The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

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Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, feted by politicians, the Church and the world's media, Mother Teresa of Calcutta appears to be on the fast track to sainthood. But what makes Mother Teresa so divine?

In this frank and damning exposť of the Teresa cult, Hitchens details the nature and limits of one woman's mission to help the world's poor. He probes the source of the heroic status bestowed upon an Albanian nun whose only declared wish was to serve God. He asks whether Mother Teresa's good works answered any higher purpose than the need of the world's privileged to see someone, somewhere, doing something for the Third World.

He unmasks pseudo-miracles, questions Mother Teresa's fitness to adjudicate on matters of sex and reproduction, and reports on a version of saintly ubiquity which affords genial relations with dictators, corrupt tycoons and convicted frauds. Is Mother Teresa merely an essential salve to the conscience of the rich West, or an expert PR machine for the Catholic Church? In its caustic iconoclasm and unsparing wit, The Missionary Position showcases the devastating effect of Hitchens' writing at its polemical best.

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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - taxcourtjester - www.librarything.com

Mother Theresa is not who she is represented to be in the media. She is a cynical politician and cult leader, mixing it up with brutal dictators when that serves her purposes, refusing to use her vast ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adam.currey - www.librarything.com

Perhaps a little short - as others have said, it would have been good to see Hitchens take twice as many pages to eviscerate Mother Theresa. Nevertheless, Hitchens is always a great read and he covers the topic reasonably completely. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a regular contributor to the New York times Book Review and Slate. He is the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Orwell, Henry Kissinger and Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as his international bestseller and National Book Award nominee, god Is Not Great.