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Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass Paperback – March 8, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Dalrymple's vivid writing and often heartbreaking stories rise above his deeply felt social analysis. (Publishers Weekly)
Brilliant social analysis...a master chronicle of life at the bottom. (Hilton Kramer)
Lucid, unsentimental, and profoundly honest...Dalrymple is one of the great essayists of our age. (Denis Dutton, Editor, Arts & Letters Daily)
This devastating account and analysis of underclass life―and the elite ideas which support it―is a classic for our times. (Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University)
It is a truism that ideas have consequences, but a truism is rarely illustrated as implacably as in this book. (George F. Will, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post)
Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams. (Peggy Noonan)
Mr. Daniels's best essays cast a spell almost from the opening line. (New York Sun)
A landmark experience is reading Life at the Bottom… (Detroit Free Press)
Once in a long while a writer comes along with a vision so powerful that it shakes you. Theodore Dalrymple is that kind of writer. (Bruce Ramsey Liberty Press)
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Top Customer Reviews
It was with these experiences in mind that I read Life at the Bottom.
Mr Dalrymple shows in essay after essay how the choices the underclass in Britain make determines their destiny. There are countless parallels to American life - the rampant gambling that goes on in casinos and in bingo parlors (and those who cannot stop then blame the casino for their problem!Read more ›
Dalrymple cites from his personal experiences of what well-meaning social theories have wrought on those it meant to help. The results are plainly hideous, but at the same time are glossed over behind talk of sensitivity, diversity and tolerance. Each essay is meandering but interesting - there is no filler. The incoherence of multiculturalism is highlighted in 'Reader, she married him-Alas'. The darker side of freedom is portrayed in 'Freedom to Choose'. My personal favorite was 'Tough Love', which shows the fruits of the sexual revolution in mature bloom. The results seem a mixed blessing at best, and not only because of the unwanted children, the abortions and the broken homes. We demand sexual freedom for ourselves but fidelity from others. A recipe for jealousy if ever there was one, and it is noteworthy that jealousy is the most frequent trigger for violence between the sexes. This incoherence is a large cause for the ever-growing surrealism in our society.
In the end, this book shows that our attitudes author our destiny. Dalrymple says what is considered heresy in many circles - that the poor are there because of life choices. But having spent my childhood among the poor, there are many things in Dalrymple's Britain I immediately recognize.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Masterful style and wit combined with a genuine level of compassion and uncompromising evaluation of life's choices and their consequences. Read morePublished 3 days ago by velodog revolver
This was a terrific book. Dalrymple was writing as a doctor in a lower class hospital district and reporting on the attitudes and thoughts of his patients. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Rick Caird
The author writes this book like a long rant, with chapters. It's interesting enough to keep reading but isn't as insightful as I hoped. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Z. Z.
One of the best treatments ever of this subject matter. Somehow, it's comforting to know that the UK has the same problems we do with the perpetual underclass. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rick
This book provides an interesting series of essays on the culture at large as existed in Great Britain in the 1990's and early 2000's. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christian McCall
The insights presented in this book can ONLY come from a person that has lived many years, carefully observed and questioned everything, and then thought carefully about what has... Read morePublished 1 month ago by bleach
This is such a contradictory book, full of OH NO moments, and yet so alluring. Dalrymple works as an inner city and prison Physician and sees things that thankfully the rest of us... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Burgman