Front cover image for For the sake of argument : essays and minority reports

For the sake of argument : essays and minority reports

'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
Print Book, English, 1993
Verso, London, 1993
353 pages ; 25 cm
9780860914358, 0860914356
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