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We've actually not read the book yet. What follows, at the risk of being accused of engaging in Metacriticism, is an essay about an especially, and seemingly willfully, obtuse review of the book.

AB HONESTO VIRUM BONUM NIHIL DETTERET: HONEST, DECENT, WRONG: The invention of George Orwell (LOUIS MENAND, 2003-01-20, The New Yorker)

[A]lmost everything in the popular understanding of Orwell is a distortion of what he really thought and the kind of writer he was.

Writers are not entirely responsible for their admirers. It is unlikely that Jane Austen, if she were here today, would wish to become a member of the Jane Austen Society. In his lifetime, George Orwell was regarded, even by his friends, as a contrary man. It was said that the closer you got to him the colder and more critical he became. As a writer, he was often hardest on his allies. He was a middle-class intellectual who despised the middle class and was contemptuous of intellectuals, a Socialist whose abuse of SocialistsÑ"all that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking toward the smell of 'progress' like bluebottles to a dead cat"Ñwas as vicious as any Tory's. He preached solidarity, but he had the habits of a dropout, and the works for which he is most celebrated, "Animal Farm," "1984," and the essay "Politics and the English Language," were attacks on people who purported to share his political views. He was not looking to make friends. But after his death he suddenly acquired an army of fansÑall middle-class intellectuals eager to suggest that a writer who approved of little would have approved of them. [...]

Hitchens says that there were three great issues in the twentieth century, and that Orwell was right on all three: imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism. What does this mean, though? Orwell was against imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism. Excellent. Many people were against them in Orwell's time, and a great many more people have been against them since. The important question, after condemning those things, was what to do about them, and how to understand the implications for the future. On this level, Orwell was almost always wrong. [...]

Some people in 1949 received "1984" as an attack on the Labour Party (in the book, the regime of Big Brother is said to have derived from the principles of "Ingsoc"; that is, English Socialism), and Orwell was compelled to issue, through his publisher, a statement clarifying his intentions. He was a supporter of the Labour Party, he said. "I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive," he continued, "but I believe (allowing of course for the fact that the book is satire) that something resembling it could arrive. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences."

The attitude behind this last sentence seems to me the regrettable part of Orwell's legacy. If ideas were to stand or fall on the basis of their logically possible consequences, we would have no ideas, because the ultimate conceivable consequence of every idea is an absurdityÑis, in some way, "against life." We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their "tendency" is to some dire conditionÑto totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all. Orwell did not invent this kind of argument, but he provided, in "1984," a vocabulary for its deployment.
Unfortunately, I've read just enough by Mr. Menand to both take him seriously as a critic and to be suspicious of his motives when he writes something like this. George Orwell certainly was conflicted--torn between what appears to have been a genuine solicitude for the plight of the poor, coupled with a visceral dislike for the upper class, on the one hand and a reluctant love of middle class Britain on the other. We see this most clearly in two of his novels, Coming Up for Air and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. The links there will take you to more detailed reviews, but for our purposes it's sufficient to note that Coming Up for Air--like the closing chapter of George Dangerfield's Strange Death of Liberal England--represents an ostensible man of the Left's heartfelt longing not for a progressive future but for the lost world of pre-WWI England. It is decidedly reactionary. Meanwhile, in Aspidistra, the plant itself becomes a symbol of the British middle class and the title alone thereby reveals Orwell's purpose in the book: it marks his reconciliation with and celebration of middle class life.

Mr. Menand is right then to call him a middle class intellectual, but wrong that he hated the middle class, and, more importantly, fails to consider that the very term "middle class intellectual" is an oxymoron. In any economically healthy democracy with a reasonably broad franchise the middle class will be the ultimate source of power in the State, simply because they will be, overwhelmingly, the largest group in society. This will necessarily tend to make the middle class conservative, in the very broad sense that will try to conserve the basic structures, traditions, etc. of the state they control. The powerful just don't tend to be risk takers where their own power is concerned. The philosophy of the middle class then, its intellectualism, tends to be rather conservative, traditional, and opposed to change or experimentation with a system that's working pretty well by their terms.

Intellectuals, on the other hand, at least as we've come to conceive of them in modern times, are characterized by a rejection of tradition and a hostility to inherited wisdom. Here's how Paul Johnson describes them in his terrific book, Intellectuals:
Over the last two hundred years the influence of intellectuals has grown steadily. Indeed, the rise of the secular intellectual has been a key factor in shaping the modern world. Seen against the long perspective of history it is in many ways a new phenomenon. It is true that in their earlier incarnations as priests, scribes and soothsayers, intellectuals have laid claim to guide society from the very beginning. But as guardians of hieratic cultures, whether primitive or sophisticated, their moral and ideological innovations were limited by the canons of external authority and by the inheritance of tradition. They were not, and could not be, free spirits, adventurers of the mind.

With the decline of clerical power in the eighteenth century, a new kind of mentor emerged to fill the vacuum and capture the ear of society. The secular intellectual might be a deist, sceptic or atheist. But he was just as ready as any pontiff or presbyter to tell mankind how to conduct its affairs. He proclaimed, from the start, a special devotion to the interests of humanity and an evangelical duty to advance them by his teaching. He brought to his self-appointed task a far more radical approach than his clerical predecessors. He felt himself bound by no corpus of revealed religion. The collective wisdom of the past, the legacy of tradition, the prescriptive codes of ancestral experience existed to be selectively followed or wholly rejected entirely as his own good sense might decide. For the first time in human history, and with growing confidence and audacity, men arose to assert that they could diagnose the ills of society and cure them with their own unaided intellects: more, that they could devise formulae whereby not merely the structure of society but the fundamental habits of human beings could be transformed for the better. Unlike their sacerdotal predecessors, they were not servants and interpreters of the gods but substitutes. Their hero was Prometheus, who stole the celestial fire and brought it to earth.
Nor is Mr. Johnson alone in this kind of definition. One can turn to authors like Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind; Jeanne Kirkpatrick , Dictatorships and Double Standards : Rationalism and Reason in Politics; and Michael Oakeshott Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays ; and find remarkably similar definitions. But, even more revealingly, one can turn to Richard Hofstadter's classic study Anti-Intellectualism in American Life , the entirety of which is devoted to the entirely accurate proposition that America, the exemplary middle class nation, is and has been hostile to Intellectuals and Intellectualism:
The common strain that binds together the attitudes and ideas which I call anti-intellectual is a resentment and suspicion of the life of the mind and of those who are considered to represent it; and a disposition constantly to minimize the value of that life.
The great tragedy of Intellectualism though is that Hofstadter and his fellows did not, and do not, even consider thinkers like Johnson, Kirkpatrick, Oakeshott and Kirk to be intellectuals, because they are guardians of tradition, of the reality of society, and enemies of rationalism, of the imagined state, and are, therefore, beyond the Pale in Intellectual circles.

What makes George Orwell so complex a figure, and one of the heroes of modernity, is that he wished that Socialism, his favored form of rationalism, might work, that by restarting the world we might eliminate poverty and level society, but he was too honest to believe that the rationalists (the Intellectuals) should be allowed to test their experiment upon an England which he understood to be more good than bad. Thus his two great dystopian novels--1984 and Animal Farm--are set in societies where the very experiment who's theoretical results he longed for is actually tested and instead results in soul-crushing tyranny. His writings then may make Orwell a middle class intellectual, but, as such, he is the antithesis of an Intellectual and he is a celebrator, not a hater, of the middle class.

So Mr. Menand begins with an Orwell who does not exist, at least on the written page, but then he dismisses even the Orwell he proposes, in the passage when he baldly states:
Hitchens says that there were three great issues in the twentieth century, and that Orwell was right on all three: imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism. What does this mean, though? Orwell was against imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism. Excellent. Many people were against them in Orwell's time, and a great many more people have been against them since.
There's a very simple response to this: who? Name the significant contemporaries of Orwell who opposed all three, particularly among the Intellectual class. Even if you consider Churchill and Roosevelt/Truman to have been the great liberators of humanity of that time, you have to concede that Churchill was an imperialist and the Americans, though they were not Stalinists, were guarantors of Stalinism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, were de facto Stalinists. (The only politician who mattered at all that I can think of who fits the profile Mr. Menand pretends was common is the great Robert Taft.) Moreover, because Christopher Hitchens used to be at least a Socialist, he chooses not to lump socialism in with Stalinism (not that it's not Nazism but fascism while it's not socialism but Stalinism). But, in reality, all of the isms belong in the same group. As Albert Jay Nock, one of the rare contemporary intellectuals (small "i") who could be said to oppose that triad, wrote:
It may be in place to remark here the essential identity of the various extant forms of collectivism. The superficial distinctions of Fascism, Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and publicists; the serious student sees in them only the one root-idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power. When Hitler and Mussolini invoke a kind of debased and hoodwinking mysticism to aid their acceleration of this process, the student at once recognizes his old friend, the formula of Hegel, that "the State incarnates the Divine Idea upon earth," and he is not hoodwinked. The journalist and the impressionable traveler may make what they will of "the new religion of Bolshevism"; the student contents himself with remarking clearly the exact nature of the process which this inculcation is designed to sanction.
We can argue until we're all blue in the face about whether Nazism was a pathology of Left or Right, but no one can argue the point that all of these rationalisms are unified by their desire to destroy the existing society and erect in its place a state designed by the Intellectuals. Even Imperialism, which is not mentioned there, envisions replacing traditional, though non-Western, cultures with bureaucratic states run by "elites".

Finally, given all of that, when Mr. Menand suggests that it is unfair of Orwell to force "ideas" to their logical conclusions because we also live by "the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement", he is using sleight of hand. Those who advocate "ideas", which is to say a set of concepts sprung full blown from the minds of Intellectuals, intend them to replace custom and intuition and all the rest. It is only fair, since they plan to sweep away all restraints upon their ideas, to look at where those ideas lead.

Orwell's ultimate point, as that of all the middle class intellectuals, is that what makes the "idea" wielders, the Intellectuals, so dangerous is that they do represent a leveling wind of destruction. Failing to recognize the wisdom of the ancestors and of the traditions handed down to us, they have no compunctions about annihilating them. This stands in stark contrast to the middle class intellectuals, who it seems necessary at this point to call by their true name: conservatives. Here's how Oakeshott famously described the breed:
The man of conservative temperament believes that a known good is not lightly to be surrendered for an unknown better. He is not in love with what is dangerous and difficult; he is unadventurous; he has no impulse to sail uncharted seas; for him there is no magic in being lost, bewildered or shipwrecked. If he is forced to navigate the unknown, he sees virtue in heaving the lead every inch of the way. What others plausibly identify as timidity, he recognizes in himself as rational prudence; what others interpret as inactivity, he recognizes as a disposition to enjoy rather than to exploit. He is cautious, and he is disposed to indicate his assent or dissent, not in absolute, but in graduated terms. He eyes the situation in terms of its propensity to disrupt the familiarity of the features of his world.
If we look at the life that Orwell lived and the Socialism he espoused, it may be difficult to square them with this temperament. But those things are not why, as Christopher Hitchens says, "Orwell matters". He matters because of what he wrote and what he wrote makes him a middle class intellectual, a conservative, or perhaps we might call him a compassionate conservative. And looked at from that simple shift of perspective his contradictions--particularly the willingness to forego the unattainable Socialist ideal in favor of the mundane but quite wonderful middle class British reality of his lifetime, especially his youth--seem heroic rather than tragic.


(Reviewed:)

Grade: (B+)

  

Websites:

See also:

Christopher Hitchens (2 books reviewed)
Literary Criticism
Christopher Hitchens Links:

    -REVIEW ESSAY: Reactionary Prophet: Edmund Burke understood before anyone else that revolutions devour their youngÑand turn into their opposites: a review of Reflections On The Revolution In France: Edmund Burke, edited by Frank M. Turner (Christopher Hitchens, April 2004, The Atlantic Monthly)
    -ESSAY: The Rat That Roared: Jacques Chirac has a lot of Gaul. (CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, February 8, 2003, Wall Street Journal)
    EuropeÍs Status Quo Left: a review of Language, Politics, and Writing: Stolentelling in Western Europe By Patrick McCarthy (Christopher Hitchens , Foreign Policy)
    -INTERVIEW: The Power of Facing: Christopher Hitchens, the author of Why Orwell Matters, depicts George Orwell as a nonconformist who resolutely faced up to unpleasant truths ( Atlantic Unbound | October 23, 2002)
    -PROFILE: The Preacher: Christopher Hitchens (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, June 6 2003, Financial Times)
    -ESSAY: Letter to an Ex-Contrarian (KATHA POLLITT, November 7, 2002, The Nation)
    -REVIEW: of On the Natural History of Destruction by W. G. Sebald (Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Monthly)
    -REVIEW: of 'Captives' by Linda Colley and 'In Churchill's Shadow' by David Cannadine (Christopher Hitchens, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Byron: Life and Legend by Fiona McCarthy (Christopher Hitchens, October 2002, The Atlantic Monthly)
    Orwell and Us: The battle over George Orwell's legacy. : A review of Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens (David Brooks, 09/23/2002, Weekly Standard)
    -REVIEW: of Why Orwell Matters' by Christopher Hitchens (George Scialabba, Washington Post)
   
-REVIEW: of Why Orwell Matters (Cheryl Miller, Policy Review)
    -REVIEW: of Why Orwell Matters (Preston Jones, Books & Culture)
    -REVIEW: of Why Orwell Matters ( JOHN GIUFFO, Voice Literary Supplement)
   -REVIEW: of Why Orwell Matters (Luciano D'Orazio, Flak Magazine)     -BOOK SITE : No One Left to Lie To (Verso)
    -BOOK SITE : The Trial of Henry Kissinger
    -ARCHIVES : Salon.com Directory | Christopher Hitchens : A complete listing of Salon articles on Christopher Hitchens (Salon)
    -ARCHIVES : hitchens (Mother Jones)
    -ARCHIVES : Christopher Hitchens (Front Page)
    -ARCHIVES : "christopher hitchens" (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -ARCHIVES : "christopher hitchens" (Find Articles)
     -ARCHIVES : Christopher Hitchens (The Nation)
    -ARCHIVES : Christopher Hitchens (The Guardian)
    -ARCHIVES : Christopher Hitchens (NY Review of Books)
    -The Christopher Hitchens Web
    -AFFADAVIT : Hitchens Affidavit on Blumenthal Saturday, February 6, 1999
    -EXCERPT : from  No One Left to Lie To : War Dog
    -EXCERPT : Why has he got away with it? : Henry Kissinger is revered as a statesman, cosseted guest, star of the lecture circuit. He is also the one-time US Secretary of State who oversaw the destruction of civilian populations, the assassination of politicians and the kidnapping of those who got in his way - from Indochina to Cyprus, East Timor and, here, Chile. Christopher Hitchens lays the charges (February 24, 2001, The Guardian)
    -EXCERPT : The case against Henry Kissinger
    -EXCERPT : from Letters to a young contrarian : The spirit of 1968 may be a distant memory, but a new generation of radicals live in hope of making the world a better place. Christopher Hitchens offers them the wisdom of a seasoned campaigner (Christopher Hitchens, November 10, 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : The Ends of War (Christopher Hitchens, 12/17/01, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Images in a Rearview Mirror (Christopher Hitchens, December 3, 2001, The Nation) Ý
    -ESSAY : Guess what, the bombing worked like a charm : The antiwar hand-wringers kept warning us of its perils. But as the Taliban despots flee Afghan cities, and their citizens cheer, the air war's stunning efficacy is clear for all to see (Christopher Hitchens, 11/14/01, Salon)
    -ESSAY : In case anyone's forgotten: torture doesn't work (Christopher Hitchens, November 14 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Ha ha ha to the pacifists (Christopher Hitchens, November 14 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Le Pouvoir Est Dans La Rue? (Christopher Hitchens, 11/19/01, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Blaming Bin Laden First (Christopher Hitchens, 10/22/01, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Against Rationalization (Christopher Hitchens, 10/08/01, The Nation)
    -EXCHANGE : Rationalization & Reason : Christopher Hitchens's October 8 Nation magazine column provoked a spate of mail, both pro and con, which led to Hitchens's elaboration for the Nation website, in which he took many progressives to task, including Noam Chomsky, for being soft on what he calls "Islamic Fascism." Chomsky then replied, and a further exchange ensued (The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Why the suicide killers chose September 11 (Christopher Hitchens, October 3, 2001 The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Murder was their only motive  (Christopher Hitchens, September 26 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Let's not get too liberal  (Christopher Hitchens, September 21 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : So is this war? (Christopher Hitchens, September 13 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Farewell to the Helmsman (Christopher Hitchens, September 2001, Foreign Policy)
    -ESSAY : The Car: Mercedes SLK 320. The Address: Atherton, CA 94027. The Obligatory Proto-Capitalist Worldview: Ayn Rand
: Why so many high-tech executives have declared allegiance to Randian objectivism. (Christopher Hitchens, August 2001, Business 2.0)
    -ESSAY : Israel Shahak,  1933-2001(Christopher Hitchens, 23 July 2001, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : America's Dirty War on Drugs Ý(Christopher Hitchens, July 11, 2001, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : Rogue Nation USA : Which country refuses to sign international treaties and ignores U.N. resolutions while demanding that everyone else play by the rules? You guessed it. (Christopher Hitchens May/June 2001, Mother Jones)
    -ESSAY : Leave No Child Behind? (Christopher Hitchens, May 28, 2001, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : THE CASE AGAINST HENRY KISSINGER (Christopher Hitchens, March 2001, Harper's)
    -ESSAY : Wiesel Words (Christopher Hitchens, 19 February 2001, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Lots of Firsts : He showed us how low a president could go. (Christopher Hitchens, January 16, 2001, Wall Street Journal)
    -ESSAY  : The Great American Augie : Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976, but the great novel that set him on the course for the prize had been published 23 years earlier, in 1953. The peripatetic hero of The Adventures of Augie March spoke in an idiom entirely new to American literature--an astonishing mix of the high-flown and the low-down. (Christopher Hitchens, Winter 2001, Wilson Quarterly)
    -ESSAY : Donít Blame Nader for Democratsí Problems (Christopher Hitchens, Wall Street Journal | November 15, 2000)
    -ESSAY : Why Dubya Can't Read (Christopher Hitchens, October 9, 2000, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Is Hillary Clinton Eleanor Roosevelt? (Christopher Hitchens, American Enterprise, September 06 2000)
    -ESSAY : Good Bill? or Bill of Goods? : Two Left Takes on the Clinton Legacy (Mother Jones, September 01 2000 by Michael Kazin, Christopher Hitchens)
    -ESSAY : If Not Now... (Christopher Hitchens, July 2000, The Nation)
    -TRIBUTE : Joseph Heller (Christopher Hitchens, January 3, 2000, The Nation)
    -ESSAY :  Twisted v. Weird (Christopher Hitchens, 6 January 2000, London Review of Books)
    -ESSAY : You call this a free election? : The international community sends watchdogs to monitor foreign elections -- that's just what America needs in 2000. (Christopher Hitchens, Nov. 3, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Commentary's scurrilous attack on Edward Said : Enemies are calling him "the Palestinian Tawana Brawley," but Said's stories of displacement and diaspora are true. (Christopher Hitchens, Sept. 7, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Gov. Death : George W. Bush has presided over an execution in Texas almost every two weeks since his election. Why isn't that a campaign issue? (Christopher Hitchens, Aug. 7, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : A good man, very fair, very witty, very loyal : While the world waits, Christopher Hitchens reflects on the life and career of John F. Kennedy Jr. (Christopher Hitchens, July 17, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : "IT'S OUR TURN" : Swallowing the Lies of Bill Clinton (Christopher Hitchens, May 1999, American Enterprise)
    -ESSAY : Bloody blundering: Clinton's cluelessness is selling out Kosovo : If administration leaders really
expected NATO airstrikes to accelerate the carnage in Kosovo, they should be indicted for war crimes. (Christopher Hitchens, April 5, 1999 , Salon)
    -ESSAY : The question that won't go away : President Clinton's failure to address Juanita Broaddrick's charge of rape is indefensible. (Christopher Hitchens, 3/16/99, Salon)
    -EXCHANGE : Hitchens a Homophobe? : Mark Lilly and Christopher Hitchens on Hitchens and Homophobia--from the Letters colum of the London Review of Books: Letters: Volume 21 Number 4 (18 February 1999):
    -ESSAY : Clinton's Star Wars sequel : The president pays off the military by funding a notorious boondoggle. (Christopher Hitchens, 1/19/99, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Gentleman's agreement : A bipartisan agreement lets Clinton evade comment and action on the fate of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. By Christopher Hitchens, 12/09/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Monotheist Notes From All Over (Christopher Hitchens, October 19, 1998, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Close but No Cigar Ý(Christopher Hitchens, October 5, 1998, The Nation)
    -ESSAY : Rushdie: Free at Last : Reason and decency have their occasional victories, too, and the lifting of the fatwah against the author of "The Satanic Verses" is one of them (Christopher Hitchens, 9/29/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : From Niagra to Viagra : Man's greatest secret revealed! And with father's little helper, he's going to behave better from now on, right?   (Christopher Hitchens, 05/11/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : The iron wall : Benjamin Netanyahu talks a lot about "security," but his actions show he's interested in no such thing (Christopher Hitchens, 04/13/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Remember Halabja :  If the U.S. really is concerned about Iraq's "Weapons of mass destruction," it has a funny way of showing it  (Christopher Hitchens, 03/02/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Telling a book by its cover :  Maybe someone's sex life is nobody business, but in President Clinton's case, it tells us what we need to know about the man  (Christopher Hitchens, 02/02/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Free at last? : Indonesia's economic crisis is good news. It may help end one of the worst ongoing cases of human rights abuses in the world: the repression of East Timor (Christopher Hitchens, 01/19/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : They bomb pharmacies, don't they? : When Clinton really had to look "presidential" for a day, he simply launched cruise missiles against a sort of Arab version of Ken Starr (Christopher Hitchens, 9/23/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Bogus emotion and mass credulity : One year after Diana's death, people are finally beginning
to ask: What the hell was that all about? Ý(Christopher Hitchens, 8/31/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : His material highness : Far from his holier-than-all image, the Dalai Lama supports such questionable causes as India's nuclear testing, sex with prostitutes and accepting donations from a Japanese terrorist cult (Christopher Hitchens, 7/13/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Brief Shining Moments : Donkey Business in the White House (Christopher Hitchens, 19 February 1998, London Review of Books)
    -ESSAY : p e n i s g a t e : OUR HIGHLY MORAL PRESIDENT IS BEING HOIST WITH HIS OWN JUST-SAY-NO PETARD. RAISE HIM HIGH! (Christopher Hitchens, 1/23/98, Salon)
    -ESSAY : The ayatollah who came in from the cold : Salman Rushdie has had it with Western writers who think it's his own fault that the Iranians are out to kill him. First up in the cross hairs: John Le Carré. (Christopher Hitchens, 12/04/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : This land is our land : IRA HARDLINERS FACE TOUGH CHOICES (Christopher Hitchens, December 1997,
Salon)
    -ESSAY : Dick the Greek : Nixon was even worse than we thought (Christopher Hitchens, 11/10/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Oilman Roger Tamraz's testimony to the senate campaign finance committee was a lesson in how access and influence is purchased in president clinton's Washington. (Christopher Hitchens, 9/29/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Royals Flushed : Why Kitty Kelley's book on Britain's royal family has a lot of people upset. (Christopher Hitchens, 9/17/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : THE HAUNTING OF THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR : In death, Diana will cause more problems for Britain's royal family than she ever did in life. (CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, 9/02/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Four Poems and a Funeral : From Elton John to William Blake, rhymes have been used -- and misused -- in the service of royalty. (Christopher Hitchens, September 1997, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Our American friend : Christopher Hitchens pays tribute to the late movie star James Stewart (7/11/97, Salon)
    -ESSAY : MEET THE NEW BOSS ... ... Same as the old boss? Or will Tony Blair be the man to drag Britain kicking and screaming into the modern world? (Christopher Hitchens, May 1997, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Hitler's Ghost (Christopher Hitchens, June 1996, Vanity Fair)
    -ESSAY : The Chorus and Cassandra (Christopher Hitchens, Autumn 1985, Grand Street)
    -ESSAY : Never Trust Imperialists (Especially When They Turn Pacifist) (Christopher Hitchens, December 1993/ January 1994 issue of Boston Review)
    -REVIEW : of A Republic, Not an Empire by Patrick J. Buchanan (Christopher Hitchens, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of Bellow: A Biography, by James Atlas (Christopher Hitchens, National Review)
    -REVIEW : of Ex-Friends by Norman Podhoretz (Christopher Hitchens, Harper's)

Book-related and General Links:

    -ESSAY: Aspidistra (Leon Wieseltier, 02.11.03, New Republic)
    -ESSAY: Orwell, right or wrong? (Tim Rutten, February 15, 2003, LA Times)
   
    -REVIEW: of The Dissenting Opinions of Mr. Justice Holmes, Mr. Justice Holmes (H.L. Mencken, May 1930, The American Mercury)
   
    -ESSAY: Mencken and Orwell, Social Critics With Little (and Much) in Common (EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, October 26, 2002, NY Times)

Comments: