The Staggers 16 December 2011 Christopher Hitchens: a New Statesman reader Selected articles on, and by, the essayist from the <em>NS</em> archive. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up 1. Being Christopher Hitchens In the 2010 NS interview, Hitchens offers his opinions on politics and religion, and has this memorable line on David Cameron: "He seems content-free to me. Never had a job, except in PR, and it shows. People ask, 'What do you think of him?' and my answer is: 'He doesn't make me think.'" 2. Hitchens on Saddam - in 1976 The Iraq wars shaped Hitchens' thinking in dramatic and unexpected ways, with his pro-intervention stance alienating many former allies. But in 1976, on a trip to the country, Hitchens was optimistic, observing that Iraq "has a leader -- Saddam Hussain -- who has sprung from being an underground revolutionary gunman to perhaps the first visionary Arab statesman since Nasser". 3. Am I a dwarf or a horseman? In this 2007 diary, Hitchens defends Blair over Iraq, and ruminates on nicknames. Writing of Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, he notes: "it's an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as these men. If there were seven of us, the clever press would call us dwarves. As we are a quartet, we are doomed to be called the Gang of Four or the Four Musketeers. My own nomination - the Four Horsemen of the Counter-Apocalypse - is a bit cumbersome and I'd welcome suggestions." 4. Please, let's not do God In 2009, Hitchens got stuck in to Tony Blair's Faith Foundation in his inimitable style. He attacked "Blair's new banality, which rises almost to Queen's Christmas broadcast level". 5. Hitchens vs Foot In 1978, a row broke out between Michael Foot and Hitchens, over the publication of extracts of one of Foot's speeches. After Foot accused him of "drool[ing] a steady flow of malicious tittle-tattle into your columns", Hitchens responded witheringly: "Mr Foot is entitled to his ad hominem remarks, though to be accused of fakery by him is like being sold hair tonic by a man as bald as an egg." 6. Arguably, reviewed by John Gray The NS's lead reviewer argues that Hitchens "has the mind of a believer" in maintaining his convictions. He adds: "To say that, during the past three decades, the world would have been poorer, duller and altogether a smaller place without Hitchens and his writings would be to utter a cliché of the kind he despises. It would also be true." 7. Scotland: nation or state? In 1975, Hitchens visited Scotland to take the temperature of the nation -- and to describe the inexorable rise of the SNP. 8. Hitch-22 reviewed by Terry Eagleton It's fair to say that Eagleton was not a fan of the polemicist's memoir, offering some of the faintest praise ever committed to paper: "If one can swallow one's vomit at some of this, there is much in the book to enjoy." 9. Hitchens' Rolls-Royce mind is still purring George Eaton reports on the remarkable tribute by Ian McEwan, James Fenton and Martin Amis to their friend at the Royal Festival Hall in the autumn. 10. "Never be afraid of stridency" In what would be his final interview, Hitchens sat down with Richard Dawkins to discuss their "common cause", atheism. He also provided an analysis of his own ideological journey: "I have one consistency, which is [being] against the totalitarian - on the left and on the right. The totalitarian, to me, is the enemy - the one that's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes. And the origins of that are theocratic, obviously. The beginning of that is the idea that there is a supreme leader, or infallible pope, or a chief rabbi, or whatever, who can ventriloquise the divine and tell us what to do." › Relief for Miliband as Labour wins by-election Helen Lewis is a former deputy editor of the New Statesman, who is now a staff writer on the Atlantic. She is the author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights (Jonathan Cape). Subscribe For the latest TV, art, films and book reviews subscribe for just £1 per month!