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Extended Audio Sample The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice Audiobook, by Christopher Hitchens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5 3.90 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Christopher Hitchens Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9781619693692
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“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’ 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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Quotes & Awards

  • Hilariously mean. John Waters
  • Convincing . . . Hitchens argues his case with consummate style. New York Times Book Review
  • Anyone with ambivalent feelings about the influence of Catholic dogma (especially concerning sex and procreation); about the media's manufacture of images; or about what one can, should, or shouldn't do for someone less fortunate, should read this book. San Francisco Bay Guardian
  • A dirty job but someone had to do it. By the end of this elegantly written, brilliantly argued piece of polemic, it is not looking good for Mother Teresa. Sunday Times (London)
  • If there is a hell, Hitchens is going there for this book. New York Press
  • “Hilariously mean.”

    John Waters, American filmmaker

  • “Convincing…Hitchens argues his case with consummate style.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A dirty job but someone had to do it. By the end of this elegantly written, brilliantly argued piece of polemic, it is not looking good for Mother Teresa.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Anyone with ambivalent feelings about the influence of Catholic dogma (especially concerning sex and procreation); about the media’s manufacture of images; or about what one can, should, or shouldn’t do for someone less fortunate, should read this book.”

    San Francisco Bay Guardian

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 2/17/2014

    " i think this is a very important book. i suppose that many of my generation who just grew up with the icon of mother theresa don't stop to question her claims or usefulness. this book argues against the blind acceptance of her saintliness as hitchens himself played the devil's advocate against her beautification with the use of reason and facts. even if you don't care that the "work" she does is at heart agrandized prostelization for a corrupt church, you at least walk away with a clearer picture of what she actually does based on facts and not reputation. a quickand thoughful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 2/1/2014

    " Incisive, bold, hilarious, and true. No figure should be free from critical analysis and Hitchens delivers a first-class one in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 1/30/2014

    " Hitch at his best, nailing the "thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf" for the fraud she was. A quick read, but an important one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/20/2014

    " I know it just seems like a book picking on a nice old lady out of spite. But if Hitchens' facts are to be believed at all, she is not a nice old lady. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua Duffy | 1/17/2014

    " amusing, if nothing else "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Reynolds | 1/12/2014

    " Hitchens takes on of the mot iconoclastic figures of the Catholic Church and demonstrates clearly how anyone.. even those well intentioned become political and ideologicalpawns in a big game they are want to understand.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi Weiss | 1/2/2014

    " Speechless. Should be required reading. You can also watch Hitchen's documentary on the same subject on youtube. It's called 'Hell's Angel.' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Freemyer | 12/24/2013

    " Brilliant, and Mother Teresa, you sure do (or did) have a lot to answer for. Also, where did all that money go? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam Highway | 12/9/2013

    " Possibly lacking some of his more barbed vitriol, this is still a wonderful piece, especially in light of the near universal approbation of this woman "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 12/4/2013

    " I flew through this book. It was so well written and brilliantly argued. Love Hitchens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul De belder | 11/25/2013

    " The Hitch is actually quite gentle on the fraud he proves Mothere Theresa to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick Homuth | 11/2/2013

    " Mostly anecdotal, but enlightening nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Padbury | 8/5/2013

    " Mother Teresa is so phenomenally horrible, I could not craft a more sinister villain in any story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 3/17/2013

    " an interesting idea for a book by hitchens but he reads like a lapsed catholic who is sorting out some sort of internal conflict with the Church-- i was looking for a darkly satirical look at catholic charity unveiled but did not find it "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Giju Abraham | 2/8/2013

    " A useless book. Complete falsehood! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trevor Russell | 10/12/2012

    " Meticulously researched and objective. Everybody should read this to dispel myths of supposed holy figures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine Williams | 9/24/2012

    " Interesting read. I have great affection for Mr. Hitchens but he does have a tendency to be slightly bombastic in his use of language. I do however applaude him for shining a critical light on Mother Teresa's less than perfect missions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erroll Treslan | 8/22/2012

    " Hitchens will be going to hell for writing this and I will be going to hell for enjoying it. Chris, I'll bring the cigars - see you there! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/27/2012

    " A great read, especially in light of the recent revelations regarding Mother Teresa's struggle with her faith. It certainly raises a lot of questions about the nature of faith, the complexity of the Church, and human nature in general. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Snyder | 5/29/2012

    " Brave and revelatory. The beatification of Mother Theresa was one of the great cons of the 20th Century. Even more important, this exposes the essential inhumanity behind all religious fundamentalism. "

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About the Author
Author Christopher HitchensChristopher Hitchens was born April 13, 1949, in England and graduated from Balliol College at Oxford University. The father of three children, he was the author of more than twenty books and pamphlets, including collections of essays, criticism, and reportage. His book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award and an international bestseller. His bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. The New York Times named his bestselling omnibus Arguably one of the ten best books of the year. A visiting professor of liberal studies at the New School in New York City, he was also the I.F. Stone professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a columnist, literary critic, and contributing editor at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, New Statesman, World Affairs, and Free Inquiry, among other publications. Following his death, Yoko Ono awarded him the Lennon-Ono Grant for Peace.
About the Narrator

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received over twenty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.