The Portable Atheist

  • by Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by Nicholas Ball
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of God Is Not Great, a provocative and entertaining guided tour of atheist and agnostic thought through the ages with never-before-published pieces by Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Christopher Hitchens continues to make the case for a splendidly godless universe in this first-ever gathering of the influential voices past and present that have shaped his side of the current (and raging) God/no-god debate. With Hitchens as your erudite and witty guide, you'll be led through a wealth of philosophy, literature, and scientific inquiry, including generous portions of the words of Lucretius, Benedict de Spinoza, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Mark Twain, George Eliot, Bertrand Russell, Emma Goldman, H. L. Mencken, Albert Einstein, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and many others well-known and lesser known. And they're all set in context and commented upon as only Christopher Hitchens, "political and literary journalist extraordinaire" (Los Angeles Times), can.Atheist? Believer? Uncertain? No matter: The Portable Atheist will speak to you and engage you every step of the way.

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What the Critics Say

"A fascinating collection of readings from some of the West's greatest thinkers." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This is ABRIDGED

I would love to give it 5 stars, and would for the actual book, but the Audible recording is not unabridged as advertised. Get the book instead!
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- Misanthrope™

Valuable ABRIDGED Anthology, Worth the effort

I must warn you that some texts are complex and very difficult to follow in audio format. This is not an excuse to give up. There’s an important distinction between reading for relaxation and entertainment, or reading just for information, on the one hand, and reading for understanding, for deepening your mind, and for acquiring insight, on the other. (Please take a look at Adler’s “How to Read a Book”, also available on Audible.)

This book is well read with a clear professional voice. As one of the reviews said: the main difficulty in listening to this as an audiobook is that it is very difficult to tell when the narration from Hitchens ends and the excerpts from other authors begin and vice versa.

There are many, many excerpts that are a please to listen to. Here are the three I enjoyed the must:

(Due to the space limitation and since I cannot include URLs, please Google it. The three essays are in public domain.)

- George Eliot, Evangelical Teaching: Dr. Cumming (ch.3 of The Essays of George Eliot);

- Anatole France, Miracle (p. 175 of The Garden of Epicurus);

- Bertrand Russell, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish.

Thanks to Nicholas Ball’s reading, they became even more powerful.


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- German

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-26-2007
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books