The History Boy
Is that history, or his story? With Christopher Hitchens, one can't always tell.
by Martin Kettle
Yet if there is one thing about which Hitchens (and not he alone) has been absolutely consistent through the decades, it has been a disengagement from, frequently verging on disdain toward, reformist politics. Social democrats (in a western European context) or Democrats (in an American one) occupy a particularly shabby part of the Hitchens pandemonium. Center-left vote-grubbers have always been the objects of his special contempt, from John Kennedy and Harold Wilson to the Clintons and (had it not been for his interventionist policies in the Balkans and Iraq) surely Blair and New Labour, too. For a thoroughly politicized person, Hitchens is strikingly unengaged about everyday politics, whether in its minor British version or its major American one.