The World Turned Upside Down
The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power(amazon)
Melanie Phillips (View Bio)
Hardcover: Encounter, 2010.
In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. More and more people are signing up to weird and wacky cults, parapsychology, séances, paganism and witchcraft. There is widespread belief in ludicrous conspiracy theories, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack being an American plot.
The basic cause of all this unreason is a steady loss of faith in God. We tell ourselves that religion and reason are incompatible, but in fact the opposite is the case. 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.
The loss of religious belief has meant the West has replaced reason and truth with ideology and prejudice, which it enforces in the manner of a secular inquisition. The result has been a kind of mass derangement, as truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. In medieval-style witch-hunts, scientists who are skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts; Israel is ferociously demonized; and the United States is vilified over the war on terror—all on the basis of falsehoods and propaganda that are believed as truth.
Thus the West is losing both its rationality and its freedoms. It is succumbing to a “soft totalitarianism,” which not only is creating an ugly mood of intolerance but is undermining its ability to defend itself against Islamic aggression. While the Islamists are intent on returning the free world to the seventh century, the West no longer seems willing or able to defend the modernity and rationalism that it brought into being.
"Award-winning columnist Melanie Phillips, recipient of the Orwell prize for journalism in 1996 and author of acclaimed Londonistan, has written an explosive new book systematically exposing chapter and verse of the hypocrisy, cant and blatant falsehoods which currently dominate much of contemporary Western thought. The World Turned Upside Down will leave readers breathless as they follow her perceptive and ferocious exposé of the strains of insanity inherent in the ‘correct’ attitudes currently being promoted by politicians, pseudo-academics and much of the Western media. The book encompasses an extraordinarily wide range of prevailing public perceptions, which Phillips methodically demonstrates as not merely being utterly false but frequently deliberately fabricated as a vehicle to promote bizarre agendas. In addition to the author’s commendable writing skills, what makes this book particularly impressive is her almost renaissance mastery of a multitude of complex issues – combined with a knack for communicating them in a form that most readers are able to comprehend. In addition, she substantiates her assertions with research backed by meticulous documentation…. This cri de coeur is a stunning and thought-provoking book that should be read by all who seek to understand the sources of the malaise of this generation in Western society." — Isi Leibler, The Jerusalem Post
"Melanie Phillips is an Oxford-educated award-winning columnist for London’s Daily Mail; author of several books, among them Londonistan; and a splendid polemicist who sees the increasingly disjointed world around her clearly and pulls no punches when describing it…. Phillips argues her case in strong, vital prose with intensity and high intelligence. She deserves a wide and respectful hearing." — John R. Coyne, Jr., The Washington Times
"The scope of The World Turned Upside Down is ambitious, tackling Western pacifism and fatalism, political Islam, anti-Semitism, the dimming of the Enlightenment, Marxism, and even creationism…. Phillips's book shines with her intellectual integrity." — Middle East Quarterly
"Phillips has written a fascinating book that is both urgent and important, provocative and deep. It’s almost a guide for the perplexed of our time." — William Kristol, The Weekly Standard
"One is disturbed each day by verifiably untrue statements touted as incontrovertible facts about hot-button issues. With cold, perceptive, exhaustive and persistent passion, Melanie Phillips dissects the phenomenon among disparate movements, to reach disturbing but compelling conclusions about the erosion of modern liberal society by ideologies whose surprising interconnections are meticulously identified. One can only hope that her book will penetrate the information cocoon into which many of our intelligentsia have sealed themselves." — Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT