• $12.99

Publisher Description

"A religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers. Her mission has always been of this kind. The irony is that she has never been able to induce anybody to believe her. It is past time that she was duly honored and taken at her word."

Among his many books, perhaps none have sparked more outrage than The Missionary Position, Christopher Hitchens's meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa.

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor. In his measured critique, Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa's reputation be judged by her actions-not the other way around.

With characteristic élan and rhetorical dexterity, Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa, recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious, despotic, and megalomaniacal operative of the wealthy who long opposed measures to end poverty, and fraternized, for financial gain, with tyrants and white-collar criminals throughout the world.

GENRE
Nonfiction
NARRATOR
SP
Simon Prebble
LENGTH
02:11
hr min
RELEASED
2012
April 10
PUBLISHER
Hachette Audio
LANGUAGE
EN
English
SIZE
108.1
MB

Customer Reviews

Disappointed and Depressed. ,

Classic Hitchens, guaranteed to fascinate and enrage.

(Note: I am NOT Disappointed and Depressed about this book! That alias is the unintended legacy of a previous review.)

I read The Missionary Position in book form when it was first published, and it introduced me to the peerless intellect and mordant wit of Christopher Hitchens. Although I have never been a religious person, and am no fan of Catholicism (having been raised a Catholic) and not having known anything about Hitchens at the time, I found his revelations about Mother Teresa astonishing and appalling, to the point of not being sure whether or not to believe them at first. (I was young when I read this book and quite naive despite my pretensions to worldliness.) To anyone but the most rabid and determinedly blind apologist, however, Hitchens' account of the vanity and moral failings of "Mother" Teresa (FKA Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) cannot help but ring true. I remember being sickened to learn about how she glorified holy poverty while collecting umpteen millions of dollars in donations for "helping" the sick by allowing them to die without the most basic comforts or pain relief on the hard and dirty floors of her hospices in order to satisfy her notions about the beauty of being poor. So perversely ostentatious was she in her "humility" that the nuns in her order purposefully removed the furnishings of a building which was donated for their use in their mission of service to the sick and impoverished because they were too comfortable. (Meanwhile, Bojaxhiu basked in the worshipful approbation of the world, and received the best of care when she, herself, became ill.) Perhaps it is unfair to call her cynical. Perhaps she was quite sincere in her apparent belief that to be a champion of poverty rather than a champion of the poor would make her pleasing to her god. If anything, that makes her worse, as it means she was using the suffering of others to buy her way into heaven. At any rate, it seems to have worked with the Catholic hierarchy, since she is well on her way to sainthood.

I am grateful for the chance to enjoy ithis book again, even though the timing of its re-release seems somewhat opportunistic in light of the publicity surge following Hitchens' recent death. I can only hope that Hitchens planned it that way to maximize profits for his survivors. As always, Simon Prebble's narration is magnificent. I actively seek out audiobooks narrated by him; indeed, that is how I came across this new release.

Listeners Also Bought