The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
by Christopher Hitchens
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From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices past and present that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you'll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they're all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens, "political and literary journalist extraordinaire" (Los Angeles Times), can. Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter: The Portable Atheist will speak to you and engage you every step of the way.
...but brush off your brain cells. It's running at a higher intellectual level than you'll probably expect. Hitchen's is taking material from the real intellectual heavyweights, and mediocre IQs like mine are going to have to focus. If you can breeze through Spinoza's writings without popping a vacuum tube, you'll love it. The narrator's pace makes it hard to keep track of when it's Hitchens addressing the issue, or pulling excerpts from someone else's writings. So casual listening makes it hard to follow.
ABRIDGED VERSION: I don't think there is an unabridged version of this, but nevertheless a superb collection of intellectual heavyweights.
Great book but this is the abridged version, no Dawkins, Harris, etc..
This is one of my favorite books to read but I have discovered that the audio version, this version that I downloaded from iTunes, is an abridged version. Do not expect to hear the essays from Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris or many authors quoted in the description. They are not on the audiobook version. Having said this it is still an amazing audiobook to have and listen to in the car. I hope they will come out with an unabridged version soon. ***Added 12/23/2011, As a memorial to the great Christopher Hitchens, I would love for there to be an unabridged anniversary addition of this audiobook with the missing material narrated by the their authors, such as Dawkins and Harris.