Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List

Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List
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Are you looking for books on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List? To say that Christopher Hitchens was a controversial figure would be an understatement.

He was a firebrand of a writer, who never thought twice about publicly espousing his controversial views.

Hitchens was a tireless anti-establishment advocate.

He campaigned both against perceived evils in the US government.

He also rallied against establishments he considered inherently corrupt – such as religion.

But despite his radical views, Hitchens’ works attracted a wide readership, thanks largely to his sharp wit and no-nonsense observations.

These traits had been apparent since his formative years.

They are influenced by the scores of books he had read.

Here, you are presented with some of the books recommended by Hitchens himself.

You will also see how each of their stories wove a thread in the fabric of his colorful views.

Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List

On Becoming American by Ted Morgan

Ted Morgan left his aristocratic life in France as Count Sanche de Gramont, to settle in the United States.

There he began a new life, rubbing elbows with the typical Americans who he so incisively described in this book.

Using his name-change as a pivot for a highly-conversational book, Morgan details the aspects of the American lifestyle that he has come to respect.

He lists others, like him, who discarded their names in order to take on new lives.

To him, they are part of the increasing number of people accepting the culture of discarding that America has pioneered.

They have let the old go and are risking the unknown in order to get something even greater.

He provides countless anecdotes of American-style hustling.

Morgan blurs lines and social distinctions in order to get what he perceives is his fair share in life.

He praises America’s character and throwing playful jabs at its stereotypes.

Reading this you will get a clear picture of how Morgan also defines America as the “country of permanent revolution”.

He highlights how its qualities allow it to remain at the forefront of change.

He illustrates how he felt that coming to America was like throwing away an old life of flair and complacency.

In doing this, he starts as an infant and grows again.

Read more on Ted Morgan’s America journey.

Buy this book on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List from Amazon using the image link above.

The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré

If On Becoming American sharpened Hitchens’ characterization of American society and influenced his critiques, this one would have helped refine his taste for intrigue.

This is the second of a series of novels.

Thee first, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, was made into a Hollywood spy thriller.

This continues the story of George Smiley and his Circus working to oust and dismantle a rival intelligence led by the Russian Karla.

This spy thriller isn’t your traditional James Bond story, though.

Solidly grounded on international politics, The Honourable Schoolboy revolves around a tight plot that takes the reader from London to New York, from Laos to Hong Kong.

What’s even more remarkable about the story is its depiction of individual stories set against a massive conspiracy.

Like leaves in a strong wind, the people behind these stories are thrown around recklessly by the thickening plot.

This is likely where Hitchens himself derived some of his ideas on the evils of bureaucracy.

But no matter which industry you are in, you can derive a lesson or two here — especially when it comes to loyalty and the price of success.

Read more about this book.

Buy this book on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List from Amazon using the image link above.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

One of the most influential science fiction works of the past century, Heinlein’s story about an Earthling who grew up on Mars and subsequently returned to Earth can be interpreted in many different ways.

It is likely the Marxist in Hitchens interpreted it as an illustration of the absurdities of the modern world.

But another strong depiction in the novel was the story of how the Martian established his own “religion” on Earth.

Mike was blessed with everything an ordinary man would have ever wanted.

He was finally being able to figure out how the world “works”.

Mike sought to further his contribution to mankind by creating a society devoid of jealousy and inhibition.

This led to a death that is almost akin to martyrdom.

Hitchens, a vehement critic of all religious systems, would have viewed this as a satirical depiction of the follies of religion.

But you, as a leader in your field, could take away essential lessons on matters of influence and politics, as well as how to “captivate” an audience that will tune in to your every move.

Learn how to be an influential leader.

Buying this book on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List from Amazon using the image link above.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

One of the foremost works of this prolific author, A Tale of Two Cities paints a rich story of politics set in the bleak cities of London and Paris.

The story does a masterful job of weaving several conflicts.

It does this from something as big as the contrasting views of aristocracy and democracy to the small-scale (yet just as dramatic) issue of love and family relations.

Partly a love story and partly an epic history, this book unveils very important lessons in its flowery words.

You don’t need to imbibe Hitchens’ views on social reform to appreciate the drama that Dickens presents.

He illustrates the good and evil of society in such a clear manner that one can still see it today.

Your eyes will be opened to the conflicts found in the story.

Also, at the very most you would be driven to act on them, starting from small steps such as your interpersonal relations.

Even better, you would get a view of how the weight of society at large can twist and break the individual.

You also learn how to prevent the same along the way.

Learn more by buying this book on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List from Amazon when you click the image link above.

The Greek Myths by Robert Graves

Robert Graves, poet, and scholar, is a man after Hitchens’ own revisionist brain.

This is evident in his works that re-interpret some of the most common stories we’ve heard.

These range from the Biblical to the historical, giving each one a thought-provoking new face.

The Greek Myths stands out as a gem among such writings.

This collection of classic stories were all framed from a hypothetical prehistoric religion that Graves had written about before.

Hence, the myths were re-interpreted to represent one of the three major changes that Graves perceived happened in Ancient Greece.

These were:

  • The existence of a matriarchal rule
  • A gradual appearance of a patriarchal counterpart.
  • And the gradual dominance of the latter as evident in the rule of kings.

Aside from being a curious and entertaining read, these reinventions of classic myths are illustrative of how seemingly random and fantastic events can be mere manifestations of an underlying change.

You can use this knowledge to view your niche from new and exciting perspectives, but it does require an open mind to accept some unorthodox ideas.

Read more by buying this book on Christopher Hitchens’ Reading List from Amazon using the image link above.


These books, as with Hitchens’ writings themselves, are not for the faint-hearted.

Each book presents the world in a view that you may not be accustomed to.

But you may do well to view the world from such weird angles, too.

This may be how you can slice through the thick and tangled narratives of today’s world.

Hence, you can uncover secrets that would make the world think.

You can question what they perceive to be “normal” and “commonplace”.

And this may be the key to how you can stand out.