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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peter Hitchens reads his brother's Rage Against God

Jack Kemp

As a result of listening to the audiobook of the late British atheist Christopher Hitchens' autobiography "Hitch 22," I heard the author positively mentioning one passage from his brother Peter Hitchen's writings (while also insulting Peter's return to his Christian faith). Thus I was motivated to downloaded the unabridged audiobook written - and read - by that brother, "The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led me to Faith" by Peter Hitchens. If one has a new Audible audiobook account, this could be one of your first three free books allowed. The book can also be had for a low price in electronic book form. If you have received a gift certificate this Christmas or Hannukah, that too would aid in purchasing this.

As far as I've gotten, Peter Hitchens talks about his youthful atheistic/socialistic rebellion, followed later by his description of traveling in the Soviet Union as a privileged foreign correspondent, staying in the best of locations while poor Soviet workers went to state run bars where they had to bring their own jar to drink from, along with their own snacks. Sugar was impossible to buy because people used it to make their own bathtub vodka. This section is followed by Hitchens' growing disillusionment with his socialistic faith and his decision to start attending church services, as well as marry his girlfriend in a church. One of his journalist 'friends" chides him at a Washington press conference about Peter's deciding to attend church. Although Hitchens doesn't phrase it this way, it is as if Peter has decided to become a snake handler who speaks in tongues - all the time denouncing the Liberal Church of Global Warming.

This partial description is hardly a review, more of just an introduction. I haven't absorbed enough of the scope of this book to write a review now. But this book is, as Peter Hitchens alludes, a fine foil to the sour writings of his late brother Christopher's "God is Not Great" and "Hitch 22."

Since "The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led me to Faith" is primarily about the author's Christian faith, it may be best to have a Christian review it. I can understand and appreciate much of it. The loss of religious belief in the post WWII period and non-teaching of the young is as common among my fellow Jews as it was among Peter's Christian community in both England and the U.S. of that same time period.

This is a rare treat: the skilled and full of insights writing of a Hitchens brother that isn't an anti-God screed. It addresses many of the same issues the late Christopher Hitchens wrote about but comes to some very different conclusions about both God and man.

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