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The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power Hardcover – April 20, 2010

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About the Author

Melanie Phillips is an award-winning columnist for London’s Daily Mail. Educated at Oxford, she won the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996. She is the author of Londonistan, All Must Have Prizes, and other books. Her regular blog appears on the Spectator website.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594033757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594033759
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, publisher and co-founder of EM: Melanie Phillips Electric Media. The publishing division of EM is known as emBooks LLC ( She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has "been mugged by reality".

Phillips has often appeared as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Moral Maze and BBC One's Question Time. She has written a number of books, including Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain (2013). She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for The Observer. She published her memoir, Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain on 5 May 2013.

Melanie was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. Before joining the Daily Mail she worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times. She writes a monthly column for the London Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panelist on BBC Radio Four's The Moral Maze, and frequently contributes to other publications around the world including Standpoint magazine, the Spectator, the Australian and Wall Street Journal.

Her print titles include The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, published in the US by Encounter in 2010, and Londonistan, an analysis of Britain's appeasement of Islamist extremism published in US in 2006 by Encounter and in the UK by Gibson Square.

Her other books include The Ascent of Woman, Little Brown, 2003, The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, Social Market Foundation, 1999; All Must Have Prizes, Warner, 1996. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on May 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Melanie Phillips is doing her best to understand the modern world. I guess many of us are, but she is really giving it the old college try.

She joins R. Emmett Tyrrell (see After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery for his latest) in a new and laudable effort: nailing down elements of what Tyrrell calls the Kultursmog, a term which I will now steal and English as: Cultural Smog. James Piereson has defined this Strange Smog as: "the Liberal understanding of events ratified as a matter of morals and etiquette within the media and academe." This Cultural Smog is so pervasive that you cannot escape it: it pollutes everything.

Phillips devotes four chapters to four different elements of this Cultural Smog. They are (1) Environmental Armageddon (2) the Iraq War (3) Misrepresentation of Israel (4) Scientific Triumphalism. And each of these subjects could be treated in a book!

The first item of the Cultural Smog, which pervades all media and academic jabberwocky, is the Myth of Environmental Armageddon. In the year 2010, this has its own particular annoying particulates, such as totally ignoring Climategate, the resignation of Phil Jones in disgrace, and Jones' subsequent confession that he had lost his data. For more detail, you want to read this book! :-)

The second item in the Cultural Smog, the Iraq War, needs to be described carefully and precisely. We are NOT talking about principled, reasoned difference of opinion: we are talking about Code Pink and the New York Times perpetrating the obvious fiction that "Bush lied, thousands died.
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121 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Sanford Aranoff on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In order for Western Civilization to survive, it is vital that we think rationally about the problems we face. Many do not know how to think rationally. Part of the blame lies with our university professors, who often teach dogma instead of rationality. This book clarifies these issues. Individuals must learn how not to trust our leaders, and how to think critically. Although she is not a scientist, she discusses phony science. For an additional comments about false groupthink in science, see [...], the article about the aura of Einstein. I gave it 5 stars for it is essential that we know about the nonsense we hear from everywhere and how we can fight it.

An excellent book about rational thinking, see Rational Thinking, Government Policies, Science, and Living. Rational thinking starts with clearly stated principles, continues with logical deductions, and then examines empirical evidence to possibly modify the principles.

We need to focus on education. Muslim schools teach rote. Students memorize and repeat without questioning. We need to challenge this form of education. We need to educate our students to be rational. See Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better: Things to Help Students Think and To Do Better in School and In Life.
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85 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on May 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's more than a little odd that countless secular intellectuals and academicians not only lack an absolute epistemic ground, but they maintain power and make a living promoting irrationality; hence much of the global political goals are alogical as deference for the anti-rational and anti-ethical is advanced. In "The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power," Melanie Phillips provides a fine assessment of the massive problems within the evolution of the global culture as well as the proper approach necessary to enact a turnaround.

Phillips reveals that irrationality is manifested in the affirmation of:

- pretending that violent religious views are the fault of their victims
- the growth of bizarre cults
- para-psychology
- paganism and witchcraft
- nonsensical conspiracy theories.

The fundamental moving source of the global lunacy is the embrace of an irrational worldview as the architects of culture reject much of Western civilization. The astute author argues that it was "Christianity and the Hebrew Bible that gave us our concepts of reason, progress and an orderly world--the foundations of science and modernity." I would make the distinction that CT(Christian Theism) and the Bible furnish the epistemic wellspring, absolute ethical ground, and consistency within the motivation for progress (as well as a standard to judge progress) and not just a discovery of the right application of reason. Yes the Greeks exhibited history changing philosophical notions, and the Romans build imperial governance, and other cultures have advanced numerous significant concepts, but CT provides the immutable universal absolutes necessary to account for reason, advancement, and true truth.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By James Abshier on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book develops a reasoned argument for the author's point of view. If you are caught up in ideology, read this book with an open mind (is that possible) at risk of abandoning your ideologically driven views in favor of rational ones.

From the books starting words, it delivers.

This book arose from a sense of perplexity and cultural disorientation. It appears that much of the public discourse has departed sharply from reality. Self-evident common sense appears to have been turned on its head. Reality seems to have been recast, with fantasies recalibrated as facts while demonstrable truths are dismissed as a matter of opinion at best, or as evidence of some sinister "right-wing" plot. This isn't just a question of disagreement over issues or policies. Those who dissent are vilified as beyond the pale, and many fear speaking up. The phenomenon has affected not just the political sphere, where ideology often crowds out facts, for event parts of the scientific domain have given in to irrationality. Over a diverse range of issues, such as the war in Iraq, Israel and the Palestinians, manmade global warming and Darwinism - not to mention all the "phobias" and "isms" such as homophobia, racism and sexism - no debate is possible because there is to be no dissent from positions that are indisputably true and right.

Except that they are not. The planet is supposedly about to fry or drown and succumb to epidemic famine and disease because of manmade global warming - but all the evidence suggests that there is nothing untoward about the climate at all, let alone that mankind is responsible for an imminent catastrophe. We are told repeatedly that were "taken to war in Iraq on a lie" - but a glance at what was actually said at the time by President George W.
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