The courage of Christopher Hitchens

Oliver Kamm in Prospect Magazine:

“There’s always the lingering thought, left in the air, of whether this is goodbye,” said Christopher Hitchens as we sat in his Washington apartment one bright winter’s afternoon. And for us, I knew that it was. There was no question about it. Christopher had advanced cancer of the oesophagus—a peculiarly cruel fate for one known for, literally and metaphorically, his voice. “In whatever kind of a ‘race’ life may be,” he had written in Vanity Fair in 2010, “I have very abruptly become a finalist.” He departed life on 15th December 2011, aged 62, with much still left to say.

Like many others, for he was a man of gregariousness and boundless conviviality, I had the privilege of counting him a friend. In the decade since his death, scarcely a day has passed when I haven’t thought of him and wondered what the peerless polemicist would have said about these dark times. The abominable crimes of Presidents Assad and Putin, the debasement of American democracy and civic life by President Trump, the follies of English nativism, and Beijing’s financial imperialism and repression of Uighur Muslims would all have elicited his furious eloquence.

More here.