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Introducing the Last Interview of Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens died in December 2011. As it happened, he was to receive the Richard Dawkins Award at the Freethought Convention in Houston, Texas in November of that year, and I was to present it to him. It also happened that New Statesman magazine, a British left-wing weekly, of which the young Christopher Hitchens was once Foreign Editor, had invited me to guest-edit their Christmas 2011 number. I wanted my Christmas edition to contain a long interview of Christopher by me. He had been lent a beautiful house in Houston while he was undergoing therapy for his cancer, and we met on the veranda for a long conversation., after which we had dinner with his wife and his friend Mathew Chapman, author and great great grandson of Charles Darwin. Well, Christopher unfortunately was too ill to eat, but his dinner table conversation sparked.
Terrified of technical failures, I used no fewer than three recording devices for the interview. An abridged transcript was published in New Statesman. With hindsight, I was sorry it had to be abridged.
A decade after his death, I suddenly wondered whether, by some happy chance, the original recording might not have been lost. To my great delight I found it on an old hard disc. Rather than edit it, I decided to release it in its entirely. It turned out to be the last interview of his life, so I thought it should be preserved as a historic document.
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