Hitchens’ own publisher, Verso, apparently commissioned a hatchet job on him, hiring a Marxist-Leninist ideologue to write (using that word loosely) a tell-all called Unhitched to expose Hitch as a plagiarist and heretic and fame-grubbing careerist.
Now I utterly detested Hitchens’ politics; I think he saw the world in binary terms and backed the wrong side in the battle against ignorance because he couldn’t see any other position than GW Bush’s and the fanatical Islamist horde’s. But he was passionate and sincere (not that that excuses anything) in his ideals, and absolutely heroic in his writing and speaking ability. There is room to criticize Hitchens on the facts, and I think a book that looked at the man critically and honestly would both provide an interesting appraisal and honor his talents.
According to the review, this book did neither. The author chose to attack Hitchens by denying his undeniable strengths, and the publisher hired someone who “nature did not intend” to write. The professional calumnist who wants to attack Hitchens post mortem faces a formidable obstacle: the man was a great writer, and every slander is going to look paltry and unimaginative next to Hitchens’ most casual jibe.