Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses
This new collection of essays by the author of Life at the Bottom bears the unmistakable stamp of Theodore Dalrymple's bracingly clearsighted view of the human condition. It suggests comparison with the work of George Orwell. In these twenty-six pieces, Dr. Dalrymple ranges over literature and ideas, from Shakespeare to Marx, from the breakdown of Islam to the legalization of drugs. Informed by years of medical practice in a wide variety of settings, his acquaintance with the outer limits of human experience allows him to discover the universal in the local and the particular, and makes him impatient with the humbug and obscurantism that have too long marred our social and political life. As in Life at the Bottom, his essays are incisive yet undogmatic, beautifully composed and devoid of disfiguring jargon. Our Culture, What's Left of It is a book that restores our faith in the central importance of literature and criticism to our civilization.