I recently finished ‘Letters to a young contrarian’ by Christopher Hitchens which is a shining example of great writing. I also slogged through the very short ‘Communist Manifesto’ by Marx and Engels. Hard work, but nice to have on the shelf as a reference. I was surprised to find myself wondering if it is an historical curiosity or still relevant today? Marxist (even communist) principles will be with humanity for a long time, and they have the power to help when wisely implemented and the power to ruin when incorrectly interpreted.
I’m presently reading Nigel Cawthorne’s ‘Vietnam – a war lost and won’. Interesting background to the war, although Cawthorne’s writing is weak in relation to Hitchens and Marx (particularly Hitchens). I find his constant use of slang is getting on my wick – it’s like he is trying to make out he is a ‘nam vet. I’ve also noticed three glaring errors, something that I’m accustomed to in newspapers, but not books. In its own right a worthy book, but in comparison to some of the great writers I’ve been exposed to recently it reads like a ten year olds rushed homework.
Hitchens makes me want to write, Cawthorne reminds me that it is not so easy.