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Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis…

Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis Is America's, Too

by Claire Berlinski

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982199,715 (3.65)None
Old Europe’s new crisis. Europe, the charming continent of windmills and gondolas. But lately, Europe has become the continent of endless strikes and demonstrations, bombs on the trains and subways, radical Islamic cells in every city, and ghettos so hopeless and violent even the police won’t enter them. In Spain, a terrorist attack prompts instant capitulation to the terrorists’ demands. In France, the suburbs go up in flames every night. In Holland, politicians and artists are murdered for speaking frankly about Islamic immigration. This isn’t the Europe we thought we knew. What’s going on over there? Traveling overland from London to Istanbul, journalist Claire Berlinski shows why the Continent has lately appeared so bewildering—and often so thoroughly obnoxious—to Americans. Speaking to Muslim immigrants, German rock stars, French cops, and Italian women who have better things to do than have children, she finds that Europe is still, despite everything, in the grip of the same old ancient demons. Anyone who knows the history can sense it: There is something ugly—and familiar—in the air. But something new is happening as well. Indeed, Europe now confronts—and seems unable to cope with—an entirely new set of troubles. Tracing the ancient conflicts and newly erupting crises, Menace in Europe reveals: • Why Islamic radicalism and terrorist indoctrination flourish as Europe fails to assimilate millions of Muslim immigrants • How plummeting birthrates hurtle Europe toward economic and cultural catastrophe • Why hatred of America has become ubiquitous—on Europe’s streets, in its books, newspapers, and music, and at the highest levels of government • How long-repressed destructive instincts are suddenly reemerging • How the death of religious faith has created a hopeless, morally unmoored Europe that clings to anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and other dangerous ideologies • Why the notion of a united Europe is a fantasy and what that means for the United States In the end, these are not separate issues. Berlinski provocatively demonstrates that Europe’s political and cultural crisis mirrors its profound moral and spiritual crisis. But this is not just Europe’s problem. Menace in Europe makes clear that the spiritual void at the heart of Europe is ultimately our problem too. And America will pay a terrible price if we continue to ignore it. From the Hardcover edition.… (more)



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Claire Berlinski is a very pretty (considering the serious subject matter, there is disconcertingly sexy photo of her on the back cover) American Jew who has lived and traveled in Europe, and has some tales to tell of her time there concerning immigrant Muslims and Europe's inability to assimilate them. One big chunk of the book is about her intimate knowledge of the people who were fictionalized in a very popular English book called "White Teeth," by a Jamaican (?) girl about minorities living and loving in Britain. Claire and the Jamaican girl were the real-life lovers of the fictionalized Pakistani brothers in that book, Claire quotes her ex-boyfriend extensively for this book, trying to get to the reasons for his hate given that he is a relatively successful and affluent Pakstani Briton.
Another big chunk of the book is devoted to the German rock band Rammstein, from which she implies that that old German mindset is readying itself to explode across Europe again.
I had been hoping to get a book to generally explain the various governments in modern Europe, but so far have been unable to find anything - this was the closest thing. I did learn one surprising thing - in France there is a governmental policy called "republicanism" which forbids the counting of people based on race.
And it was odd that though this was written in 2004, she gets into the Muslim problem in southwestern France, the area around Toulouse, which has been in the news just recently with the murder of seven by a Muslim there.
My search for a decent general description of modern European governments continues. All of the LThing recommendations for this book focus more on Muslims than on Europe. ( )
  br77rino | Apr 5, 2012 |
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