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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passionate polemic, 30 Jun 2005
This review is from: The Rage and Pride (Hardcover)
This passionate polemic by Oriana Fallaci grew out of an article she wrote for an Italian newspaper after the events of 9/11. She afterwards expanded the piece in order to say everything she wanted to get off her chest. In her own words, she was trying to open the eyes of those who do not want to see, unplug the ears of those who do not want to hear and ignite the thoughts of those who refuse to think.

In her introductory dedication, Fallaci explains that the English text is her own translation and there may be oddities in the style and vocabulary, but that she wanted it to be like that because she wishes to retain complete responsibility for every word, period and comma in this book. I found her language quite charming, an Italianate version of English brimming with rage and anger.

In the Preface, she talks about inter alia New York as a place of refuge for Italian expatriates, her family background, the struggle against fascism, the process of writing the newspaper article that eventually evolved into this book, and much more besides.

The main text starts out with her feelings right after she saw the attack on the Twin Towers on TV and what followed. She also discusses the various reactions from around the globe, the heroism of the fire-fighters and America's unity in the face of adversity.

Fallaci really lays into the politically correct, the followers of multiculturalism and the apologists for terrorism. While not blind to the faults of the West, she vigorously defends Western culture, even Christianity, although she claims to be an atheist.

Talking extensively about her travels in the Middle East, Fallaci relates a humorous incident about the time she interviewed the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, and a sad encounter with Ali Bhutto, a former Pakistani prime minister. Her outrage at the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan is palpable. She also gives a moving account of her meeting with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in 1968.

Fallaci doesn't mince words as she talks about the growing numbers of culturally non-integrated minorities in her native Italy and the problems arising from that situation. It would appear that she despairs for the future of Europe, lashing out at certain European leaders and the political elites. She calls the EU the suicide of Europe.

I think The Rage And The Pride must be the most politically incorrect book that I have ever read. It is brutally honest, emotional and perhaps a bit over the top in one or two places where it might make some readers' hair stand on end. But it is a rivetting read, one very special woman's testament to the dangers facing the West, and an eloquent defence of our culture.

Those who appreciate this book may also appreciate Eurabia by Bat Ye'or, Unholy Alliance by David Horowitz, The New Anti-Semitism by Phyllis Chesler, Castle Of Lies by Christopher Booker, Menace in Europe by Claire Berlinski and Fallaci's final book, The Force of Reason.
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Initial post: 29 May 2008 11:18:31 BDT
Gizmo says:
That was an excellent review!
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