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Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 22nd, 2015, 8:27 pm
by Joe Mckay
Hey Richard,

I really enjoyed the fact that you included a quote from Peter Hitchens at the start of the David Berglas book.

He happens to be my favourite writer - so, I was just wondering if he is as well known in the US as he is in the UK?

I know that Christopher Hitchens was pretty famous. But I wonder if most Americans ever realised he had a brother?

Also - are you a fan of his work as well? Or was that a random quote that you just came across?

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 22nd, 2015, 9:02 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Sorry, I really can't remember. That's what happens when you've written several books subsequently!

I've looked at the quote and ... no idea where it came from. Have not read anything else by him. It might have been given to me by David.

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 23rd, 2015, 4:53 am
by Dustin Stinett
I always enjoyed and respected Christopher Hitchens even when I disagreed with him. It didn't matter, as he knew how to make and support an argument. I was not at all aware that he had a brother and (and I am only speaking for myself) I have not seen his name coming up in the circles one might expect here in the states.

PS: I have no problem with people talking about Peter Hitchens and whether or not they see his work much in the USA, but let's stay away from any ideological debates on the subject matter of his work. Thank you!

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 23rd, 2015, 5:50 am
by IanLand
I think Hitchens (Peter) is proof that usually, the wrong one dies first. And also, that talents are rarely evenly shared out within families...

I'd best leave it at that ;-)

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 23rd, 2015, 6:37 am
by Q. Kumber
My favourite Christopher Hitchens book: ... 1455523003

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 23rd, 2015, 7:06 am
by Joe Mckay
Yeah - let's not get into politics.

Peter Hitchens took pretty much the opposite view on everything to his brother Christopher.

I happen to be an atheist myself (unlike Peter). But I just love Peter's work. He refuses to pick up his pen until he has found something interesting (and often contrarian - but not deliberately so) to write.

There is a good interview with him here:

I will just leave it at that. I don't want to turn this into a religion/politics thread.

Hitchens is also a legend on the political chatshows here in the UK. There is nobody like him on TV.

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 26th, 2019, 9:24 pm
by Joe Mckay
Does anyone know where the Peter Hitchens quote I started this thread asking about is?

I know it is in the David Berglas book somewhere. But I cannot find it now and it is annoying me.

Does anyone have any pointers?

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 27th, 2019, 5:16 pm
by Joe Lyons
Peter’s relationship with Christopher intrigued me.

In Berglas on page 43.

On the internet here: ... for-i.html

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 8:47 am
by Joe Mckay
Thanks for that!

Peter says he felt his family lost Christopher after he went to university. His head was turned by been an "intellectual star" at Cambridge university. And in the decades that followed - he focused more on living a glamorous lifestyle than keeping in touch with his family.

Along the way - Christopher stuck with his left-wing views. Whilst Peter drfited to the right. A right-wing outlook based on worldview built on Christian principles.

During all this - Christopher became a star in America. Whilst Peter was regularly mis-characterised and laughed at in the UK. This entrenched Peter's position as he based his worldview on opposing the ideas that the intellectual elites in politics and the media imbibe without really questioning.

To this day - Christopher has become some kind of icon in death. Particularly amongst the young in America. Yet - Peter wonders how many people know that Peter opposed the Iraq war whereas Christopher supported it?

They ended up pretty much opposing each other on every major issue. And this led to a big falling out between them when Christopher felt Peter made up a quote to try and sabotage his new found fame and influence in America.

Another complication in their relationship is the fact that their mother killed herself in a suicide pact with a man he left her husband for. The mother tried contacting Christopher just before she killed herself. And one of the points that Christopher used to troll Peter over was the fact that he was clearly the one that their mother liked the most.

Happily - they became a lot closer towards the end of Christopher's life. It seems that they both realised they were part of a generation that was been swept away by the forces of modernity. And inspite of their political differences - more ultimately united them than divided them.

One thing that has always united them is a love of Orwell. A lot of views that Orwell held in his time would be considered left-wing or normal. But the passage of time would now class them as right-wing. As such - both brothers find a lot in the work of Orwell to support their worldview.

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 9:17 am
by Joe Lyons
Sounds Shakespearean!

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 11:39 am
by Ian Kendall
I'd be interested to hear how anyone could explain that Orwell or his views were right wing...

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 12:17 pm
by Bill Mullins
My favorite Christopher Hitchens -

On Bill Maher with Salman Rushdie and Mos Def (who he calls "Mr. Definitely")

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 12:27 pm
by Bill Mullins
The Peter Hitchens quote seems to come from The Daily Mail, 1 May 2010.

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 10th, 2020, 3:34 pm
by Joe Mckay
Sorry to dig up an old thread. But my OCD side got the better of me. Thanks to Bill for digging out the reference above.

So here is the quote that I was trying to track down:
The obvious thing is not necessarily the right one. A little knowledge can save us from making bad mistakes. If you feed a big meal to a starving man, which might seem the kind thing to do, you are likely to kill him. Aeroplanes take off into the wind, not, as might seem more sensible, with the wind behind them. If your car engine overheats, you should turn the heater up, not down.

Peter Hitchens has a wonderful way with words and a powerful mind. I remember him lamenting the state of the British education and justice systems. He went on to say that it is now easier to get into university than it is to get into prison.

He also has a great piece of writing about the importance of the monarchy to the (unwritten) British constitution:
The British monarch is like the king on a chessboard. He cannot attack. But by occupying his square he prevents others from doing so – politicians who long for the supremacy that monarchs have, who yearn to be escorted by booted cavalry and greeted with trumpets, and who want us to respect them even when they don’t deserve it. Especially when they don’t deserve it.

Re: Peter Hitchens quote?

Posted: January 10th, 2020, 6:48 pm
by Ian Kendall
Aeroplanes take off into the wind, not, as might seem more sensible, with the wind behind them.

This shows a complete ignorance of the subject about which he is writing. Which is not surprising.