Christopher Hitchens is something of an intellectual celebrity in this country--always up for a good quote, a reliably outrageous guest on the talk and lecture circuit. My reading of Hitchens fell off markedly once he became such an unabashed cheerleader for American interventionism abroad.
[My Six Degrees of Separation with CH is this: During the summer of 2003, my son remained at college in Tennessee and, I am told, worked at the campus post office. He bunked with another student in the basement/workshop of one of their professors. Hitchens visited the campus to deliver a lecture. Before the night was out, he somehow found his way to my son's basement room, where he remained for some time. My son remembers that he either drunk, or well on his way to being so, and that he thumped cigarette ashes on anything and everything.]
With the release of God Is Not Great, Hitchens is now perhaps this country's most famous atheist. Less known in this country is his brother, Peter Hitchens, a noted columnist and author. In How I Found God and Peace with my Atheist Brother, Peter Hitchens writes of his slow road to faith, his sometimes prickly rivalry with his older brother, and their public and private debates. And, the younger Hitchens has himself just released The Rage against God, which chronicles his personal struggle out of atheism.
The fact that these two brothers, both intellectuals, would follow wildly divergent paths is not so rare, I suppose. But their story is a fascinating one, and I recommend Peter Hitchens' article. If nothing else, it introduced me to Rogier van der Weyden's remarkable The Last Judgement, partially shown here. A h/t to Milton.