Monday, 17 July 2017

Book Review: The Strange Death of Europe

The Strange Death of Europe

Author: Douglas Murray
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published: June 20th 2017 by Bloomsbury Continuum

Douglas Murray maintains remarkable poise as he treads through some of the most politically taboo territory of modern times. Europe has lost its sense of self, he posits. The hows and the whys of this are extremely well argued here. Guilt, conflict fatigue, political apathy, the rise of liberal fanaticism, and many other factors have weakened European identity to the point where we've become unable to stop or even slow the Biblical-scale influx of foreign cultures into our continent. The problems arising from this, many of them so stark and obvious (and worryingly unspeakable), are at the heart of today's Western political divide. They continue to go unaddressed, or worse, wilfully compounded by huge numbers of people in our society, for whom immigration and the championing of anyone NOT of white European origin has become a kind of masochistic mania.

Combustible stuff.

Murray is not an angry writer. Rather he coolly dismantles the oft-peddled official arguments for why large-scale immigration is good for us. Then he sets about the Merkel migration debacle, one of the key global events since World War II, with scholarly and journalistic gusto. He recalls his personal encounters with refugees and migrants at various stages of their journeys to "the Promised Land" of Western Europe. The picture he paints is a complicated one, but overriding themes do crystallise into, strangely enough, many of the concerns everyday people across Europe have but are told (by misguided elites) that they are wrong to have: fear of being overrun by foreign cultures and their often incongruous values and beliefs, fear that the authorities are covering up migrant crime figures and even the crimes themselves (most disturbingly, the widespread rapes) in order to hoodwink us into accepting their utopian delusion of large-scale integration.

I suspect many readers will be simultaneously impressed and depressed by Murray's conclusions. Impressed because here is someone who's finally written a lucid, probing account into a heretofore mostly taboo subject that has always been difficult to broach without sounding strident, and even more difficult to unpack from its layers of decade-long distortion, denial, and political correctness. Depressed because the fading of traditional Western European identity does seem bleak, perhaps even irreversible. Whatever we do now may be too late. That's a bitter pill to swallow, though, and while Murray is not, on the surface, an angry writer, that emotion may be the one that endures most lastingly in many of his readers. It has in this reader, and that alone qualifies The Strange Death of Europe as a must-read book. Indeed, an important book.

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