist, a term I'm trying to get into circulation, is someone who is relieved that there's no evidence for such an assertion." According to Hitchens, the concept of a God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. His anti-religion polemic, ''God Is Not Great,'' sold over 500,000 copies. Hitchens died on 15 December 2011, from complications arising from oesophageal cancer, a disease that he acknowledged was likely due to his lifelong predilection for heavy smoking and drinking. His death prompted tributes and eulogies from a range of public figures, including Tony Blair, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Salman Rushdie, Lawrence Krauss, Martin Amis, James Fenton, Stephen Fry and Francis Collins.Wikipedia This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect, defamatory or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia.