Less than two years after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the fiery polemicist and public intellectual Christopher Hitchens died last night, at 62.
His dominance in the age of the internet leaves us with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of in memoriams -- there's Hitchens on "Politically Incorrect," calling Mos Def "Mr. Definitely" as they spar over the ethics of nuclear armament, Hitchens "improving" Joe Scarborough as a host, Hitchens as a natural on "The Daily Show" and a regular on Fox, a Hitch-centric talk beamed to his bedside at the first sign the end could be near, led by Stephen Fry, Sean Pean, Salman Rushdie, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Buckley, Martin Amis, and the rest of the elite crowd he included among his closest friends, Hitchens drinking while discussing Youtube, Hitchens smoking while discrediting Mother Teresa, Hitchens sick and Hitchens well. There is also of course the work Hitchens called "most important" in his life, to the point of nursing cancer-forming habits to support it -- his brilliant, iconoclastic writing, for Vanity Fair, Slate, and even the Huffington Post.
It's a bountiful harvest to sort through, even excepting his two dozen books, and we recommend the publisher's trailer below for Hitchens' 2010 memoir "Hitch 22" as a useful grounding point -- a compilation of 22 Hitchens moments that, like all of Hitchens' so-called "moments", represent his life's work and philosophy in miniature. What's remarkable about the long-ranging montage is the consistency of spirit on display since Hitchens' time as a precocious newcomer with less girth and more hair. It appears his devotion to his own standards did indeed last, as he predicted it would then, "til' he dropped."