The writing style and organization is at times incoherent, the author makes many vague historical references and attempts clarity with footnotes that seem to have no relation to his train of thought. Der Titel versprach allerdings mehr, als Dalrymples Abhandlung am Ende hielt. Each is treated in a mostly convincing and usually entertaining manner. I found this book to be deeply interesting and thought-provoking, as it is written from the point of view of someone who understands history and politics and the way that Europe has tragically lost its self-confidence in the face of self-inflicted disaster during the course of the 20th century. . Bernard-Henry Lévy is perhaps the foremost public intellectual in that city, with an opinion about everything and eager to sound off all day long. It was an attempt to interest boys in science by explaining how shells, mortars, tanks, and so forth had been developed and how they worked.
This commitment to hedonism includes a disinclination to procreate and endure the sacrifices attendant upon family life, with the result that European birth-rates have plummeted. The author argues that for civilization to thrive it needs to be both open to innovation but not blind to its own achievements, so that its best parts are preserved. The Greek budget crisis was only the latest in a long chain of events revealing how terminal the European political, social and economic model is. His credential was issued in the form of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Not only is he honest in admitting Europe's failures, but he also hoses down fears that Europe is undergoing an irrevocable process of incorporation into a sharia-administered caliphate. They certainly could use it,. He has equally harsh words for many politicians, Americans included.
Unfortunately, the book only partially lives up to expectations. Of particular interest and humor is when the author notes that dividing up nations by ethnicity only meant that nation-states were afflicted by new minority problems, which can be seen in other parts of the world like the Near East. It was only though reading a review of the Paul Fussell book when it first came out in 1975, and then being intrigued enough to read the book, that I first learned what a cataclysmic event the First World War was, both in terms of death rates and in its psychological and even spiritual, as well as cultural, effects. He mourns the cultural, social, political and economic decline of Europe while questioning the severity of the two fundamental causes of that decline. He does a good job of admitting his own biases, and tries to be as objective as possible. Western Europe is in a strangely neurotic condition of being smug and terrified at the same time. The New Vichy Syndrome bears the endorsements of Caldwell as well as friendly words from Andrew Roberts, Claire Belinski, and Bruce S.
In the absence of any such things as right and wrong, of course barbarism must gain the upper hand. Combined with a raising life expectancy this introduces worries about sustainability and unvoiced fears about immigration as a potential solution. The first hint was by Henry James, from a letter he wrote to a friend the day after Britain entered the war: The plunge of civilization into this abyss of blood and darkness… is a thing that so gives away the whole long age during which we have supposed the world to be, with whatever abatement, gradually bettering, that to have to take it all now for what the treacherous years were all the while really making for and meaning is too tragic for any words. His quick thoughts on the United States were far too optomistic. The title is misleading since the subject of the title is tangential to the book as a whole which traces the intellectual and sociological transformation of Europe in the twentieth century and frankly has little to do with the surrender to barbarism which is merely a symptom of a larger cultural malady. Wil je deze content als ongepast rapporteren? Britain might not have surrendered or collaborated or remained neutral in the struggle with fascism, but it still had a long and geographically extensive imperial past which it came to deplore.
What would it take for Europe to revive in a form that is likely to please anyone? In many ways, things have never been better on the old continent. After that the author talks about the demographic worries of Muslim takeover 2 , a look at declining fertility and various other explorations of this demography 3 , and some summary conclusions thus far 4. So what perspective can you expect from this book then? In addition to City Journal, his work has appeared in The British Medical Journal, The Times, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, The Salisbury Review, National Review, and Axess magasin. This book is well worth reading. On the one hand, Europeans believe they have at last created an ideal social and political system in which man can live comfortably.
It took a while for the modern vision of World War I as hopeless, futile meat grinder to take hold though. But the Times's Sunday magazine is an anomalous creature. It seems that the text was dictated verbally and later transcribed by an indifferent editor. Fortunately for him, it went almost without notice in the American press. It will demand re-reading of passages, pages and, for me at some future date, reconsideration as the author packed every sentence with new, complex meanings that merit considered study and not a casual gloss. In many ways, things have never been better on the old continent.
The author is highly opinionated, and his opinions mostly match my own; I liked them and the way he expressed them. It is mistaken to think of a person as necessarily a drain on society merely because he has reached a certain age. Ramadan's apologists quickly claimed that the document was addressing the problem of Zionism, not Judaism. Both fear and loss could trigger Europe to see a way out of its weakness through projecting more strength than it in fact possesses. For Berman, this cowardice is an explanation for their refusal to see what a careful observer should be able to see.
But the most apt comparison, I think, is with Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers 1970. Patriotism in Europe has been discredited. After a second reading, I can understand why it didn't make much of an impression the first time. His very latest book, just published by Encounter Books, has the title , and the even more challenging subtitle, Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism. Doing so, and necessarily abandoning cultural relativism, will not resurrect aberrations in spite of the specters of colonialism and fascism that populate the history of Europe and the fears of the elite.