Christopher Hitchens: The Last Interview AND OTHER CONVERSATIONS
By CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
Published by Melville House Dec 05, 2017
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: THE LAST INTERVIEW
“If someone says I’m doing this out of faith, I say, Why don’t you do it out of conviction?” —CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
One of his generation’s greatest public intellectuals, and perhaps its fiercest, Christopher Hitchens was a brilliant interview subject. This collection—which spans from his early prominence as a hero of the Left to his controversial support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan toward the end of his life—showcases Hitch’s trademark wit on subjects as diverse as his mistrust of the media, his love of literature, his dislike of the Clintons, and his condemnation of all things religious. Beginning with an introduction and tribute from his longtime friend Stephen Fry, this collection culminates in Hitchens’s fearless final interview with Richard Dawkins, which shows a man as unafraid of death as he was of everything in life.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS was an English-born American writer, essayist, and journalist, as well as an outspoken atheist. He began his writing career in England as a correspondent for a socialist publication before writing for the New Statesman. He then moved to the US in 1981 and became an editor for The Nation. In 1992, he joined Vanity Fair as a contributing editor and he stayed with the publication for the remainder of his life. He also wrote a monthly column for The Atlantic, contributed regularly to the New York Review of Books, appeared as a talking head on countless television shows, and wrote or co-authored seventeen books. Hitchens also taught as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a liberal studies professor at the New School. In 2010 he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, though this did not slow him down much as he continued to write and give interviews until he died on December 15, 2011.
“He’s one of the most terrifying rhetoricians that the world has yet seen.” —Martin Amis
“His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned ‘with this hard gem-like flame.’ Right to the end.” —Ian McEwan
“He was an intellectual with the instincts of a street brawler, never happier than when engaged in moral or political fisticuffs.” —Salman Rushdie
“There was nothing that Hitch liked to do more than talk— and all the better if talking meant arguing.” —Anna Wintour
There is no God. Now what? If this is the only life we have, how does that affect how we live our lives, how we treat each other, and cope with death.
In this fascinating documentary, join filmmaker Chris Johnson as he introduces us to people from all walks of life and backgrounds who challenge the false stereotypes of atheists as immoral and evil. From Daniel Dennett and A.C. Grayling, to Julia Sweeney and Robert Llewellyn —learn the various ways many atheists have left religion to a better life filled with love, compassion, hope, and wonder.
A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God
Director: Chris Johnson
Featuring: A.C. Grayling, Adam Pascal, AJ Johnson, Alex Honnold, Andrew Copson, Cara Santa Maria, Dan Barker, Daniel Dennett, Donald C. Johanson, Helena Guzik, Julia Sweeney, Matt Dillahunty, Nahla Mahmoud, Patricia S. Churchland, Robert Llewellyn, Sean Carroll, Tracie Harris.
Available Formats: Streaming rental, HD Download, DVD
Upcoming Screenings & Lectures through 2017
Thursday, November 2 Screening – Houston, TX (Rice University)
Thursday, November 9 Screening – Frostburg State University
Saturday, November 11 Lecture – New Haven, CT
Sunday, November 19 Screening – Jackson, MS
Friday, December 1 Screening – Ontinyent, Valencia, Spain
Explore the meaning and joy of life with 100 atheists in this book of photos and commentary featuring Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Steven Pinker, Penn & Teller, Julia Sweeney, Alex Honnold, Derren Brown, and more!
The myth persists. Even in our modern world, countless people believe that without God, one’s life has no purpose or meaning — that the lives of atheists are devoid of joy and happiness because they are not religious.
Starting out as one of the highest-grossing publishing projects on Kickstarter, A Better Life highlights the various ways that those who are not religious find joy, meaning, and purpose in life. Photographer Chris Johnson spent two years traveling the world speaking with and photographing atheists from all walks of life to create this hardcover photography coffeetable book.
Subjects in the book include:
A.C. Grayling, Philosopher
Adam Pascal, Musician/Actor
Alex Honnold, Rock climber
Cara Santa Maria, Television personality
Carol Blue & (the late) Christopher Hitchens
Charles Strouse, Broadway composer
Daniel Dennett, Philosopher and cognitive scientist
Derren Brown, British illusionist
Donald C. Johanson, Paleoanthropologist
James Randi, Magician
James Watson, Molecular biologist/co-discoverer of the structure of DNA
Janet Asimov, Psychiatrist/Author
Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of physics, author and broadcaster
Julia Sweeney, Actress, comedian & author
Lawrence M. Krauss, Physicist
Michael Shermer, Founder/Publisher of Skeptic magazine
Patricia S. Churchland, Neurophilosopher
Penn & Teller, magicians
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Philosopher and novelist
Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary biologist, and author
Robert Llewellyn, Writer, TV presenter, actor
Sean Carroll, Theoretical Physicist
Steven Pinker, Cognitive scientist
Yau-Man Chan, Contestant; Survivor: Fiji
…and many, many more!
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Author: Chris Johnson
Publisher: Cosmic Teapot/Chris Johnson; First Edition (December 2013)
In this new podcast, join Chris as he revisits with some of the people from the book and the film, as well as introduces you to people he’s met since doing the project that would have been great additions.
Sample podcast guests include:
Cara Santa Maria
Chris Johnson is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. He received his undergraduate degree in film production (along with a minor in religious studies) from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. His photography has been seen in various outlets, including The New York Times. He is the author of the coffee table photography book, A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God as well as the documentary film version, A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God. He has travelled the world on a screening/lecture tour about A Better Life, speaking and screening the film in over 60 cities on four continents — from Reykjavik to Shanghai.
For the book and film of A Better Life, he interviewed many prominent atheist figures such as Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Dan Dennett, Derren Brown, Pat Churchland, Julia Sweeney, Penn & Teller, and many more. He has given talks on atheism and his work at conferences, universities, non-profit organizations, and community groups. In addition, he has also been a guest on numerous podcasts and TV shows around the globe.
Shot across North America and the UK over two years, Losing Our Religion provides a first look inside The Clergy Project, a safe, anonymous online space for preachers who no longer believe in god. The site has grown from sixty to over six hundred members in just two years. Now, for the first time, a documentary crew has been allowed access to the members of The Clergy Project. Many members find themselves trapped, facing the dilemma of either living a lie, or losing their job, community and even home and family.
Filmmaker Leslea Mair interviewed clergy across North America, including the Deep South, who are still undercover and know they would lose their jobs and their friends should anyone find out. Leslea also talked to former clergy, Clergy Project members who are “out,” who give open and personal explanations of why they became preachers, what happened, the cost of being honest, and why they are still working to help others trapped in the pulpit.
Commissioned by Bruce Cowley, senior director of documentary Channel, Losing Our Religion will have its world broadcast premiere on documentary Channel in the fall of 2017. Public screenings are also scheduled in select locations and the film will be available for purchase in 2018.
Contributors include Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker, and many more.
Richard Dawkins discusses the conflict between freedom of speech and Islam(ism), and challenges the reasons why he was recently de-platformed by a KPFA radio station in Berkely, California.
Excerpt from the Blasphemy, Islamophobia, Free Expression Panel at the International Conference on Free Expression and Conscience, London, 22-24 July 2017. Full length panel discussion:
By Nano GoleSorkh (Blasphemy, Islamophobia, Free Expression Panel) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Open Letter from Richard Dawkins
I used to love your station when I lived in Berkeley for two years, shortly after that beloved place had become the iconic home of free speech. I listened to KPFA almost every day during those years, and I regularly contributed to your fundraising drives, grateful for your objective reporting and humane commentary while I participated in the People’s Park and Vietnam war demonstrations. It was therefore a matter of personal sorrow to me to receive this morning your truly astonishing “justification” for de-platforming me.
My memory of KPFA is that you were unusually scrupulous about fact-checking. I especially admired your habit of always quoting sources. You conspicuously did not quote a source when accusing me of “abusive speech”. Why didn’t you check your facts – or at least have the common courtesy to alert me – before summarily cancelling my event? If you had consulted me, or if you had done even rudimentary fact-checking, you would have concluded that I have never used abusive speech against Islam. I have called IslamISM “vile” but surely you, of all people, understand that Islamism is not the same as Islam. I have criticised the ridiculous pseudoscientific claims made by Islamic apologists (“the sun sets in a marsh” etc), and the opposition of Islamic “ scholars” to evolution and other scientific truths. I have criticised the appalling misogyny and homophobia of Islam, I have criticised the murdering of apostates for no crime other than their disbelief. Far from attacking Muslims, I understand – as perhaps you do not – that Muslims themselves are the prime victims of the oppressive cruelties of Islamism, especially Muslim women.
I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?
You say I use “abusive speech” about Islam. I would seriously – I mean it – like to hear what examples of my “abusive speech” you had in mind. When you fail to discover any, I presume you will issue a public apology, which I will of course accept in a spirit of gratitude for what KPFA once was. And could become again.
Britsoft game developer Gordie Ross plans on teaching America a lesson
On March 10, 2017, Richard Dawkins and EvoRevo Ltd, the video game team founded by veteran Britsoft game developer Gordie Ross, launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new entertainment product Richard Dawkins: Evolution.The Kickstarter campaign failed to meet its goal of £50K ($62.5K US dollars) by the deadline, April 10, 2017.
Gordie Ross made the following announcements to his backers via Kickstarter:
April 5, 2017: “It looks of course like we will not meet the Kickstarter target, but we are very happy to have received everyone´s good wishes, support and feedback for the project. Your enthusiasm will drive us to make a game full of fun learning going forward.”
April 11, 2017: “Thank you again to everyone, I bear the responsibility for not getting the word spread far and wide enough.
For those who would like a few stats:
We had tremendous support with 1 in 46 video views resulting in a backer… final total of video views was around 6200, most of which came from the early activity and the average pledge was 57 pounds.
We shall press on now with the game and look forward to staying in touch as we get the job done.”
View the game trailer here:
More about the game:
The video game is set in a solar system similar to the newly charted Trappis 1 where 7 Earth-sized planets were recently discovered by NASA. The game relies on cutting-edge cloud technology to simulate a population of hundreds of thousands of lifeforms as they evolve in wonderful ways.
Richard Dawkins said, “Evolution is happening all the time; however in most cases, the rate of change is so small that it is difficult for a human to come to terms with the length of time involved. Our goal is to strike a balance between explaining that it is a gradual process and showing it happening at a rate that is entertaining to our audience.”
Like The Oregon Trail, an entertaining yet brilliantly educational video game which blazed its own trail in the classrooms of the 1980s, Gordie Ross (the game´s creator) envisions the Richard Dawkins: Evolution video game will ultimately make its way out of the home and into the classroom alongside exciting and entertaining learning resources.
Gordie Ross said, “Ultimately we see America as the greatest challenge where roughly 40% of the population believes the Earth is less than 10 thousand years old. Using a video game, we hope to additionally talk to this different audience who generally do not read science books. It´s Richard and I´s hope to trigger a curiosity about Evolution and Science that sets a new generation on an amazing journey of discovery.”
We will update you as we learn future plans on the development of this game.