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Common WritingEssays on Literary Culture and Public Debate$
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Stefan Collini

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758969

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758969.001.0001

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‘New Orwells’?

‘New Orwells’?

Christopher Hitchens, Tony Judt, Timothy Garton Ash

(p.267) 11 ‘New Orwells’?
Common Writing

Stefan Collini

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the work of three essayists and political commentators whose writing has attracted considerable attention in recent decades. Hitchens could be a dazzling and entertaining polemicist, though his later work was sometimes marred by a ‘contrarianism’ that was not always easy to distinguish from conservatism. Judt deployed great historical learning to reconsider the history of post-war Europe, though he was prone to a kind of reductive hostility in discussing left-wing intellectuals. Garton Ash has turned historically informed political analysis into a fine art, with vivid and penetrating accounts of key moments in contemporary history, though his journalism sometimes falls below the high standards of his more extended essays.

Keywords:   Christopher Hitchens, Tony Judt, Timothy Garton Ash, essayists, political commentators, political journalism, contemporary history, historical memory, George Orwell

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