Wow. Why Hitchens won’t be in Palo Alto.


Christopher Hitchens

Back when Ayaan Hirsi Ali was visiting Palo Alto courtesy the Commonwealth Club, I mentioned Christopher Hitchens was to appear next on June 27.  He was plugging his new memoir, Hitch 22.

A few days ago, I received an email that his appearance was “postponed until further notice.”  I wondered what the story was.

It’s this:  Hitchens has esophageal cancer.  From Vanity Fair:

“I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.”

This is one of the nastier and more aggressive cancers.

Whatever one’s opinions of him, his books, his journalism — wish him well. (I was about to say Godspeed — a thought he would hardly have encouraged.)

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4 Responses to “Wow. Why Hitchens won’t be in Palo Alto.”

  1. Elena Danielson Says:

    I met him once at Hoover. Since his views are deliberately designed to be provocative, you don’t need to agree. It would just spoil the fun of debating with someone that aggressively articulate…It reminded me that our excessively polite subculture squelches a lot of good conversation. Such a shame that he has to undergo chemotherapy for cancer… We could use more public intellectuals of that caliber.

  2. Cynthia Haven Says:

    He’s written some first-rate stuff, and an awful lot of shlock, too. I’m with you. I still read opinions I disagree with violently. That’s half the fun. Why read people who will simply confirm your preconceptions?

  3. Big Hitch - Plasma Pool Says:

    […] Christopher Hitchens, literary and foreign affairs critic variously esteemed by leftists, neoconservatives, and atheists, many of whom find little ground with one another, has, sadly, begun chemotherapy for esophageal cancer. […]

  4. California Atheist Says:

    Christopher Hitchens was a great man, and I’m terribly sad that he cannot be here today to help lead the movements that his ideas and writings helped to inspire.