103 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Top-notch social commentary,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass (Hardcover)
Sometimes quotes do a book the greatest justice, and since Dalrymple is a far better writer than I am, I'll give you a few excerpts.
"The combination of relativism and antipathy to traditional culture has played a large part in creating the underclass, thus turning Britain from a class to a caste society. ... Henceforth what they had and what they did was as good as anything, because all cultures and all cultural artifacts are equal. Aspiration was therefore pointless: and thus they have been immobilized in their poverty -- material, mental, and spiritual -- as completely as the damned in Dante's Inferno. Having in large part created this underclass, the British intelligentsia, guilty about its own allegedly undemocratic antecedents, feels obliged to flatter it by imitation and has persuaded the rest of the middle class to do likewise."
"The designs of [professional tattooists] are elaborate and often executed with exquisite skill, though I am reminded of an old medical dictum that if a thing is not worth doing -- radical mastectomy, for instance -- it is not worth doing well."
"Very few of the sixteen-year-olds whom I meet as patients can read and write with facility; they do not even regard my question as to whether they can read and write as in the least surprising or insulting. ... One can tell merely by the way these youths handle a pen or a book that they are unfamiliar with these instruments."
"I cannot recall meeting a sixteen-year-old white from the public housing estates that are near my hospital who could multiply nine times seven (I do not exaggerate). Even three by seven often defeats them. One boy of seventeen told me, 'We didn't get that far.'"
"Even in behavior, the new orthodoxy for all classes is that, since nothing is better and nothing is worse, the worse is better because it is more demotic."
Even quotes can't really do the book justice; you really need the full context to appreciate the depth of Dalrymple's thought and insight. If you only have $12 left in your bank account, spend it on this book.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 8, 2011 2:44:16 PM PDT
Thomas J. Bieter says:
I enthusiastically agree with your assessment and recommendation.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›