British journalist and author Melanie Phillips has been an idol of mine ever since I read her book "Londonistan" in 2006. One of my memorable life moments was actually meeting her at a conference to promote her book "The World Turned Upside Down" at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., in 2011.
Being a fan, I’ve always wondered what her early life and her life in general was all about. Well, now, with this brief autobiography, we have it. Phillips traces her story from her early years growing up in Hammersmith, West London, through her days at Oxford, through her stint as a journalist, columnist, and editor at the ultra-leftist Guardian newspaper in the late 1970s and 1980s, and her transformation from an ingrained “tribal liberal-leftism” to a seeker of “reason, truth, and logical argument” regardless of ideology. As she says in the book’s preface: “I always believed in the duty of the journalist to uphold truth over lies, follow the evidence where it led, and fight abuses of power wherever they were to be found.” In her battles with the left over education, the family, anti-Semitism, multiculturalism, and Israel, we see her employing the moral imperatives of Judeo-Christian belief to defend Western civilization.
This concise memoir (128 pages) explores her education about what it means to go against the “hate-mongering” left in Britain when it has abandoned its moral principles. In an article in March 1997, she exposed the lack of national identity and the corruption of the left: “…there is a despairing stoicism in the face of the apparently inexorable decline of a nation, the value of whose national identity can be measured by history teachers who resist the very idea that they should teach British history as an elitist irrelevance.” "Guardian Angel" is a fascinating read—well written and profoundly important.