I haven't read any of Dawkins or Hitchens so I won't comment on their books, but I did watch a TV interviews with Dawkins where he promoted "The God Delusion". Dawkins raised the question of why there isn't a stronger atheist/secular lobbying presence in American politics.
Now that I've been working in policy for a month, I have a much better idea of how powerful interest groups are. (Conclusion: very powerful) I feel somewhat conflicted about outspoken antitheists because I don't like polemical antitheists. I don't like angry people in general.
But I also believe that power comes from creating policy. (After all, my position now at AIDS Alliance is to be an advocate for certain policies.) Therefore atheists do need to be more vocal about their vision of a society. The discussion of atheism can't stall at simply supporting Darwin, the Big Bang. Thinking about it, I now think that the antitheist rhetoric is not any more damaging or mean than what their opponents say or what any interest group says about its opponents. At a point, all issues important to me and you need to be defended and strengthed through the law. Laws affect everyone and so atheism moves into a much more public arena for discussion.
I'd love to work at a atheist/secular advocacy organization. Perhaps an internship next summer?
Dawkins also brought up the negative stigma in America with being an atheist. He said that there are more atheists in America than they will admit. I definitely know that when I tell people I am atheist, a common reply is a joke about the lack of morals. I suppose I could say that I'm agnostic, but that would be lying.
I have morals, thank-you-very-much. My family taught me them.