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CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS says Religion poisons everything. The Old Testament is a nightmare, and the New Testament exceeds the evil of the old one. Religion doesnt make people behave better, and Eastern religions are no better than the Western ones. You say religion might not be true, but it provides comfort in the face of suffering and death? Hitchens replies: How contemptible. His new book is God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Christopher will be reading and signing Mon. June 4 at 7pm at the downtown LA Public Library in the ALOUD Series— the event is officially “full-standby only” — and also Tues. June 5 at 7pm at Barnes and Noble on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica.
Also: What would it take to build a nuclear bomb today? William Langewiesche set out to see how hard it would be for a buyer to get his hands on a nukejust one device, powerful enough to devastate a city like L.A.. He finds the necessary highly enriched uranium in a closed nuclear city in Russias southern Urals and figures out how to get it out, through Georgia or Turkey. But it wouldn’t be easy. Langewiesche’s new book is The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor.
More stuff to read: my piece “A Day in the Life: Sgt. Pepper Turns 40,” at TheNation.com.