Christopher Hitchens Creates a Reading List for Eight-Year-Old Girl

In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens traveled to the Texas Freethought Convention to accept the Richard Dawkins Award. While there, an eight-year-old girl, Mason Crumpacker of Dallas, asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list. And, according to the Houston Chronicle, it looks something like this:

A detailed account of the conversation by Mason Crumpacker’s mother can be found here.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for another set of recommendations, don’t miss this: Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read.


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  1. Luca says . . . | September 7, 2012 / 9:57 am

    Thank you for this. There are still so many occasions when I find myself wondering what Hitch would have written in response to this or that event … Just popped through to read Mason’s thank you letter to Hitch. Moving.

  2. Chris Irwin Davis says . . . | September 8, 2012 / 10:53 am

    FYI – We know this girl. She attends the same secular private school as our daughter. Her mother, (also seen in the video) runs the blog “Socratic Mama” http://socraticmama.com/

  3. asf says . . . | November 4, 2013 / 8:35 am

    what is “this world”?? how about contextualizing her (Hirsi Ali’s) life rather than collapsing the lives of millions of women of Muslim faith into one?

  4. Eric Hongisto says . . . | November 4, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    Heavy list!

  5. gnonannon says . . . | September 19, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    Yes indeed. We must contextualize a culture where are so hasty to shuffle back, and distance ourselves from those who bring verbal testament, corporeal testament, insight into reality and guidance on how to make inferences from particular circumstances.nnnnHer assessment of Islam is lucid, and coherent. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a woman with open eyes, and is someone well worth listening to.

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