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Synopsis

"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.

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The Missionary Position
Average rating
5 / 5
Another Myth Busted
February 11th, 2013
I already cringe when people invoke the name of Mother Theresa - even in the most secular and light-hearted situations - as a kind of shorthand for someone selfless and unimpeachable. Having read this, I will no longer merely cringe but actively seethe at this affront to people who are actually selfless.
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