Customer Reviews


43 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is truth?
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...
Published on 1 Nov 2011 by I McKeown

versus
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A basic error regarding religion
I read this book because I was familiar with Londonistan.
Melanie's premise that "loss of religious belief has led the West to replace reason and truth with ideology and prejudice." fails simple tests of logic and observation.
1. It rejects all the decent humanists that, by definition, put reason and truth uppermost, above religion.
2. The most fervent and...
Published 19 months ago by zoltix


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is truth?, 1 Nov 2011
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.
C.S. Lewis described something similar in his fictional book, 'That Hideous Strength' though, in Mrs Phillip's book, it is not fictional and she presents real and historical damning evidences with thorough and painstaking research.
The highlighting of the pulling down of the old certainties and a creation of new ones built of dangerous, idealogically distorted world-views based on the new truth construct is something we all need awakened to. Sleep-walking into a world where being able to debate and argue using fact and reason is reviled and outlawed by the intolerant cant of 'tolerance' will be a real shock for those who wait til then to awaken.

Although I cannot say I share all of Melanie Phillip's opinions and conclusions, nonetheless, I applaud her integrity and courage in saying what surely needs to be said. Truth is not something like beauty; in the eye of the beholder. It is what it is, and the author shows us that so much of what we are program-fed today is simply not it. Dangerously not it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging read!, 24 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World Turned Upside Down (Paperback)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars During Times Of Universal Deceit Telling The Truth Becomes A Revolutionary Act, 11 Jun 2014
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.

When you read about the way academics in the scientific community behave towards climate change skeptics, it brings to mind other false scientific beliefs such as that of Stalin's chief scientist Lysenko, the man supposedly responsible for giving the Soviet Union 3 harvests per year (sheer nonsense) and in which dissent from from Lysenko's claims was outlawed. It seems in many parts of academe we're headed down the same path again with global warming.

This is well into Hoffer, Huxley and Orwell's territory. In a sense, Phillips doesn't add to what those authors have written, but Melanie's contribution is connecting the dots to today's world and with the different issues of today.

Those interested in the god vs atheism debate would do well to read what Phillips brings to the table. Herein lie the counter-arguments to the likes of Richard Dawkins and the scientific rationalists. This is one of the strongest chapters in which Melanie makes the 'scientists' look irrational. (When using some of the arguments here about the flaws in logic of Darwin's theory of evolution, I noticed that so-called rational atheists become enraged and... irrational. Odd that.) Other topics covered include the seeming alliance between Islam, environmentalism, anti-capitalism and anti-Zionism; how the Enlightenment unraveled, plus a rational, sensible discussion of the Iraq War (Melanie evidently has no fear of controversy), and more.

Having read about Phillips' latest book beforehand, when it arrived in the post I pulled it out of the packaging and started reading right away. I wasn't disappointed. It's not normally easy to get excited about a book on sociology, but Melanie Phillips' is an author with extraordinary articulation and insight. I really don't feel it is an overstatement to say this is one of the most brilliant books of our time and for our time...

Scary and profound
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


66 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain wake up!, 21 Jun 2010
By 
G. M. J. Jones (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Openly biased in favour of Judaeo Christian heritage, 8 Nov 2011
By 
Stephen F. Hayes (Botley, Hampshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just finished reading this book and was particularly interested to read a social comentator who describes herself as 'an agnostic Jew' coming to similar conclusions to myself from my Evangelical Christian perspective. Having said that, she seems to be arguing that there is some virtue in the ideas in the Hebrew Torah which are beneficient and society-building in themselves without quite coming to terms with the idea of the BSG (Big Scary God)who must be obeyed. This is a bit of a stretch.

Her main thesis is, essentially, that the Western civilisation (formerly known as Christendom) of which we enjoy the benefits is deeply threatened because our leaders and key opinion formers and leaders-including the heirarchy of the Church of England- have misled us into neglecting and denying the foundational beliefs and values upon which it was based. These are found in or arise from the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish people, and have been proved and tested by the remarkable survival of the Jews despite persecution for millenia. She argues that the so called 'Enlightenment' divorced from the Judaeo-Christian background in which it arose, became the Terror of the French revolution and various other godless Utopias since.

She says, science, rationality and Western civilisation arose from a world view that was shaped by the Bible and will not flourish in a world from which Biblical values, specifically for Phillips Old Testament values, have vanished. This view is at odds with the 'we do not need God in order to be good' school of thought as articulated by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Chris Hitchens, A C Grayling etc.

In a chapter called 'the green/black/red/Islamic alliance' Philips offers an explanation as to why various Utopian creeds (the 'Deep Green' environmentalist movement, Islam and Socialism) have formed a kind of alliance against Jewish and Christian beliefs. The strange thing about this alliance is that the 'Green' and Liberal-Left movements fail to appreciate that Islam with its non-negotiable global ambitions will devour them, 'Enlightenment', modernity, liberal sexual values and all, once they have helped Islam to devour Judaism and Christianity.

Phillips' attempt to explain this strange blindness is in terms of a broad based and deep loathing of Jews and Israel based on their obstinately standing in the way of the realisation of global Utopias, whether secular or Islamic. Her arguments are more complex than I can satisfactorily set out in a brief review. I find them partly convincing and certainly worth considering. Her bias in favour of Israel does limit the book's value, but at least she is open and honest about her bias unlike many others who hide their equally strong opposite bias under a cloak of pretended objectivity and balance. Philips offers historical evidence for her claims, I confess I am not enough of a history scholar to evaluate them, but they at least deserve to be heard given her claims of anti-Israel bias especially in the BBC.

4 stars only as I feel it is too Jewish-centred, but a challenging read. For those who can see Britain in particular going to hell in slow motion and wonder why nobody who is worried about Islamification, the intolerant PC culture, creeping overregulation and intellectual tyranny seems to be sufficiently concerned or engaged to do something about it, this may be of some interest. Recommended reading for disenchanted conservatives, and to be read alongside Peter Hitchens 'The Cameron delusion'.

She also touches on the pathological God-hatred of the Dawkinists and, while disavowing young earth creationism, asks why the intelligent design hypothesis is demonised, lampooned, misrepresented and denied a hearing but never seriously engaged with, when it offers realistic and rational scientific arguments that at least deserve a hearing and which many think severely challenge Darwinian orthodoxy. But that's another story
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World Turned Upside Down, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World Turned Upside Down (Paperback)
If offended and outraged Politicians and Scientists organised a book burning, Melanie Phillips, `The World Turned Upside Down' would be one of the first on the pile. Much of what we read and watch in the media is slanted to accord with the world view of influential rich and powerful and so the general public doesn't see the full and accurate picture. Phillips has performed a truly valuable public service in drawing back the veil that screens us from certain back room machinations. She exposes the orchestrated Global Warming threats as nothing less than a huge lie involving the collusion of certain scientists. No-one is safe. In a particularly revealing account Richard Dawkins is exposed as the `Emperor with no clothes' as Dawkins science is found to be based on nothing but wishful thinking. And just as poor old Dawkins is standing there naked Phillips provides him an article of clothing - a Jester's hat. His colleague, Peter Atkins, in like manner reveals that his science is based on pure fantasy. Western society is in moral decline and Phillips exposes the poisonous roots that affect the thinking of those of influence. If you are a Postmodernist - beware. Israel bashers too had better run for cover if you are not courageous enough to stand having your attitudes questioned. Had Phillips chosen the Law as a profession instead of journalism she would undoubtedly have been in the class of George Carman.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing to hear the other side of the Story!, 29 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I think this is a book that all thinking people should read. It emphasises the importance of listening with respect to other people's point of view, even although you may not always agree with them. The establishments opinions on the big issues of the day seem to be pushed on the media, whether it be 'global warming'. 'Iraq', 'Faith matters', 'Israel' or the 'Arab Spring'. There are alternative arguments and they need to be heard regularly. It is particularly sad that within the 'scientific community' those who do not toe the part line are often ridiculed and ostracised, Global Warming, Darwanism and ID being good examples.
Mellanie Phililips comes across as a very smart and well read woman, and her analysis of how we as a society have reached this point in history makes fascinating reading. OK, you wont agree with all she says, but I found it an instructive read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Massive perspective, absorbing and profound., 25 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The author is concerned with the correct matters regarding the readers: she is clear rather than clever and her undoubted intelligence makes a very fine journalist. I have always enjoyed her perceptive newspaper articles.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of common sense, 16 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World Turned Upside Down (Paperback)
If you want to know why we are in the mess we are and why decisions have been made the way they have - this is the book for you. Get informed so you understand.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Melanie is only human!, 8 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World Turned Upside Down (Paperback)
I love Melanie Phillips' writing, and I very much enjoyed this book. It taught me a few things, certainly, although I don't find every point persuasive. Melanie trashes the evidence accepted by people on certain issues, and then goes on to produce very similar sounding evidence to support her own favoured viewpoints, and seems to expect us, this time, to rely on that evidence. It is the general unreliability of the evidence, which she proves, that makes me feel we can't be certain of the veracity of her points any more than her opponents' points. Her passion comes out in a very repetitive hectoring about certain things, which keep coming up in chapter after chapter, but overall she does succeed in giving us a fresh perspective on things and in highlighting certain ominous trends. Well worth a read, I feel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

World Turned Upside Down
World Turned Upside Down by Melanie Phillips (Paperback - 22 Dec 2011)
10.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews