The Temptations Of Christopher Hitchens

Ross Douthat at The New Statesman:

Over the Thanksgiving holiday the Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh expressed a sentiment I hear from time to time among connoisseurs of punditry – that our era, the age of Trumpism and wokeness and Covid controversy, badly misses the words and wits of Christopher Hitchens, who was taken from the stage before his time. Ganesh offered a particularly interesting version of this take, because he went halfway to conceding something that Hitchens’ critics (I was one of them) might say has become more palpable since his passing in 2011: that his great talents were expended on causes that have not exactly stood the test of time. But Ganesh framed this reality as an indictment of the somewhat-empty – dare one say, decadent – times in which Hitch lived:

“The trouble is, the artist dwarfed his canvas. Hitchens had the misfortune to peak during one of world history’s blander interludes.

more here.