Christopher Hitchens’ B’day

On what would have been Christopher’s birthday, thought I would share with you the e-mail I sent him.

I first met him while talking to another volunteer at a conference about who we were looking forward to hear. I mentioned Christopher, and getting his book signed later. A voice behind me said “I can sign it for you now if you like.”

Dear Christopher Hitchens,

We briefly met when I was helping out the Richard Dawkins Foundation at the American Atheist International Conference 2007 just outside DC. In the attached photo I am sitting opposite you. I am originally from Aldershot and mentioned your recent appearance there for “Question Time”. Your filming commitments for the “Four Men of the Apocalpyse” prevented you from joining the walk from Jefferson’s Memorial to the White House with us on the last day of the conference.


I hope that whatever the merits of this e mail, you see it stems from an appreciation for not only what you have written and said but how you have done so. This young contrarian sees you as the ne plus ultra in public debate and of the printed word. In this world we do not need to fantasise about heroes – supernatural or mortal – but require people to speak out and hold others to account for what they do for and to humanity.

While I hate the idea of anyone’s life being lived by a score card, let alone one enforced by someone else, you have excelled at the above. If ever you are keeping score yourself please add this rather short note of thanks.

Regards to you and your family.


Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78

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