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Our Culture, What's Left Of It [Kindle Edition]

Theodore Dalrymple
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'DALRYMPLE IS A MODERN MASTER' Stephen Poole, The Guardian

'I PROMISE YOU'LL ENJOY HIS BOOKS' Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph.

In this incisive and beautifully-written collection of essays Theodore Dalrymple writes about subjects as diverse as the legalisation of drugs, the death of Princess Diana and Marxism.

Product Description


Dalrymple writes a clear and considered prose that makes him formidable indeed. -- David Pryce-Jones Book Review Digest Theodore Dalrymple has succeeded (once more) in publishing a book that is both thoughtful and absorbing. -- Paul Hollander New York Sun The brutal, penetrating honesty of his thinking and the vividness of his prose make Theodore Dalrymple the George Orwell of our time. -- Denis Dutton, Editor Arts and Letters Daily His gift for storytelling will keep readers turning pages. The Christian Century Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams. -- Peggy Noonan There is so much learning and unconventional wisdom in it that you want to make the reading last. -- Norman Stone Theodore Dalrymple is the Edmund Burke of our age... Our Culture, What's Left of It is not simply an important book, it is a necessary one. -- Roger Kimball Dalrymple's moral courage shines through the most. Compelling reading; highly recommended. Library Journal Engrossing. Dalrymple is intelligent, witty, uncommonly perceptive about human affairs, and scathingly honest about human folly. -- Edward J. Sozanski Philadelphia Inquirer It's rare for someone to produce a work on social issues that is so readable. -- Kevin Walker Tampa Tribune Insightful...[Dalrymple is a] profound British social critic. -- Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University Nationally Syndicated Columnist Striking. Most collections of essays are lackluster affairs, but Dalrymple's is an exception. -- Jacob Heilbrunn The New York Times Penetrating analysis and literary eloquence make the book a worthy read for anyone concerned with the fate of civilization. -- Andrew Martin Courier-Journal The manner in which Dalrymple wields his critical scalpel fixes our attention...he makes no promise to fix our condition. -- Jay Martin Antioch Review It's rare to find such a morally coherent, historically informed and human account as Our Culture, What's Left of It. -- Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse Town Hall Whether you find Dalrymple refreshing or infuriating will depend on your political point of view. Dalrymple calls them as he sees them, and there is not an ounce of political correctness in him. -- Bruce Ramsey The Seattle Times Ridiculously prolific and a favorite of bloggers... He's one of the very best social critics of our age. Brothers Judd The book is elegantly written, conscientiously argued, provocative and fiercely committed...measured polemics arouse disgust, shame and despair: they will shake many readers' views of their physical surroundings and cultural assumptions, and have an enriching power to improve the way that people think and act. -- Richard Davenport-Hines Times Literary Supplement Theodore Dalrymple makes a devastating diagnosis of liberalism's recent ills. -- Randy Boyagoda Globe and Mail Dalrymple has acquired a following on the sarcastic right; if anything, the thoughtful left should be reading him." -- Geoffrey Wheatcroft Newstatesman.Com Terrific... Dalrymple is direct and his judgments are so true. -- Stanley Crouch New York Daily News An unexpectedly moving illustration. -- Stefan Beck The New Criterion [This book] depicts the crucial problems in western culture in beautifully rich prose. -- Gregory L. Schneider Topeka Capital-Journal Dalrymple is able to say things with an authority few have. -- Michael Platt Society The sobering, fiery and ominous truth. -- Stanley Crouch Tulsa World This highly intelligent and perceptive writer never hesitates to 'tell it like it is'. -- Angela Ellis-Jones Salisbury Review These bracing essays horrify, irritate, enlighten, amuse. They also stir you to remember, as Dalrymple puts it, what we have to lose. -- Roger Kimball New York Sun Read the words of a man who has been on the street...who brings a vast intelligence to his conclusions. -- Stanley Crouch Independent A clear-eyed assessment of the human condition at the beginning of the 21st century. -- H. J. Kirchhoff Globe and Mail Surgically incisive essays by a British psychiatrist who deserves to be considered the George Orwell of the right. Charlotte Observer Dalrymple paints a chilling portrait of what is happening these days in France. -- James K. Fitzpatrick Wanderer Another classic Theodore Dalrymple. -- Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University Post Chronicle


Whether you find Dalrymple refreshing or infuriating will depend on your political point of view. Dalrymple calls them as he sees them, and there is not an ounce of political correctness in him.--Bruce Ramsey "The Seattle Times "

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 965 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Monday Books (3 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004AM5PJA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,515 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
179 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fragility of our civilization 23 Sept. 2005
The first part of this brilliant collection of essays deals with art and literary criticism, whilst the second explores politics and the state of society. The thread that binds them is the cultural and moral decline of Western civilization.

The wide ranging topics encompass inter alia Princess Diana, Shakespeare, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, the crassness of popular culture, the underclass in the UK, the legalisation of drugs and Muslim communities in the West.

With breathtaking eloquence and impressive insight, Dalrymple analyses these miscellaneous but interwoven subjects. His observations are interspersed by anecdotes from his experiences as a medical practitioner.

He blames the intellectual elites for much of the decay in the quality of life, arts and culture. In no small part this flows from their moral relativism and their denial of the existence of good and evil.

These liberal elites are quick to hail all forms of transgression while worshipping a twisted concept of tolerance and denying vice. Their hysterical insistence on "understanding" is becoming increasingly loud, but their relativism is remarkably selective. In extreme cases, it results in the total inversion of good and evil.

Thus we get the absurdity of political correctness. But PC is not only absurd, it is sinister too: assenting to untruth is to condone evil.
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great analysis 11 April 2007
Theodore Dalrymple is a top-notch commentator and a gifted essayist. The articles featured here represent some of his best and most recent writings. The volume is divided into two major sections: arts and letters, and society and politics.

He introduces this collection of essays with this line: "The fragility of civilization is one of the great lessons of the twentieth century." The line between civilization and barbarism is very thin, and needs to be zealously protected. Yet many of our intellectuals, argues Dalrymple, are either ignorant of the dividing line, or are doing their best to abolish that line altogether.

Generally these intellectual and political elites are of the left. But the right is not immune from such characters: "There has been an unholy alliance between those on the left, who believe that man is endowed with rights but no duties, and libertarians on the right, who believe that consumer choice is the answer to all social questions."

While civilisation must have its critics, it must also have its defenders and preservers as well. Dalrymple takes on the many critics of civilization, especially those of the utopian variety, who believe that an untried ideal is always better than a flawed but tried reality.

The cultural despisers and civilization corrupters are many within the field of literature and the arts. From Virginia Woolf to Versace, Dalrymple examines a number of leading figures who have left a legacy of destruction and despair. Much of what passes for art, fashion or literature today is simply an exercise in bashing the West and the championing of hedonism, nihilism and barbarism.

His chapters on society and politics are especially of interest.
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126 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dalrymple (a nom de plume) analyses the anomie that has overtaken British culture(what little that is left of it) and attributes the decline of public and private morals to a combination of the ever growing power of the intellectual liberal left and the perverse generosity of the welfare state to those who are least deserving. The brilliance of his social observations, made while working as a prison psychiatrist (possibly in Birmingham- although that is never made explicit) and his currently unmatched skill as an essayist combine to give his writing a unique power and perspective. He has a huge following in the USA and chooses to publish his work there, which may explain why there are so few reviews on this site, compared to the scores on
Reading the British newspapers one comes across examples of the behaviors and life styles he describes every day of the week. Life at the bottom (the title of Dalrymple's other superb collection of essays) really is like that. Britain is now a crime ridden country where drugs and single parenthood/desertion are the lifestyle choice of most of our inner city dwellers whatever their racial origins. How has this come to pass in 50 years since the end of WWII, when Britain had the lowest crime rate and the highest employment rate in its history? No doubt the dystopian effects of welfare and the no-blame culture bear a high degree of responsibility; but I beg to suggest that Dalrymple does not give enough weight to the overwhelming, rapid and now total decline of mass employment opportunities in British manufacturing, which has now died so completely that we employ more people as museum attendants than we do in factories. Is his attribution of power to the leftist elite a kind of conspiracy theory?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Does Science and Technology Destroy Many Valuable Beliefs In Our...
This is an very interesting book written by a man with a very interesting biography - the doctor in some of the most deprived countries in the World followed by his experience as a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great and insightful thinking
For the most part this is an extremely insightful and profound book. The essays on modern British culture cut right through the leftist nonsense that crowds the media and politics,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kublai
2.0 out of 5 stars Decide you dislike something. Choose historical figure to represent...
I was pretty unimpressed by this. Dalyrmple writes legibly enough, but his analyses leave something to be desired. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MISS RACHEL S WYATT
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant thank you!
Published 5 months ago by Simon
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent approach to illuminating the degradation of culture in the...
Excellent approach to illuminating the degradation of culture in the UK. Why does society pander to the lowest common denominator? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sig
3.0 out of 5 stars worryingly correct, depressing to read, needs hope
The information shared was interesting and worrying. But the lack of any options for change, however tentatively phrased, is an oversight. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. R. C. Whitehand
5.0 out of 5 stars Dalrymple is an excellent essayist and the elegance of his prose-style...
Dalrymple gives a cogent exposition of the sustained attack on the humanist, libertarian, democratic culure of this country underpinned by the Rule of Law. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Dalrymple on Culture
Dalrymple is superb in critiquing British culture which is truly aweful. Life at the bottom isn't much better than life at the top. Read more
Published 13 months ago by E. T.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Left triumphant
Dr. Dalrymple would I think broadly agree that what we are seeing in Britain, though it is by no means confined to this country as a brilliant essay of his on France makes clear,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a fantastic book. I have been a fan of Dalrymple's writing for quite some time. It makes interesting (if depressing at times) reading. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kenny Thomas
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