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Farewell Fear Paperback – October 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: New English Review Press; First edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985439475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985439477
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool Theodore Dalrymple fans will welcome his latest book, Farewell Fear - a collection of essays more contemplative than his eye-witness, slice-of-life essays on the British lower class in his Life at the Bottom and other books. But there are nuggets of wry insights in Farewell Fear as well, and on a wider range of subjects, often devastating the conventional wisdom of our times. For example, he does not buy the idea that violent ideological movements are a result of the desperation of the poor. He points out, for example, that Cuba’s revolutionary movement was led by Fidel Castro, who “was both highly privileged, with a sense of entitlement and deeply resentful, always a dreadful combination.” That same could be said of Karl Marx, among others. Farewell Fear is a somewhat different kind of book by Theodore Dalrymple, but with the same thought-provoking insights.

    -- Thomas Sowell author of Intellectuals and Society and The Thomas Sowell Reader

Once encountered, Theodore Dalrymple has become for many of us a shared treasure—the cultured, often mordantly funny social commentator who was for many years a psychiatrist at a British prison. This collection of recent essays captures Dalrymple at his best, ruminating at one moment about why poisoners tend to be more interesting than other kinds of murderers and at another why Tony Blair’s mind reminds him of an Escher drawing. No one else writes so engagingly and so candidly about the world as it is, not as the politically correct would have it be. 
    -- Dr. Charles Murray author of Coming Apart and The Bell Curve

Dr. Dalrymple's eye alights on a topic--hedgehogs, insincerity, dictators; his mind dissects it; his imagination embroiders it; his judgment delivers an appropriate verdict, usually condemnation; and his sensibility ensures that all these activities are conceived, argued, and expressed wittily or sadly but always beautifully. This book is high intellectual meandering.
    -- John O’Sullivan author of The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister

--New English Review

About the Author

Theodore Dalrymple is a former prison doctor and psychiatrist. He has been arrested as a spy in Gabon, been sought by the South African police for violating apartheid, visited the site of a civilian massacre by the government of Liberia, concealed his status as a writer for fear of execution in Equatorial Guinea, infiltrated an English communist group in order to attend the World Youth Festival in North Korea, performed Shakespeare in Afghanistan, smuggled banned books to dissidents in Romania, been arrested and struck with truncheons for photographing an anti-government demonstration in Albania and crossed both Africa and South America using only public transportation. He is also the author of more than two dozen books and innumerable essays.


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Customer Reviews

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I am working my way through all of Dalrymple's books and just finished this one.
Karen Kelly
This is an excellent collection of forty-two essays by Theodore Dalrymple, long one of my favorite writers.
Geoff Puterbaugh
Dalrymple's insights and wit are well conveyed in these accessible, short, and eloquent essays.
A Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of forty-two essays by Theodore Dalrymple, long one of my favorite writers.

In it you will find discussions of Brits who love hedgehogs, the Irish bubble, terrorism in Mumbai, an analysis of some intellectual fool who puts Margaret Thatcher in the same "class" as Napoleon and Hitler, an essay describing some of the genuinely good people he has known, and taking abundance for granted: "Without gratitude, there is no happiness."

More: the poisoner Graham Young, feminist editors who change his "mankind" to "humankind" (which he rightly calls barbarism), Fujimori and his destruction of the "Shining Path" in Peru, why we should put crooks in jail (despite a French intellectual calling for "the abolition of prisons"), and a fairly brutal send-up of leftists who want to raise the inheritance tax to 100%, all the while practicing deficit financing. As Dalrymple acidly points out, this means we can't leave our kids the house, but we can leave them our debts, which strikes him as a very strange moral system.

Other topics include: spending a week with a TV in his house (he hated it), Internet hate mail, the culture of dependency instituted among Kurds in Great Britain, his dislike of professional sport and its fans, the death of his dog, the death of art, men who throw acid in women's faces, personal ads, and Haydn string quartets.

I particularly liked his summary of the housing bubble in Britain: "Our banks were no good, our government was no good, and we were no good. Other than that, everything was fine." (!!)

Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Taylor on August 12, 2013
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Dalrymple sees what he sees and reports it accurately and fearlessly without the pc goggles that so many of us are used to wearing
His stance against welfare, soft prison sentencing and forgiveness of domestic violence gives hope that the battle for decency is not lost, and that the cycle of dreadful upbringing and crime can be broken.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By r.kneyber on July 28, 2013
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I had never heard of Theodore Dalrymple before, so I started reading with an open mind.

From the first essay on (which is about people that save hedgehogs) I was deeply fascinated by the way in which he pulls several subject into the same essay and manages to write about them in a dry, humorous yet eloquent way.

An absolute masterpiece!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Texas Redhead on October 29, 2013
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Another excellent work by a great author! Essays cover a wide range of topics and shed new insight into modern life and culture. Highly recommended!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Porsena on November 18, 2012
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Easily readable short essays. A crisp style and a dry sense of humour. Dalrymple will usually take you one layer deeper than other writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Harrison VINE VOICE on January 9, 2014
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A number of Dalrymple anthologies are available. All deserve reading but this one has the advantage of being the most recent, these newspaper columns having been written in the last several years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Kelly on December 27, 2013
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Schools Disingenuous White Progressives on reality - and this book is no different. I am working my way through all of Dalrymple's books and just finished this one. Amazon has most all his work - so far I have not fund one that was not worth reading. Not only in the content compelling, the writing is superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on April 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Theodore Dalrymple provides many eminently quotable observations in this as in his other books; here the topics range from Virginia Woolf to ecological houses designed to make us feel guilty about our carbon footprint. These essays, once available online, are now printed together in one book and well worth the price of admission. Even if you don't agree with all Dalrymple's views (for instance his assessment of Silvio Berlusconi), there is ample food for thought here: the peculiar falseness of Tony Blair and politicians of his ilk (like an M. C. Escher illustration, both a real object but beguiling us with a world that cannot possibly be true); the dangers to freedom posed in different ways by crazed dictators, a bureaucracy like the European Union, and "termite" dictators - academics who want to impose rules of political correctness on language; the homicidal and reality-denying egotism of resentful philosopher-tyrants who found revolutionary states (e. g., Fidel Castro and Mao); the abrupt U-turn into hideousness of French architecture after a thousand years of splendid achievements; the sad human and architectural state of two former steel towns, in Wales and northern England; an appreciation of the Dutch painter Gabriel Metsu and love of dogs; the different outcomes of voluntary choice by some employers to hire handicapped individuals vs. employment quotas imposed by government or legislation; and what contemporary personal ads and slovenly dress say about our society. Dalrymple's insights and wit are well conveyed in these accessible, short, and eloquent essays. There are a fair number of misprints and errors, likely the fault of the editor, not the author. The title alone of one essay, "Thank You for Not Expressing Yourself" is enough to make one smile and overlook trifles. Fortunately for us, Dr. Dalrymple does express himself and helps us make sense of the strange times we live in.
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