Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Enemy by Christopher Hitchens

Lowdown: An analysis of Bin Laden in life and death.
The Enemy is sold for $2 as a "Kindle Single". That seems to mean it's not a proper book's length; indeed, I estimate it to be around 30 pages long. Still, an article by Christopher Hitchens is always worth reading, and given the pioneering aspects of releasing "book singles" electronically I thought I'd give it a try. You know, for the benefit of those reading my reviews here.
In The Enemy, Hitchens provides a thorough review of his opinions and analysis on all aspects of the life and escapades of one Osama Bin Laden. Given The Enemy's release shortly after Bin Laden's death you can rest assured that particular ending takes center stage.
If you know where Hitchens is coming from then you won't be surprised by what he has to say in The Enemy. While Hitchens and I agree on matters of religion we tend to disagree on many matters of politics: I am much more of a left winger than Hitchens is (he probably won't subscribe to being described as a lefty in the first place). The most obvious example is Hitchens still insisting the war in Iraq was justified; on the matter at hand, Bin Laden, Hitchens claims his termination at the hands of American soldiers was the best ending possible for this story. Even after reading The Enemy I am still quite reserved about that conclusion: While both Hitchens and I agree the USA had the means to capture Bin Laden alive, I think the West would have achieved more were it to put Bin Laden on trial and demonstrate the superiority of its values before the whole world.
Overall: Short, interesting and controversial even if it's not an eye opener. Or - classic Hitchens analysis at a slightly lengthier form than the one we usually get on Slate. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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