Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hitchens Brothers’ Rift Starts With Religion

Oxford, England


Chatting at a coffee shop in his hometown, Peter Hitchens is disinclined to talk about his older brother, Christopher, the famously combative journalist.



In May, Peter published the American edition of “The Rage Against God,” a pro-Christian tract meant to counter his brother’s 2007 book, the popular atheist manifesto “God Is Not Great”; last month, Christopher announced that he was starting treatment for esophageal cancer.


The two brothers have never been close, and in fact are well known to dislike each other. But Peter is obviously sad when asked about his brother’s illness, and one can imagine that, if he had known what was to come, he might have kept his sword in its scabbard.

But that is not in the Hitchens nature. Christopher is known in England, in his adopted United States and beyond as a mercurial provocateur — once a Trotskyite, now a supporter of the Iraq war, always an atheist, author of a derisive book attacking Mother Teresa — while Peter’s fame is concentrated in England. But his own books, journalism and television commentary, all very conservative, show the same frank ruthlessness, and the same ability to attract enemies. For two sons of a respectable officer in the Royal Navy, they are not very good boys.

Continue reading.....

0 comments: