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The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization Paperback – October 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Patrick J. Buchanan's contentious premise in The Death of the West is that the United States is no longer a healthy melting pot, but instead a confused, tottering "conglomeration of peoples with almost nothing in common." Relying on United Nations population statistics, and citing such diverse sources as Yogi Berra and Rhett Butler, Buchanan sees for America four "clear and present dangers": declining birth rates; uncontrolled immigration of peoples of "different colors, creed, and cultures"; a rise of "anti-Western" culture antithetical to established religious, cultural, and moral norms; and a "defection of ruling elites" to the idea of world government. His solutions include higher wages and tax breaks for parents than for singles, a dramatic rollback of immigration quotas, and a National History Bee. Buchanan's volatile, adamant book eschews any middle ground. Readers will either applaud his ideas or be repulsed by them. --H. O'Billovitch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

"Historians may one day call `the pill' the suicide tablet of the West," writes former presidential candidate Buchanan in this cri de coeur regarding the perils that await Western civilization. And he is correct in his assessment that the advent of artificial contraception brought about huge changes in the ways American and European cultures dealt with sex, children and family. Buchanan, a staunch Roman Catholic and a conservative, feels that these changes were socially and politically disastrous. Worried about the declining birth rate of European-Americans and increased immigration from nonwhite countries, Buchanan predicts that people who are now celebrating diversity "will spend their golden years in a Third World America." Along with shifting racial demographics, Buchanan also frets about the changes in morality "rampant promiscuity and wholesale divorce and tax-payer funding of abortion." Buchanan is equally upfront about his position on homosexuality: "had the killers of Matthew Shepard chosen a sixteen-year-old girl rather than a twenty-one-year-old gay man, her rape-murder would have been to me an even greater evil." Fearful that American is being "de-Christianized," Buchanan argues that "while the prognosis is not good," America must reevaluate itself and reclaim its white, Christian origins; despite the current "coarseness of her manners, the decadence of her culture, or the sickness in her soul," the nation is worth saving. Buchanan's passionately expressed ideology will be too extreme for most readers, and its proud bigotry is unlikely to play well even among most conservatives.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312302592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312302597
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Dark Mechanicus JSG on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
And Patrick Buchanan doesn't feel fine. The erstwhile presidential candidate, Nixon aide, polemicist, and political commentator is possibly one of the most wilfully misunderstood and maligned political pundits writing in America today, and when I began Death of the West I wasn't certain what to expect.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised, and subsequently riveted; Death of the West escapes the typical political clunkiness and idiosyncracies that plague Buchanan's columns, and delivers a stark, depressing, and alarming portrait of the nation in which all of us will grow old. The Death of the West maintains that demographics is destiny: affluent, decadent, morally relativistic Westerners are not having children and not replacing themselves, while the more fecund but impoverished Third World population is exploding. Buchanan projects that if current population trends continue, America and Europe will be third-world countries with alien cultures by 2050.
Death of the West is not just a dire Malthusian screed; Buchanan spices up his jeremiad by moving from the West's demographics of death to the skirmishes and routs of the American Culture War. Buchanan's treatment of the development of Cultural Marxism and its influence on American liberal thinkers and revolutionaries in the 1960s is scholarly and full of new insight, and highlights the role that grey little scholars like Gramsci, Marcuse, Adorno, and Lukacs had on creating the world of political correctness and moral relativism in which we live.
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78 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lorenzi on June 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Buchanan asserts a simple thesis: The West will die not by military conquest, death and destruction. But it might die, in fact there is a good chance that it will die, from within, through high birth rates in poor countries, and through the West's own freedom and excesses. Data, including projections, make the point pretty clear. By being tolerant, generally welcoming of newcomers (those who say we aren't welcoming haven't looked at history, other cultures, or the data), and concerned about individual freedoms, the West is made susceptible to those who like the wealth of the West but who reject its basic values. The irony is that Western values built this wealth.
While western countries see their birth rates decline as their politcal and economic freedoms and fruits increase, less developed, "non-western" countries and cultures have surged, primarily through their much higher birth and survival rates made possible and supported by western medicine, health care, preventive measures, and technology. With almost 1.5 billion Chinese, a billion people in India, and hundreds of millions in Indonesia, the West is most likely simply to be overrun by people leaving these poor countries and making their way to the West.
Unlike what some of the criticisms of "nativism" in the past, this new movement does not bring people who adopt the ways of the West. There is no melting pot. Rather, there is multiculturalism. So western culture dies out by simple attrition. The West has something important to defend. And it's not that the westerners are xenophobic or racist as much as they are committed to maintaining western values and virtues of liberty, freedom, personal initiative and rsponsibility, thrift, family, and protective laws and minimal governments.
Buchanan makes his point by attacking political correctness and those who decry or belittle "traditional" values. That gives the book a shrill, even nasty tone. But his points merit consideration. We ignore them at our peril.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buchanan brings out with pinpoint clarity the problems that America and the Western nations face within the next 5 - 40 years, given present population and cultural trends. The book should be required reading in schools (although I know that will never happen).

As our small towns, the middle class, and U.S. jobs continue to shrink (through outsourcing of jobs and complete operations), and with terrorism expected to continue, Americans need to take action and get involved fully in their community, or we are headed to third world status.

America critically needs leaders, not politicians, in politics and the corporate world. Maybe you will be a leader who has the integrity and honesty who can set an example for a positive effect on others.

Americans yearn for the simple days of the Waltons, with the focus on family and a life centered on Christian values, not television, a job, or the Internet, and a safe community. Where prayer is allowed in schools, and common sense is the rule of the day instead of the exception. America has lost its' purpose, and foundings, which are based on freedom and belief in God.

That is what will turn this country around, not selfish New Age beliefs that have no basis in morals or fact, not class action suits for everything imaginable, not catering to specific groups in the name of diversity instead of qualifications, not big corporations who export jobs and pay their top executives astronomical salaries and perks.

Be knowledgeable of the facts facing our country, your children, grandchildren, and you. Read the book. Become involved in your country, your community, your church, and your quality of life. Otherwise, sit back and watch as we join the Roman Empire in the history books.
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