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World Turned Upside Down Paperback – 22 Dec 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; Reprint edition (22 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594035741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594035746
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, publisher and co-founder of EM: Melanie Phillips Electric Media. She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has "been mugged by reality".

Phillips has often appeared as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Moral Maze and BBC One's Question Time. She has written a number of books, including Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain (2013). She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for The Observer. She published her memoir, Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain on 5 May 2013.

Melanie Phillips was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. Before joining the Daily Mail she worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times. She writes a monthly column for the London Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panelist on BBC Radio Four's The Moral Maze, and frequently contributes to other publications around the world including Standpoint magazine, the Spectator, the Australian and Wall Street Journal.

Her print titles include The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, published in the US by Encounter in 2010, and Londonistan, an analysis of Britain's appeasement of Islamist extremism published in US in 2006 by Encounter and in the UK by Gibson Square.

Her other books include The Ascent of Woman, Little Brown, 2003, The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, Social Market Foundation, 1999; All Must Have Prizes, Warner, 1996. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985.

Product Description

About the Author

Melanie Phillips is an award-winning columnist for the Daily Mail. Educated at Oxford, she won the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996. She is the author of Londonistan, All Must Have Prizes, and other books. Her regular blog appears on the Spectator website.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tempus Fugit on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The bulk of this book is concerned with the threat to the West posed by militant Islam - not so much by the Islamists themselves, but by Western apologists for a Fascist cult. Antisemitism plays a part in this, together with the success of Palestinian propaganda portraying Israel as the aggressor. Ms. Phillips puts Britain in the front line for appeasement, and links this to the decline of Christianity and Christian morals. As a Jew she regards Judaism as the basis for Western civilization, Christianity an acceptable offshoot, and Islam as the opposite (whilst recognizing that there are moderate and peaceful Muslims).
She laments the lack of reason and religion in Western society and the substitution of silly cults - Diana, Obama, witchcraft etc.: amongst these she includes global warming, with a detailed analysis. Enlightenment philosophers are discussed in depth.
Above all this book is a warning - the West has lost its religion and therefore its bearings and is easy prey for fanatics - but like most commentators Ms. Phillips is better at pointing out problems than coming up with solutions!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Caped Crusader on 11 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover
Melanie Phillips is an Orwell prize winning journalist. Orwell is a good name to mention here, because the world Phillips writes about is exactly the kind that Orwell warned us about.

It's not only that political correctness (Newspeak) is rampant, it is that a variety of other quack beliefs, alternative medicines and pseudo-sciences are pervasive, dominating the cultural discourse of the West. Naturally, it almost goes without saying that this nightmare scenario wouldn't be complete (!) without the proponents of these objectively doubtful notions being intolerant absolutists.

In short, it seems we're back to the 1930s.

Phillips covers a variety of subjects in order to prove her thesis. And simply by reading the first few chapters, it is quite clear that this is a book in which a considerable amount of effort has been invested. You read through the descriptions and arguments like listening to a great composer's music coming to life. And it is very exciting reading a writer of this calibre at the top of her game.

Upon looking at the contents, the chapters seemed somewhat uneven as if there is no common denominator. But once you start, the link between them all becomes clear. It was almost as if I kept sitting up with every sentence thinking yes, that's it!

Melanie doesn't only provide the arguments and counter arguments, she lays out the thinking of the proponents of these idiotic beliefs which is what makes her work here so fundamentally compelling.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By I McKeown on 1 Nov 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found Melanie Phillip's book refreshing, challenging and, can I confess it, a little chilling. Having read Peter Hitchens', 'The Abolition of Britain' some years ago, I found that this began on a not dissimilar line - that the old mores by which we understand our world and our place in it have been gradually and almost subliminally undermined by a culture generated not by reason, but by ideology and fanatical creed. The author then narrows her detailed argument into an examination of the rise of the thought processes that have warped and bent truth to become something unrecognisable but difficult to contend with in a world where informed opinion is so invaded by its rhetoric. She records with the demise of reasonable thought, the rise of all kinds of wacky and insane ideas, ideas encouraged by an elite to whom the only virtue is the contemptuous destruction of anything virtuous.

I think of Pilate who, embittered and heart-hardened over years by the politics and machinations of the Roman court intrigues, was to say to the One in Whom was embodied Truth itself, 'what is truth?'. That cynicicsm and disregard for empirical reality is evidenced in our own world, made suspicious and distrustful of anything pure or just simply true if it does not fit the agenda. Melanie in fact goes further, she identifies the discounting of reason as not simply a lack of thinking, but an active process aimed at corrupting the facts and producing a whole set of new 'realities' by the new self-appointed Select who have set themselves up as the makers of the new truth. A brave new world indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maxwell Graham on 4 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent and timely book that needs to be read more widely. We have all observed some of the changes in attitude and culture and questioned - How did all this happen? This book explores and explains in great detail the root causes of the shifts that have taken place over the past fifty or so years.
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67 of 86 people found the following review helpful By G. M. J. Jones on 21 Jun 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. Phillips brings together some varied themes that define our times, such as, atheism, scientism as an act of faith, antisemitisim, and post-modernism and finds a compelling link; that we have lost the ability to think reasonably. She contends that a rational understanding of the world is essentially derived from positive view that God has formed this world and permits us to enjoy its discovery. Our abandonment of reason has left us unable to tell truth from lies or even know whether there is truth, which gives rise to the title of the book. In short, we abandoned our Christian dogma in favour of reason, because we did not want to be bound by Christian dogma, but then we found reason to be too hard a master, so we abandoned reason as well. In this book Phillips will alienate many readers who refuse to allow their predjudices to be challenged, but this book should be a light to many who are confused and alarmed about where contemporary culture is leading us and how we are being led there. Please read this book.
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