Christopher Hitchens faces posthumous ‘prosecution’ in new book

Alison Flood in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_106 Jan. 16 21.36Christopher Hitchens will go on trial later this month in a “highly critical” new book which interrogates the late polemicist's politics and argues that this celebrated left-wing firebrand became an “amanuensis” of the George W Bush administration in his last years.

Political activist and author Richard Seymour's Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens is out on 28 January and promises to cast “a cold eye over the career of the 'Hitch' to uncover an intellectual trajectory determined by expediency and a fetish for power”. “It is written in the spirit of a trial,” said Seymour. “I do attempt to get a sense of the complexity and gifts of the man, but it is very clearly a prosecution, and you can guess my conclusion.”

Unhitched will address how Hitchens moved from a “career-minded socialist” to, post 9/11, a “neoconservative 'Marxist'”, said its radical publisher Verso, and “an advocate of America's invasion of Iraq filled with passionate intensity”. At one point, Seymour describes Hitchens as the “George W Bush administration's amanuensis”, and argues “that not only was Hitchens a man of the right in his last years, but his predilections for a certain kind of right-wing radicalism – the most compelling recent example of which was the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq – pre-dated his apostasy”.

“One chapter deals with the trajectory of his political shift, from the time he was a young socialist who joined Labour,” said Seymour. “I've interviewed a lot of his former comrades. If you read [Hitchens' memoir] Hitch 22, it's not an entirely reliable account – what he remembers and what others remember are different. He's subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, revised things.”

More here. [Thanks to Ahmad Saidullah.]

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