This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Preview: Richard Dawkins interviews Christopher Hitchens

alt text
Meeting of minds: Richard Dawkins (left) and Christopher Hitchens in conversation.
Photograph: Michael Stravato.

As we revealed earlier this week, this year's New Statesman Christmas special is guest-edited by Richard Dawkins (copies can be purchased here). Among the many highlights is Dawkins's interview with his fellow anti-theist Christopher Hitchens, who began his career at the NS in 1973.

The great polemicist is currently undergoing treatment for stage IV oesophageal cancer ("there is no stage V," he notes) and now rarely makes public appearances but he was in Texas to receive the Freethinker of the Year Award from Dawkins in October. Before the event, the pair met in private to discuss God, religion and US politics. The resulting conversation can now be read exclusively in the New Statesman.

I'd recommend pouring yourself a glass of Johnnie Walker Black Label and reading all 5,264 words but, here, to whet your appetite, are some short extracts. As they show, though physically frail, Hitchens retains his remarkable mental agility.

"Never be afraid of stridency"

Richard Dawkins One of my main beefs with religion is the way they label children as a "Catholic child" or a "Muslim child". I've become a bit of a bore about it. Christopher Hitchens You must never be afraid of that charge, any more than stridency. RD I will remember that. CH If I was strident, it doesn't matter - I was a jobbing hack, I bang my drum. You have a discipline in which you are very distinguished. You've educated a lot of people; nobody denies that, not even your worst enemies. You see your discipline being attacked and defamed and attempts made to drive it out. Stridency is the least you should muster . . . It's the shame of your colleagues that they don't form ranks and say, "Listen, we're going to defend our colleagues from these appalling and obfuscating elements."

Read on

TAGGED: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, INTERVIEWS, RICHARD DAWKINS


RELATED CONTENT

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Derren Brown talks to Tim Minchin

- - BBC Radio 4 Comments

Derren Brown talks to Tim Minchin

Mars rover searching for signs of life

Lawrence Krauss - CNN Comments

Author and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, discusses what it would be like if we found life on another planet.

An introduction to Humanism

British Humanists - YouTube Comments

An introduction to Humanism, with Dawkins, Grayling, Minchin, Copson, Toynbee, Hasan, Pullman, and Margolis

A Jewish, Yankee, Liberal Atheist Runs...

Alan Litchfield - The Malcontent's... Comments

An Interview with Herb Silverman

Jeremy Paxman religious comments were...

John Plunkett - The Guardian Comments

MORE

MORE BY GEORGE EATON

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David...

George Eaton - NewStateman Comments

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David Cairns died because he was gay

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment