Today, the FORA.tv community mourns the loss of one of our favorite speakers: the great Christopher Hitchens.
No one embodied the spirit of fearless inquiry and open, informed public discourse that FORA.tv hopes to promote more than Christopher Hitchens. We are deeply saddened by his passing away after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Hitch, as we affectionately referred him, will continue to grace our site with videos of his appearances from 92Y, Intelligence Squared, the Commonwealth Club, the New York Public Library, Georgetown University, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Hoover Institution and more — all of which have been high points for our organization.
Our colleague Stuart Schulzke’s impromptu exchange with Hitch at Politics & Prose in 2007 remains his “favorite personal snapshot of my time at FORA.tv. I’m sure he didn’t mean it, but I take it as a compliment that Hitchens turned his famous cerebral firepower my direction for a few minutes. Also, I’m pretty sure I lost.”
Few, if any, intellectuals were as pivotal as Hitchens in shaping the public debate since September 11, 2001. Read his impassioned and rational defense of the publication of The Satanic Verses by his friend, Salman Rushdie contained in Hitch-22 to see how prescient he was regarding global politics and fiercely loyal he was regarding friendship, Almost everyone disagreed with Hitch about at least one topic vehemently – but everyone also recognized him as indispensable to the world of ideas.
As Salman Rushdie wrote on Twitter last night: “Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops.”
Today at FORA.tv we will toast Hitch with a glass of his favorite blended Scotch Whiskey. We invite you to do the same. Below is a selection of my three personal favorites featuring Hitch, for more programs please visit our tribute series.
Rushdie and Hitchens Playfully Alter Classic Literature from 92nd Street Y on FORA.tv
Christopher Hitchens vs. Al Sharpton: God Is Not Great? from The New York Public Library on FORA.tv