Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as "one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time "takes on his biggest subject yet--the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world.

With his unique brand of erudition and wit, Hitchens describes the ways in which religion is man-made. "God did not make us," he says. "We made God." He explains the ways in which religion is immoral: We damage our children by indoctrinating them. It is a cause of sexual repression, violence, and ignorance. It is a distortion of our origins and the cosmos. In the place of religion, Hitchens offers the promise of a new enlightenment through science and reason, a realm in which hope and wonder can be found through a strand of DNA or a gaze through the Hubble Telescope. As Hitchens sees it, you needn't get the blues once you discover the heavens are empty.

From my personal collection.

I was hesitant to review this personal reading choice out of concern for how it might be received and the backlash involved, then I decided that it is my blog and I can review whatever I damn well please!

I'd actually listened to this in 2007 as an audiobook, but the format didn't do the material the justice it deserved. It really must be read slowly and fully digested to be entirely appreciated.

This one gets four stars. I was quite impressed by the author's thoroughness and dedication to his task. His arguments and systematic dismantling of propaganda were genuinely enlightening. This really intelligently discussed the issues at hand and leaves you a better person for the knowledge. If you enjoyed Religulous you'll find this an interesting complement and expansion on the themes discussed in the movie.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


Amy said...

I think it's great you decided to review this book and I hope you don't experience any backlash. As you pointed out, this is your blog!I'm glad you found Hitchen's book very good. I haven't read it yet but my husband did and felt as you did, that it is well written and thorough. I'm glad you feel it is more comprehensive and advanced than Religulous. I saw it and found it interesting and thought provoking but somewhat simplistic. I was raised in a strict roman catholic family and I like to read books that argue against faith and strong beliefs because it provides a lot of "food for thought" contrast/comparison etc.!

Thanks for a great review!
~ Amy

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