Not With A Bang but A Whimper

Not With A Bang but A Whimper

The Politics and Culture of Decline

Book - 2008
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Theodore Dalrymple's new book of essays follows on the extraordinary success of his earlier collections, Life at the Bottom and Our Culture, What's Left of It. No social critic today is more adept and incisive in exploring the state of our culture and the ideas that are changing our ways of life. In Not with a Bang But a Whimper, he takes the measure of our cultural decline, with special attention to Britain-its bureaucratic muddle, oppressive welfare mentality, and aimless youth-all pursued in the name of democracy and freedom. He shows how terrorism and the growing numbers of Muslim minorities have changed our public life. Also here are Mr. Dalrymple's trenchant observations on artists and ideologues, and on the questionable treatment of criminals and the mentally disturbed, his area of medical interest.
Publisher: Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, 2008
ISBN: 9781566637954
1566637953
Branch Call Number: 306.2 D15n
Characteristics: xi, 252 pages ; 24 cm

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snavelyz
Sep 17, 2016

I read with awe. As a immigrant to this country and learned English in this country, I was very enchanted by this author's English sentences. I read immense pleasure of his use of English language. I have read other prominent professors/academia, not too many of them I can say I read with pleasure on the use of language. The structure of the sentence is precise, not too long, but not short, to convey with precision of his ideas and argument.

In addition to the prose, I agree with his subjects of his argument. Many things he observed in UK also happen in USA. The other commentator, JABROOKS11 says this author is a " old age conservative" he is wrong. The western culture is built on Greek, Roman, Christian religion, The Chinese culture is built on Confusism+Taoism, the Hindu culture is built on their historical literature. These culture survived because it has lasting value for the people, and promotes the prosperity of the people who respect them . Any culture or practice that benefit our species will survive. Those cultures promotes killing and hatred will not.
"New" does not automatically imply "good".

h
hertz
Jan 01, 2013

While I didn't take to every single essay in this collection, I am still enriched through having been exposed to the author's viewpoints. Especially forceful when arguing against the creeping bureaucracy and political correctness which seems to grow upon itself in determined blindness to the harmful side-effects upon the wider society.

j
jabrooks11
Aug 30, 2011

One has to respect Dalrymple’s experience as a medical doctor with decades of experience in Britain’s “slum hospitals.” Several of these essays (most of which are reprints of editorials and essays for the London broadsheets) are insightful and thought provoking. The author makes some good points about the shortcomings of the British welfare state, in which slothful behavior is effectively subsidized and yobbish thuggery gets slapped on the wrist or excused by liberals who see the perpetrators of crimes as victims of an unjust society. For Dalrymple, Britain’s moral decay comes down to a chronic and massive lack of individual accountability. Yet, Dalrymple himself is aloof, living out his retirement in a self-imposed exile of luxury in the south of France, content to shake his head at the stories in the papers and offer his advice.

As his critics have pointed out, one senses his remedy for his native island would be more than a return to conservative family values. These essays can make a good case for “good breeding” if not eugenics. Not with a Bang but a Whimper is one of a growing number of books by middle to old age conservatives who have become uncomfortable with changes brought to their countries over the past 40 years through liberal social policies and increased immigration. While Dalrymple is a good deal more sophisticated than the bullpen of ghostwriters behind the Glen Beck brand, at the core of his work is the same loathing and fear that seems to cry out for a drastic solution to arrest the “culture of decline.”

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