- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: Ivan R. Dee; Reprint edition (8 Mar. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566635055
- ISBN-13: 978-1566635059
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.9 x 22.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass Paperback – 8 Mar 2003
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"A classic for our times. It is as fundamental for understanding the world we live in as the three R's."
"Theodore Dalymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams."
"His gift for storytelling will keep readers turning pages."
Brilliant social analysis...a master chronicle of life at the bottom.--Hilton Kramer
Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams.--Peggy Noonan
Once in a long while a writer comes along with a vision so powerful that it shakes you. Theodore Dalrymple is that kind of writer.--Bruce Ramsey "Liberty Press "
Lucid, unsentimental, and profoundly honest...Dalrymple is one of the great essayists of our age.--Denis Dutton, Editor, "Arts & Letters Daily"
Truthful therefore morally courageous and intellectually rigorous.--Norman Podhoretz"
This devastating account and analysis of underclass life and the elite ideas which support it is a classic for our times.--Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University"
It is a truism that ideas have consequences, but a truism is rarely illustrated as implacably as in this book.--George F. Will, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post
About the Author
Theodore Dalrymple is a physician and psychiatrist who practices in England. He writes a column for the London Spectator, contributes frequently to the Daily Telegraph, and is a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. His other books include Our Culture, What's Left of It, Mass Listeria, and So Little Done. He lives in Birmingham, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dalrymple himself has worked as a doctor in Tanzania and Nigeria, and has no illusions about the dreadful conditions obtaining in those countries. Yet he believes that, all things considered, the life of the British underclass is far worse, because so degraded and without dignity.Read more ›
He argues that through a combination of bad parenting and poor education people are no longer taught to think for themselves and therefore have no comprehension of the ideas of personal responsibility, cause and effect or that their actions will have consequences. Sadly, through his daily interactions with the "underclass" Dr Dalrymple shows that many of those with whom he interacts tend to think things just happen to them rather than that, as is frequently the case, they are authors of their own misfortunes.
A damning indictment of 40 years of liberal-left social engineering that has led to this appalling state of affairs and betrayed a whole generation. Truly depressing reading.
Like Dr. Dalrymple I have practiced medicine in some of Britain's less salubrious areas and I can confirm that his stories are by no means exaggerated. Similar tales could be told by any Doctor, Nurse, Policeman or Teacher who comes into regular contact with the most depressing ten percent of our population.
So far so unremarkable, six to seven million of our countrymen live extremely miserable lives: - Surely something must be done. This is where Dalrymple parts company from most of the well intentioned people who concern themselves with such matters. He ascribes the misery that is undoubtedly suffered by our poorest people not to poverty itself but to moral degeneracy and this in turn he ascribes to a trickledown effect from the moral relativism espoused by the middle class elite.
On the first point I am inclined to agree, it is not strictly necessary to take drugs, steal, beat your wife and desert your children the minute your income falls below five grand a year. It may well be true that living on seventy one pounds a week job seekers allowance does not encourage virtue but basically I agree that the underclass would be happier if they took some responsibility for their own, often reprehensible, behaviour. Personally, after 10 years working in a "gigantic slum", I was so completely dispirited by the passivity, irresponsibility and sheer hopelessness I saw all around me that I had to leave for the sake of my own sanity.
On the second point I part company from Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The mindset of the British underclass, their is structure to this lifestyle, which is explained clearly by Theodore. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Manto
One of the best books I have ever read. He is a master of the essay format. I have collected over a dozen of his books, but I feel this one is his very best, and is a treasure in... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Martin Oliver
An excellent read. A real eye opener, if rather a fatalistic but real world view of life.Published 7 months ago by P. M. Cooper
Brilliant insights, written with honesty and clarity in beautiful prosePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have certain sympathies with the reviewers who suspect that "Theodore Dalrymple" might be a hoax. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ashtar Command
Dalrymple elegantly and forcefully describes the slow-motion suicide of the West.Published 19 months ago by Hugh Farquharson
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