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World Turned Upside Down Paperback – 22 Dec 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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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: 15 x 3.3 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
C.S.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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