Letters to a Young Contrarian

By Christopher Hitchens | Go to book overview

to say "Hitchens, who criticised Mother Teresa for her warm endorsement of the Duvalier regime in Haiti." This is the surreptitious way in which dissenting views are marginalised, or patronised to death. However, it wasn't self-pity that prompted me to write. Let me tell you what happened to me in the course of a single month, between May and June of 2001.

At the direct request of the Vatican, I was invited to give evidence for the opposing side in the hearings on Mother Teresa's impending canonisation. It was an astonishing opportunity to play Devil's Advocate in the literal sense, and I must say that the Church behaved with infinitely more care and scruple than my liberal critics. A closed room, a Bible, a tape-recorder, a Monsignor, a Deacon and a Father—a solemn exercise in deposition, where I was encouraged to produce all my findings and opinions. I'll tell you all about it at another time; the point is that the record is not now the monopoly of the fundamentalists.

British television broadcast an exhaustive documentary on Princess Diana, giving (at last) proper space and time to those of us who did not subscribe to her cult. I was interviewed at some length, and didn't receive a fraction of the hysterical mailbag that was, not long ago, an occupational hazard. Who could make that soufflé rise twice?

Slobodan Milosevic was taken to the Hague to face a tribunal. I didn't exactly rejoice at the way he was effectively "bought" from Serbia in exchange for promises of

-viii-

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Letters to a Young Contrarian
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction xi
  • I 1
  • II 13
  • III 19
  • IV 27
  • V 35
  • VI 41
  • VII 47
  • VIII 53
  • IX 55
  • X 61
  • IX 69
  • XII 79
  • XIII 85
  • XIV 95
  • XV 105
  • XVI 115
  • XVII 123
  • XVIII 127
  • Envoi 139
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