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Christopher Hitchens’s autobiography is at its best when it echoes his essays. Unfortunately, the rest of the time it’s largely pointless and self-indulgent

Rebel with a cause: Christopher Hitchens on a picket line in the 1960s

Hitch 22: a Memoir by Christopher Hitchens (Atlantic Books, £20)

In 1988, Christopher Hitchens wrote a characteristically scintillating essay for the American magazine, Grand Street, which was, uncharacteristically, about himself. Though his public arguments have always been driven by a powerful urge to self-advertise, this article has remained, until now, his only directly autobiographical piece of writing. In it he turned the business of self-disclosure into a warning about the pitfalls and deceptions of identity politics.

Entitled “On Not Knowing the Half of It,” the essay told…

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