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Matt Johnson: “How Hitchens Can Save the Left”

(Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

“There really hasn’t been anybody like him since he passed…This is why there are these long compilations of ‘Hitchslaps’ on YouTube. It’s why most of the tributes to him focus on his rhetorical prowess—and just his brilliance on the debate stage.”

On August 10th, Matt Johnson, a freelance writer and the author of How Hitchens Can Save the Left: Rediscovering Fearless Liberalism in an Age of Counter-Enlightenment, joined Merion West editor-in-chief emeritus Erich Prince to discuss his book, the first that Mr. Johnson has published. This interview was preceded by previous coverage of How Hitchens Can Save the Left at Merion West, which took the form of a review by Riley Moore published in April as well as a chapter excerpt released in June. Mr. Johnson, who has contributed several articles to this magazine, focused many of his comments in the interview on Mr. Hitchens’s foreign policy views and the instances in which the late journalist diverged from consensus opinion on the Left, including when it came to American intervention in the Middle East in the early 2000s. During their conversation, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Prince discuss Mr. Hitchens’s personality and persona; how he is remembered today; and what he might say about global affairs today if he were still living, particularly when it comes to the War in Ukraine.

This interview appears in video form:

Erich J. Prince is the editor-in-chief at Merion West. With a background in journalism and media criticism, he has contributed to newspapers such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The News & Observer, as well as online outlets including Quillette and The Hill. Erich has also spoken at conferences and events on issues related to gangs, crime, and policing. He studied political science at Yale University.

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