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God Is Not Great
Cover of God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great
How Religion Poisons Everything
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Whether you're a lifelong believer, a devout atheist, or someone who remains uncertain about the role of religion in our lives, this insightful manifesto will engage you with its provocative ideas.
With a close and studied reading of the major religious texts, Christopher Hitchens documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion.
Whether you're a lifelong believer, a devout atheist, or someone who remains uncertain about the role of religion in our lives, this insightful manifesto will engage you with its provocative ideas.
With a close and studied reading of the major religious texts, Christopher Hitchens documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion.
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About the Author-
  • Christopher Hitchens was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate, and the Atlantic, and the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. He also wrote the international bestsellers god Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died in December 2011.
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  • AudioFile Magazine The author propounds his belief that all religion is not only wrong-headed but dangerous. One doubts the flamboyant journalist will sway those convinced that metaphysical certainty depends on faith, not proof, and that the higher powers are fundamentally good. Others will find his points familiar (if not self-evident), his knowledge wide, his writing graceful, and his sarcasm apt. Like partisans of any description, he ignores inconvenient facts and overstates his case. As narrator, he contributes a pleasantly moderated voice and a listener-friendly British accent. At times, he sounds a bit tired, at other times rushed, but, all in all, he reads well enough, with the added benefit of knowing where the laugh lines are. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 12, 2007
    Hitchens, one of our great political pugilists, delivers the best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos. The same contrarian spirit that makes him delightful reading as a political commentator, even (or especially) when he's completely wrong, makes him an entertaining huckster prosecutor once he has God placed in the dock. And can he turn a phrase!: "monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of an illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents." Hitchens's one-liners bear the marks of considerable sparring practice with believers. Yet few believers will recognize themselves as Hitchens associates all of them for all time with the worst of history's theocratic and inquisitional moments. All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that "Eastern" religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons "everything," which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from January 15, 2008
    In 2002, Hitchens appeared before a Vatican committee in the nonofficial capacity of "advocatus diaboli", or "devil's advocate," to argue against the beatification of Mother Teresa. In his latest best-selling book, he adopts a similar role to articulate his case against the relevance and utility of religious belief. Once a budding theologian in short pants, the young Hitchens revolted against all things religious when one of his teachers suggested that God made vegetation green because it was more pleasing to the human eye than any other color. This teacher of firm but obtuse faith, by the author's calculation, set him firmly on the road to atheism. Hitchens takes all religions to task for their willful disregard of scientific fact, common sense, and even basic human decency. He is at his most entertaining and provocative when confronting particular faiths (his depiction of the rise of Mormonism and the canonization of the Muslim scriptures in particular), but his relentless dismantling of the creationist, or intelligent design, movement provides more substantial fare, as does his defense of a wholly secular morality, a theme that informs each chapter of the book. Given the levels of violence, intolerance, and oppression committed by and in the name of religion, Hitchens argues, the claim that religion makes humanity betterand, conversely, that the lack of religious belief destroys any foundation for a functional moralityremains a spurious one. Hitchens also proves to be a more than capable reader; his wit, erudition, and passionate unbelief could not have been conveyed as compellingly by a surrogate, though perhaps his reading of the introductory quotations that head many of the book's chapters might have been rendered with a little more enthusiasm. Highly recommended for all general collections.Philip Bader, Pasadena, CA

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from April 1, 2007
    God is getting bad press lately. Sam Harris The End of Faith (2005) and Richard Dawkins The God Delusion (2006) have questioned the existence of any spiritual being and met with enormous success. Now, noted, often acerbic journalist Hitchens enters the fray. As his subtitle indicates, his premise is simple. Not only does religion poison everything, which he argues by explaining several ways in which religion is immoral, but the world would be better off without religion. Replace religious faith with inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas, he exhorts. Closely reading major religious texts, Hitchens points to numerous examples of atrocities and mayhem in them. Religious faith, he asserts, is both result and cause of dangerous sexual repression. Whats more, it is grounded in nothing more than wish fulfillment. Hence, he believes that religion is man-made, and an ethical life can be lived without its stamp of approval. With such chapter titles as Religion Kills and Is Religion Child Abuse? Hitchens intends to provoke, but he is not mean-spirited and humorless. Indeed, he is effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational. Believers will be disturbed and may even charge him with blasphemy (he questions not only the virgin birth but the very existence of Jesus), and he may not change many minds, but he offers the open-minded plenty to think about.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2007, American Library Association.)

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God Is Not Great
God Is Not Great
How Religion Poisons Everything
Christopher Hitchens
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