By now I’m sure everyone has heard that Christopher Hitchens has died. I don’t have much to add to what everyone else has said, so I’ll keep this short. I regard God is Not Great as a masterpiece, and if that had been the only thing he ever wrote, then, as we like to say at Passover, dayenu. Whatever the topic, to read Hitchens, or to hear him speak, was to gain an appreciation for what the English language could me made to do.
Hitchens wasn’t always right (his disastrous support for the Iraq war and his cartoonish hatred of the Clintons come immediately to mind), but he was so eloquent and intelligent about everything that it was impossible, upon learning that he was on the opposite side from you, to avoid the sinking feeling that maybe you were the one who was wrong. He will be missed.