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While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within Hardcover – February 21, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Having recently published an indictment of Christian fundamentalist intolerance in the U.S. (Stealing Jesus), New York native Bawer relocated to Europe with his Norwegian partner in 1998 and found an even more dangerous strain of religious and cultural bigotry ensnaring Western Europe. A swarming menace called radical Islam, he writes, rings Europe's cities in smoldering Muslim ghettos, provoking everything from so-called honor killings and political assassinations to the Madrid subway bombings and the massacre of school children in Beslan. Worse, the Taliban-like theocracy Bawer sees looming inside backward immigrant populations resistant to integration flourishes under the protective wing of Western Europe's America-bashing, multicultural, liberal establishment. The latter correspond to the appeasers of Nazi Germany, in Bawer's view, since he believes that radical Islamism is every bit the threat to Western civilization that Nazism was. He scoffs at talk of "understanding" or "dialogue," indeed, at any but the most muscular response hitching Europe ever tighter to the U.S. war on terror. His clash-of-civilizations outlook means real issues often get washed away by sweeping statements designed to tar Europe's Muslims with one irredeemably hostile, welfare-sponging brush, while trading in well-worn stereotypes about virtuous American "realists" and corrupt European "idealists." (Mar.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Bruce Bawer, who has wrestled previously about American fundamentalism (Stealing Jesus) and gay rights (A Place at the Table), finds an equally contentious and compelling subject in the blind eye of European liberalism. Enchanted by the famed tolerance of Amsterdam, Bawer moved to Europe in 1998. But after settling in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, the author noticed a society that offered "millions in aid, but not a penny in salary." Reviewers find Bawer an eloquent writer with his passion balanced between his American sensibilities and his European residence. The sharpest criticism—that a lack of a bibliography turns While Europe Slept into an exercise in pamphleteering—doesn't undermine the ultimate effectiveness, or importance, of Bawer's thesis.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385514727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385514729
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Bawer is a highly respected author, critic, essayist and translator. He is the author of several collections of literary and film criticism and a collection of poetry. His political journalism is widely published in print and online journals and he reviews books regularly for the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and Wall Street Journal. Visit his website at www.brucebawer.com. He lives in Oslo with his partner.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

691 of 741 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping to get a better understanding of what was going on in Europe with their Muslim immigrant population (things like the car-burning riots in Paris, areas of Netherlands ruled by Sharia and not Dutch law, etc., left me quizzical). Well, I got that understanding. And I got a lot more, not the least are vital insights as to just how very different Europe is from the US. The author is both a clear writer, and an excellent journalist who digs down into the entrails to bring forth the real guts of a story. The information he brilliantly provided often left me with my jaw hanging, wondering, "That's really what they think over there?" I learned an awful lot in the short time it took to read this book.

I honestly think that every American should read it. It is a clarion call to not repeat the myopic, multicultural mistakes that have gotten European countries into a fix that I honestly don't see how they can get out of now. You will acquire a clear portrait of the attitudes of Muslims in Europe, as well as those of elitist Europeans in all of their moral smugness and self-assuming superiority. Many themes are presented, but perhaps the over-arching theme is that tolerance for the intolerable (wife beating, genital mutilation, honor killing, rape, etc.) is never ever a good policy for a freedom loving, individual-respecting society.

While Europe Slept makes a highly readable contribution to the discussion on the impact of Mideastern Islam with the democractic West. It also has a lot to say about the role that the United States has played in this drama. It turns out that we are not nearly as bad as those who claim to hate us say we are.
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160 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Eduward du Bois on December 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a European I can tell you, Bawer has some strong and convincing arguments about the European crisis. Let the European crisis be a warning for what are the results of a political correct society that promotes cultural relativism. Be warned and read this well written book, it's a quick read.
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474 of 522 people found the following review helpful By Alan D. Cranford VINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because the title echoed John F. Kennedy's "Why England Slept" of 1940. At the time, tired Europe was willing to try anything to avoid another blood bath like the Great War--ANYTHING! Appeasement had earned a bad reputation by 1940.

Today, Europe is habituated to appeasing aggressors. History has been rewritten to conform to establishment prejudices--yup! The PC effect! Europe's "free press" is not--Bruce Bawer documents this vigorously. The Internet is melting down EU "press control," as other viewpoints are becoming public knowledge. Before, if it wasn't "mainstream press," it was unknown--even when most of Europe's residents differed from the party line--they didn't have a voice. Europeans were appeasing the Communist Block until the Berlin Wall fell--then the Western European governments were at a loss.

The threat of radical Islam is real. Bawer also raises the spector of a reactionary backlash--the very same thing that Mussolini rode to power in the 1920's and Hitler used to achieve power in the 1930's. Europe has forgotten the Red Tide and Franco and the rest. Don't forget--according to the Islamic Imperialists, Europe is "occupied Islamic territory." Not only must it be reconquered, but cleansed in fire and blood.

Has Islam been high-jacked by power-hungry totalitarians? Or is it a religion of conquest? Like Europeans, Muslims are conformists who have a single, tainted viewpoint force-fed to them. Step out of line, and you get exiled from "the world." You might even have to move to America! "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destrouying the West From Within" documents the part of the "War On Terror" that wasn't publicized until the wave of bombings last year.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have read "Londonistan" by Melanie Phillips, you can see this as a companion volume for the Continent. If you haven't read that book, then you should read this book AND that book. Really. And then add in "American Jihad" or any other book by the indispensable Steve Emerson. But you certainly should read this book. It is written well and is clearly reported.

Bruce Bawer is a very talented writer who has written books and articles for gay rights, same-sex marriage, and against conservative evangelicals. Even in this book (pg. 33) he calls Jerry Falwell "an unsavory creep", says that James Dobson's parenting advice is "appalling". However, he notes that Falwell wasn't issuing fatwas, that Dobson wasn't telling people to murder their daughters, and that while Pat Robertson wanted to deny him marriage [to his same sex partner], the imams wanted to drop a wall on him. Honest and clear insights that one can parse and agree with in the large sweep, while disagreeing with its parts (or agree, if you are so inclined).

He notes "I traveled to the Netherlands in 1997 and thought I'd found the closest thing to heaven on earth. What sentient being, I wondered wouldn't want to liver there?" Yet things had changed so much that a survey from April 2005 showed that every third Dutchman wanted to leave the country. This book report the excruciating events and changes that are occurring in most of Europe that has led to this deterioration. Bawer does not pull any punches in stating his view that is the rise of the Muslim influence with a certain intransigent, bullying, and non-Western traditions that is destroying Europe.

The author is more alarmist about Europe than Pat Buchanan is about America and notes why.
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