cover image For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports

For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports

Christopher Hitchens. Verso, $60 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-86091-435-8

A political journalist of the first rank, Hitchens excoriates a Washington elite that evinces contempt for citizens and voters. He gauges the vast damage the CIA has done to American democracy, faults George Bush for his years of coddling Saddam Hussein's brutal regime and sizes up then-Governor Bill Clinton as a shameless ``calculating opportunist.'' This roundup of articles and reviews from the Nation, Harper's , the Washington Post and elsewhere is a rogues' gallery featuring acid profiles of Richard Nixon, Ross Perot, Margaret Thatcher and former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry. Hitchens reserves his fiercest scorn for Henry Kissinger, who helped subvert Chilean democracy, betrayed the Kurds and colluded with Indonesia in its genocidal invasion of East Timor. In essays on Salman Rushdie, James Baldwin, John Updike and Graham Greene, Hitchens proves himself an adventurous prober of the Zeitgeist. (June)