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Our Culture, What's Left of It

This new collection of essays by the author of Life at the Bottom bears the unmistakable stamp of Theodore Dalrymple's bracingly clearsighted view of the human condition. In these pieces, Dr. Dalrymple ranges over literature and ideas, from Shakespeare to Marx, from the breakdown of Islam to the legalization of drugs. Here is a book that restores our faith in the central importance of literature and criticism to our civilization. "Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams."-Peggy Noonan. Includes "When Islam Breaks Down," named the best journal article of 2004 by David Brooks of the New York Times.
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About the Author

Theodore Dalrymple is a British doctor and writer who has worked on four continents and now practices in a British inner-city hospital and a prison. He has written a column for the London Spectator for thirteen years and is a contributing editor for City Journal in the United States. His earlier collection of essays, Life at the Bottom, was widely praised.


Physician/essayist Dalrymple may describe himself as "an ordinary and respectable son of the English middle classes, with a proper profession," but there is nothing ordinary about him. He has practiced medicine in the far-flung corners of the world and, most recently, among the British underclass. In his latest collection (after Life at the Bottom), he once again proves that he is an astute observer of life: in "The Frivolity of Evil," for example, he notes the replacement of the word unhappy with the word depressed by people who want their too willing doctors to prescribe medication. Divided under the headings "Arts and Letters" and "Society and Politics," the essays also deal with literature, history, and current events; Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Stefan Zweig, Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, and Marilyn Manson are among those who dance across the pages. It is Dalrymple's moral courage, however, that shines through the most-not to mention his ability to ask why and how something happened (e.g., the extreme vulgarity of some British art). He even, heaven help him, has the temerity to suggest what one might do to remedy society's evils. Compelling reading; highly recommended for all libraries.-Ellen D. Gilbert, Princeton, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Dalrymple writes a clear and considered prose that makes him formidable indeed. -- David Pryce-Jones Book Review Digest Theodore Dalrymple has succeeded (once more) in publishing a book that is both thoughtful and absorbing. -- Paul Hollander New York Sun The brutal, penetrating honesty of his thinking and the vividness of his prose make Theodore Dalrymple the George Orwell of our time. -- Denis Dutton, Editor Arts and Letters Daily His gift for storytelling will keep readers turning pages. The Christian Century Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams. -- Peggy Noonan There is so much learning and unconventional wisdom in it that you want to make the reading last. -- Norman Stone Theodore Dalrymple is the Edmund Burke of our age... Our Culture, What's Left of It is not simply an important book, it is a necessary one. -- Roger Kimball Dalrymple's moral courage shines through the most. Compelling reading; highly recommended. Library Journal Engrossing. Dalrymple is intelligent, witty, uncommonly perceptive about human affairs, and scathingly honest about human folly. -- Edward J. Sozanski The Philadelphia Inquirer It's rare for someone to produce a work on social issues that is so readable. -- Kevin Walker Tampa Tribune Insightful...[Dalrymple is a] profound British social critic. -- Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University Nationally Syndicated Columnist Striking. Most collections of essays are lackluster affairs, but Dalrymple's is an exception. -- Jacob Heilbrunn The New York Times Penetrating analysis and literary eloquence make the book a worthy read for anyone concerned with the fate of civilization. -- Andrew Martin Courier-Journal The manner in which Dalrymple wields his critical scalpel fixes our attention...he makes no promise to fix our condition. -- Jay Martin Antioch Review It's rare to find such a morally coherent, historically informed and human account as Our Culture, What's Left of It. -- Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse Town Hall Whether you find Dalrymple refreshing or infuriating will depend on your political point of view. Dalrymple calls them as he sees them, and there is not an ounce of political correctness in him. -- Bruce Ramsey The Seattle Times Ridiculously prolific and a favorite of bloggers... He's one of the very best social critics of our age. Brothers Judd The book is elegantly written, conscientiously argued, provocative and fiercely committed...measured polemics arouse disgust, shame and despair: they will shake many readers' views of their physical surroundings and cultural assumptions, and have an enriching power to improve the way that people think and act. -- Richard Davenport-Hines Times Literary Supplement Theodore Dalrymple makes a devastating diagnosis of liberalism's recent ills. -- Randy Boyagoda Globe and Mail Dalrymple has acquired a following on the sarcastic right; if anything, the thoughtful left should be reading him." -- Geoffrey Wheatcroft Newstatesman.Com Terrific... Dalrymple is direct and his judgments are so true. -- Stanley Crouch New York Daily News An unexpectedly moving illustration. -- Stefan Beck The New Criterion [This book] depicts the crucial problems in western culture in beautifully rich prose. -- Gregory L. Schneider Topeka Capital-Journal Dalrymple is able to say things with an authority few have. -- Michael Platt Society The sobering, fiery and ominous truth. -- Stanley Crouch Tulsa World This highly intelligent and perceptive writer never hesitates to 'tell it like it is'. -- Angela Ellis-Jones Salisbury Review These bracing essays horrify, irritate, enlighten, amuse. They also stir you to remember, as Dalrymple puts it, what we have to lose. -- Roger Kimball New York Sun Read the words of a man who has been on the street...who brings a vast intelligence to his conclusions. -- Stanley Crouch Independent A clear-eyed assessment of the human condition at the beginning of the 21st century. -- H. J. Kirchhoff Globe and Mail Surgically incisive essays by a British psychiatrist who deserves to be considered the George Orwell of the right. Charlotte Observer Dalrymple paints a chilling portrait of what is happening these days in France. -- James K. Fitzpatrick Wanderer Another classic Theodore Dalrymple. -- Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University Post Chronicle

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