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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam Hardcover – June 20, 2017
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"Lively . . . Murray’s book is informed by actual reporting across the Continent, and a quality of writing that manages to be spritely and elegiac at the same time. Murray’s is also a truly liberal intellect, in that he is free from the power that taboo exerts over the European problem, but he doesn’t betray the slightest hint of atavism or meanspiritedness." - Michael Brendan Dougherty, The National Review
"This is a brilliant, important and profoundly depressing book. That it is written with Douglas Murray’s usual literary elegance and waspish humor does not make it any less depressing. That Murray will be vilified for it by the liberals who have created the appalling mess he describes does not make it any less brilliant and important ( . . . ) Read it." - Rod Liddle, Sunday Times
"His overall thesis, that a guilt-driven and exhausted Europe is playing fast and loose with its precious modern values by embracing migration on such a scale, is hard to refute." - Juliet Samuel, Telegraph
"This is a vitally important book, the contents of which should be known to everyone who can influence the course of events, at this critical time in the history of Europe." - Sir Roger Scruton
"Douglas Murray glitters in the gloom. His pessimism about multiculturalism is so well constructed and written it is almost uplifting. Liberals will want to rebut him. I should warn them that they will need to argue harder than they have ever argued before." - Nick Cohen
"Douglas Murray’s introduction to this already destructive subject of Islamist hegemony is a distinguished attempt to clarify the origins of a storm. I found myself continually wishing that he wasn’t making himself quite so clear." - Clive James
"Douglas Murray writes so well that when he is wrong he is dangerous." - Matthew Parris, Spectator
"A compelling, insightful and persuasively argued narrative . . . a deeply humane book that touches on individual tragedy . . . It may even prove to be the start of a conversation, and for such a dangerously politicized and neglected subject, that would be most welcome. The combination of fascinating subject matter and superb writing make The Strange Death of Europe a title that stays in the mind throughout the reading process and beyond." - Entertainment Focus
"A powerful new book." - John O'Sullivan, The National Review
"Powerful and engaging . . . Murray is at his strongest when lampooning the neurotic guilt of Western liberal elites . . . Disagree passionately if you will, but you won’t regret reading it." - Literary Review
"Timely . . . Murray takes a stance that few dare to take . . . With violence erupting in Europe and America's new anti-immigration policies, this audacious work will find its readers." - Kirkus Reviews
"[E]rudite, dispiriting, and indispensable . . . . More than any other book with which I am familiar, The Strange Death of Europe provides a rich, comprehensive, and haunting portrait of a continent in extremis and an astute, thoroughly credible diagnosis of the social, psychological, and cultural afflictions that have led it to this hour of crisis." - FrontPage Magazine
"Every so often, something is published which slices through the fog of confusion, obfuscation and the sheer dishonesty of public debate to illuminate one key fact about the world. Such a work is Douglas Murray’s tremendous and shattering book, The Strange Death of Europe." - Melanie Phillips, The Times
"The Strange Death of Europe may be one of the most important philosophical books of our time . . . This is nothing less than a dynamite book. It is likely that liberals in Europe and North America will avoid this book, but they shouldn’t. Murray’s questions are too important to ignore anymore." - Benjamin Welton, New York Journal of Books
"Murray’s clear and humane exposition of the seismic changes and the abject failure of political elites to face up to them gives those not willfully blind an opportunity to see." - Eric Metaxas, Breakpoint
"[The Strange Death of Europe] does hit on some unfortunate truths." - The Economist
"[An] excellent and disturbing book." - Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
"The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray is an enthralling account of the rise of Islamism in Europe. It’s beautifully written and cogently argued." - Christina Hoff Sommers, Politico
". . . fiery, lucid, and essential polemic" - Sohrab Ahmari, Commentary
"Murray’s analysis deserves careful attention. . . . Readers able to face a stern depiction of culture clash will witness in The Strange Death of Europe a panorama of a receding landscape. One wonders what next transforms European mores and beliefs." - Spectrum Culture
"In Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, whereby one learns that the death in question is not so strange after all, for it is merely a case of suicide--or, more precisely, attempted suicide, because there is an increasing resistance underway, which is even reversing Islamization in some European countries, at least in some respects . . . Murray is very effective in fully identifying the deformed, guilt-ridden liberalism à la Karsten Nordal Hauken that generates illiberal concessions to intolerance--and to violence." - Tablet
"[The Strange Death of Europe] makes a ferociously well-argued case." - Ralph Berry, Chronicles
About the Author
Douglas Murray is Associate Editor of the Spectator and writes frequently for a variety of other publications, including the Sunday Times, Standpoint and the Wall Street Journal. He has also given talks at both the British and European Parliaments and the White House.
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An established journalist, Murray had the resources to travel throughout Europe to view the immigration problem firsthand. He spoke to immigrants on the island of Lesbos, the slums of Malmö, the streets of Paris. He thoroughly appreciates their motives in coming to Europe and in the early chapters appears convinced that the majority of them have no motive other than to improve their lives.
Later chapters, the bulk of the book, go into extensive detail about the Islamic immigrants. They do not want to integrate. They have no respect for the host cultures. They are given to crime, especially rape. Their parts of the major cities – Paris, Stockholm, Berlin – become no-go zones for police, firemen and ambulances. They institute Sharia law among themselves and reject the host countries. Many other authors have described what he saw in France ,Germany,Holland and Sweden.
A larger question than why the Muslims behave as they do is why Europeans allow it to happen. Murry recites the well-known history of strife between Islam and Christianity, from Charles Martel's victory at Tours in 732 through the 1683 defeat of the Ottomans at Vienna. Islam is a known enemy of Christianity. Why are they allowed?
Politicians give a number of excuses for admitting refugees. Europe is not having enough children to fill the workplaces. Diversity makes society more enjoyable. More workers make for a richer country. It is not practical to keep them out. European values demand that all comers be treated humanely. Murray assesses and dismisses each argument in turn. Then he turns to a core thesis. Europe is simply tired. European philosophy and culture crested at the end of the 19th century. It had nowhere to go except nihilism and hedonism, and those are the paths it has chosen. Europe is allowing the Muslims to take over because it hasn't the strength to defend itself, and does not believe it has anything worth defending. Murray's arguments are well made, and his knowledge of European history, philosophy and literature are impressive.
The argument is encapsulated in his treatment of Michel Houellebecq's novel Submission, about the coming to power of an Islamist government in France. The book was widely condemned both by Muslims and by mainstream politicians fearful of same. Europe has given up on freedom of speech when it comes to Islam. Too many events have shown that it is too dangerous.
It is the politicians who are especially cowardly. The people by and large, and in increasing numbers, don't want widespread Muslim immigration. Yet the politicians keep the doors open and keep telling saccharine stories about how wonderful it all is. The common man is able to contrast the stories with everyday reality and conclude that they are lying.
Here we come to some points that Murray could explore further. There are huge contradictions between a Sharia law society and modern liberalism. Treatment of women and homosexuals would top the list. Yet, liberals continue to push for open borders. He notes cases such as that of Pym Fortuyn in the Netherlands in which liberals came to oppose immigration (and, too often, to die for taking such a stance). He notes that Jews have been driven from historical Jewish quarters and are very often victims of attacks by Muslims. He does not whatsoever go into the question of who owns the media that covers up Muslim crime and broadcasts the message of diversity. He mentions Soros a few times, but fails to note that Soros is only the most prominent of many.
Genetics is another topic that deserves more attention. Murray would credit the differences between the immigrants and the host populations as purely cultural. Liberals believe the same, and fervently hope that in a few generations the immigrants will become indistinguishable from the host populations. Findings by scientists in genetics,evolution and intelligence give the lie to these happy dreams. The populations are genetically different. They took thousands of years to evolve traits that enable them to optimally fill the niches they do. To survive in a harsh climate, bands of Northern Europeans developed altruism, tolerance and high intelligence. Said altruism has them project these traits onto others and welcome them into the society.
Murray's last two chapters are satisfying summations: what might have been, and what will be. Most authors contrive a happy ending to a book like this. Murray does not. He envisions a Western Europe in which pockets of traditional people muddle through in small concentrations far from the cities. I myself emigrated to Ukraine, the other side of the Viasgrad countries. Though it is certainly beset with problems of its own, there is very little immigration. Not enough economically to entice anybody, and no historical guilt to impel the natives to accept refugees. Last year the town of Yagotin, not far from Kyiv, forced Ukraine's president to go back on a plan to resettle 250 Syrians in their midst. There were no cries of anguish from liberals.
There is hope for Western Europe. The millennial generation is waking up. One of the most heartening books I've seen recently is Generation Identity, translated into most European languages. Young Europeans are once again getting a sense of themselves and finding some purpose in life. They recognize that unchecked immigration is antithetical to that purpose.
Table of Contents
1 The beginning
2 How we got hooked on immigration
3 The excuses we told ourselves
4 ‘Welcome to Europe’
5 ‘We have seen everything’
7 They are here
8 Prophets without honour
9 Early-warning sirens
10 The tyranny of guilt
11 The pretence of repatriation
12 Learning to live with it
14 We’re stuck with this
15 Controlling the backlash
16 The feeling that the story has run out
17 The end
18 What might have been
19 What will be
The displacement of Europeans by foreign peoples in Europe is now a foregone conclusion. The Europeans are dying faster than they are reproducing while Muslims, Africans, Arabs and other foreigners are reproducing their populations rapidly. The author explains the implications of all this for the future of Europe.
All those that love Europe will have to come to terms with a prolonged, chaotic and painful departing of what was once the shining light of a civilization that accomplished so much everywhere in the world. Very depressing.
The book doesn't start off by discussing the events of 2015, but instead opts to provide the reader with a broader picture of a problem spanning decades. Starting off after WWII, the author shows how the politicians encouraged migrant workers to fill the gaps left by a diminished workforce.The understanding at the time of this policy, for both the politicians and the public, was that these workers would be guests who would eventually go back to their country of origin. When that didn't occur, the politicians turned on the public who were alarmed by their changing society. This leads to chapters on revenge, guilt, and the silencing of dissidents, (sometimes permanently), towards the immigration policies.
The latter half of the book focuses on the migration crisis of recent years featuring discussions about Europe's culture via artists and authors, as well as what the implications are for the future of Europe. To summarize these chapters quite succinctly, it becomes clear that the politicians are at odds with the people and the future of an indigenous population with no sense of direction or purpose is a grim one indeed.
This wasn't an easy book to read, but I feel it is a necessary one to get through in light of recent events. The descriptions of the dangers of an empty culture with no answers for the human condition or true progress for society at large particularly hit home for me, as modern culture has little to offer a person other than entertainment. The text relates all the instability, attacks and events that have occurred over the past few years clearly and leaves the reader wondering what will happen to a country where the world has been let inside of it with no real definition of what it should stand for. With no answers or real leadership in sight, the continent may be sleepwalking towards disaster.
I'd recommend reading this if you're at all interested in how Europe got to the point that it's at now. This problem has been ongoing for decades and the results of ignoring it may lead to uprisings and chaos.