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Book Excerpt: Hitchens's 'God Is Not Great'

Chapter Two: Religion KillsHis aversion to religion, in the sense usually attached to the term, was of the same kind with that of Lucretius: he regarded it with the feelings due not to a mere mental delusion, but to a great moral evil. He looked upon it as the greatest enemy of morality: first, by setting up factitious excellencies—belief in creeds, devotional feelings, and ceremonies, not connected with the good of human kind—and causing these to be accepted as substitutes for genuine...

Star Bonding

This week, defense attorneys worked to portray Michael Jackson not as a child molester but as a man who idealizes children in order to make up for a childhood destroyed by the demands of superstardom. As an adult, he befriended other child stars, such as "Home Alone" actor Macaulay Culkin, who took the stand Wednesday to defend his friend. In what observers described as the high point of Jackson's defense so far, Culkin, 24, testified Wednesday that prosecution witness accounts that Jackson...

The Death Of A Symbol

Late last Friday night I headed downtown to TriBeCa, one of those bustling, lively Manhattan villages where a sense of neighborhood and community--now lost in much of modern America--is alive and well. I wanted to see the impromptu memorial on North Moore Street to John F. Kennedy Jr., TriBeCa's favorite son. The crowd, a cross section of those who live in this great city, stretched halfway down the block; people walked silently past the flowers and cards, the posters and votive candles, the...

Hillary's Day In The Sun

Now it's her turn. After a quarter century of standing by Bill Clinton--and rising to power with him--the First Lady is ready for a run of her own. Where will she make her mark? In the Senate or on the world stage? The road ahead is risky, but at the moment Mrs. Clinton is the hottest commodity in American public life.THE IDEA FIRST occurred to Charlie Rangel, the powerful 14-term congressman from Harlem, as he listened to the crowds screaming for Hillary Clinton at a rally in Chicago last...

Growing Up Without Her

SHE HAD TRIED, SHE OFTEN SAID, TO GIVE HER TWO sons as normal a life as possible. So when Prince William said he'd like to meet one of the world's most beautiful women, Diana did what any mother of a teenage boy would do--phoned Cindy Crawford, whom she barely knew, and invited her to tea. Arriving at Kensington Palace, the supermodel found herself alone in a room with William, where they chatted for a few minutes until Diana joined them, and, noticing her son blushing, confided to Crawford:...

Days Of Wonder

;p> MOMENTS: The first week of the Summer Games had everything--exhilaration, pathos, surprise and sheer awe. Some highlights:IF INTIMIDATION WERE AN Olympic event, Aleksandr Karelin would own it. The Russian behemoth stands 6 feet 3, weighs nearly 300 pounds and wrings out men his own size like damp washcloths. Karelin is the long-reigning king of heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling. He hadn't lost a match in 10 years when he confronted American Matt Ghaffari in Atlanta last week. And he had...

The Last Tycoon, Take Two

Robert Evans's THE KID Stays in the Picture (412 pages. Hyperion. $24.95) is the wildest, profanest, most ridiculously riveting movie memoir ever. His style is so hilar-iously messy (sample Evans epigram: "Possession is 99 percent of ownership") that it's fun -- the voice of a self-taught, self-centered mogul who was never mogully enough to command absolute power. Evans, head of Paramount in the late '60s and early '70s, ruefully characterizes himself as an "employee," unlike the Cohns and...

Day & Night

His Ex-wife had been dead less than 12 hours, her throat slashed while their young children slept nearby. He had been summoned back to Los Angeles by the police to be questioned as a possible suspect in the murder. Still, as 0.J. Simpson hurried to the Chicago airport on the morning of June 13, he paused to sign an autograph.It was a bizarre impulse under the circumstances, but perfectly in keeping with the public persona Simpson had painstakingly constructed throughout his life. As a child...