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Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  324 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
'We need books like this' Literary Review

'Western Europe became a multiethnic society in a fit of absence of mind.'

Taking us from English suburbs to Parisian housing estates, this provocative, unflinching and engrossing book tackles uncomfortable questions about immigration and Islam head-on, and asks: why can't we face the truth?
Paperback, 364 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 821)
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Paul Bryant
Feb 16, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-life, politics


It’s the hottest of hot topics here in Britain and I thought I’d try to think about it more, but maybe now I wish I hadn’t. Whichever way you think about it, it doesn’t make you feel good.
Thinking about immigration is really hard if you’re a white leftish British person. But if you’re a white normal British person then it’s easy - what you think is :

1) leave the EU;
2) tear up all human rights agreements we may have signed up to;
3) stop all immigration now;
4) deport all
Jan 24, 2010 Omer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have time to spare and are interested about the impact Muslim immigrants are making on Europe, then read this book. I'll try my best to summarize what this book is about. Europe messed up big time with immigration after WWII. Most immigrants are Muslims, and they aren't adjusting very well to European culture. Both Europe and Muslims are at fault here. The book takes great detail in explaining the faults of both sides and the impact of Muslim immigration on Europe. I'm glad I live in the ...more
Mikey B.
This is a persuasive expose on immigration and the growth of Islam in Europe.

Historically Europe has been a source of out-migration – mostly to America. Only since the end of the Second World War after Western Europe stabilized and commenced re-building did it allow immigration from outside its periphery. These immigrants were foreign in terms of language and culture – particularly religion. Since the 1950’s Europe has become a secularized society removing it’s traditional Christianity, not only
I remember living in Europe in the 1990s and realizing for the first time that it had become home to waves of immigrants who had recently arrived from the former Eastern Bloc and around the world, and perhaps most noticeably from the Middle East. In my American education the focus had always been on Europe as a source of immigration, not a destination for it. While America had long been known as a melting pot, it was also a new world consisting of a vast and mostly empty continent that awaited t ...more
Steve Kettmann
The more time you spend with Christopher Caldwell and his all-over-the-map musings on his conviction that we should all be afraid, very afraid, of the danger presented by each and every Muslim in the world, the more you start to wonder if he is not in fact playing some kind of Stephen Colbert angle here.

Like the great Colbert himself, Caldwell can drone through an extended passage of what sounds like serious analysis as he explores his thesis that godless Europeans basically have no shot against
Jul 12, 2014 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some of the other readers' comments on the book. Its interesting that the people who rated it with 4 or 5 stars didn't exactly get warm fuzzy notions from the information therein. But the people who said it wasn't a good book called the author a racist xenophobic liar. This book poses some real serious questions about how Islam will or won't integrate with The West. All his information is cited in the 30-plus pages of sources. I'd hope people who dismiss this book will take another look a ...more
Phillip W.
Dec 14, 2013 Phillip W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant, insightful and challenging analysis of the cultural upheaval in Europe that is coming about due to mass Muslim immigration, native demographic decline, a weakness of European will to be European, and the clash of civilizations.

The fact is that culture trumps politics, but an uncritically universally liberal political system can be a national suicide pact if one is not careful. The fact is this: Islam is a problem both in the lands Muslims immigrate to as well as in the lands they em
Aug 03, 2016 Arvind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sane book that goes beyond the surface arguments, looks into every nuance of the "assimilation" problem in Europe. Unfortunately, the answer even by this book is there is no solution.
I wonder why this book is rated low at 3.5 on goodreads. Maybe bcoz it stays away from being polemic and examines all sides of the questions ?
PS:- Like many other authors, "East" is said to mean only Islam. Dont know why ? We have Hinduism, Buddhism, Cofucianism/Taoism in Asia too in large numbers. And those r ver
Jan 27, 2016 Kurtz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could almost have cut and pasted the official book description into this review and left it at that, since the book description says it very clearly. The Europe we have known is disappearing and what replaces it is, as yet, an unknown quantity. The future is up for grabs and there are numerous cultures who will be competing for dominance. The (multi) culture wars are not going to be pretty.

This is a disturbing book that should be compulsory reading for anyone who is interested in real politic
May 09, 2010 Asher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caldwell’s book has been one of the most interesting, well researched, thought provoking, and frightening books I have read in quite awhile. Besides commentating on the economic problems, the rise in crime because of Muslim immigration, and the threat of terrorism related to Muslim immigrants. Caldwell presents a moral and philosophical argument against immigration.
“When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident, and strengthened by common doctrin
The American Conservative
'The British [had] a long-standing paradigm—that, give it time, we will win over these angry young boys from the deserts of Arabia with the wonderful stuff the West has: freedom, consumer durables, pornography, and Class A drugs. All this jihadi nonsense will stop when you see what we have to offer...
Not a moment’s thought was given to integration. We assumed that, coming here, they would find us and the way we lived our lives perfectly irresistible. We were wrong about that.
This is the starting
There should really be an option on Goodreads for "Couldn't finish because it was so bad". This poorly researched piece of garbage is not worth the paper it is printed on. I couldn't finish it. 100 pages in and I'd had my fill of unsubstantiated, anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant, and homophobic, rubbish. As a suggestion to the author: You CAN claim that 50 percent of inmates in a France's jails are Muslim. That might even be true. Furthermore, you CAN claim, as on page 63 that immigrants from Hungar ...more
Not impressed. I came into this book looking for a more ethnographic perspective, where the voices of Europeans and Muslim immigrants made up the bulk of the research. Instead, that data is kept at arm's length. I have to agree with another GR reviewer that this book sounds like a bad undergraduate thesis, where the student tries too hard to tie everything together and ends up with one redundant sentence after another. Shallow; I learn more by reading the world news section of the newspaper ever ...more
Nathan Duffy
Sep 02, 2016 Nathan Duffy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A penetrating, erudite, and well-written look at the present-day situation in Europe as it relates to Islamic immigration from North Africa and the Middle East. Europe's civilizational exhaustion and confusion, characterized by its secularization and low birthrates, is in stark contrast to the hearty religious identity of its new arrivals, who are forming a distinct, often segregated, culture within its borders. And one that is antithetical to many traditional European values.

Caldwell delves in
Craig Moerer
Dec 28, 2009 Craig Moerer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
as scholarly tomes go, this is almost a page-turner. Measured but fearlessly frank reportage on the collision between The West and the Islamic world
Frank Roberts
May 25, 2010 Frank Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The definitive treatment of the subject. Sweeping and fair-minded.
Michael Waugh
Aug 14, 2016 Michael Waugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First - this is a highly informative and readable book. Caldwell has an engaging style. He clearly articulates the problems Europe faces, but he is also fair and even-handed. He doesn't make a point to malign Islam - in fact, he points out the contradictions of weaknesses of late stage Western liberalism - but he doesn't parse words either; Islam poses a problem.

Caldwell wrote this book in 2009, well before the Syrian refugee crisis. With the picture of Europe that Caldwell frames at the time on
May 30, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-european
Although published in 2009, I would consider the book more relevant today given the current immigration crisis in Europe. Written by a neoconservative professing arguments that seemed to flow too easily, I thought it would be worth my time to consider the other sides view in order to better understand my own thoughts on the subject. Even though the author’s arguments may seem to be anecdotal, they are reasonably well articulated throughout the text with sources documented at the end.

Whether int
Feb 29, 2016 Matty-Swytla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good overview of the history of mass immigration to Europe and an analysis of the effects and pitfalls of this phenomenon, especially regarding the mass immigration of Muslim people from third world countries. Book was published in 2009, so it doesn’t anticipate the severity of the current situation, but the analysis is sound. Especially the varying reactions to the problems of multiculturalism and the rising role of Islam are covered in a very thoughtful and measured way. The author is critical ...more
Reflections on the revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West was a challenging book for me to read. It took a lot of effort to keep in mind that author Christopher Caldwell considers himself "instinctively pro-immigration" based his analysis of how mass immigration has shaped post-war Europe. Caldwell is essentially saying that based on overestimation of its long-term need for immigrant labor, European countries opened a Pandora's box through which masses of Muslim immigrants were a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2009 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-misc
Lots of interesting info but at times it's equally fascinating, depressing, and dull. Europe will change/ has changed no doubt due to Islam and immigration but immigration has been more like colonization. At times I wasn't quite sure what the writer's intent or opinion was. He basically explains how Europe got to be in its current position-they never thought the immigrants would stay, but then they gave them generous welfare benefits. The Europe we grew up reading about will soon be extinct. Aut ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cladwell’s ideas and detailed research on the effects that late twentieth-century Muslim immigration has had on Europe is a well-conceived and, for any Westerner who reads it with an open mind, uncomfortable read about the inherent cultural schism which festers in this twenty-first century. He points out quite early that what has attracted and fostered belligerent Muslim identities in Europe are exactly those Western values which postwar Europe established – which the founders of modern Europe c ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well-researched, thought-provoking, and frankly frightening book on the future of Europe. WIll a Europe of declining native demographics and relativistic culture be able to assimilate the ever burgeoning Muslim immigration or will, as Princeton Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis suggests, Europe be a part of the Arabic west by the end of this century? Caldwell points out that for the past 1,400 years the West and Islam have been at odds; the only exception to that has been the period in the 20th ...more
Marvin Soroos
This is a thought provoking book that challenges liberal views in Europe regarding policies on immigration and immigrants. The author contends that Europeans have, in in reaction to the genocides of WWII, been too willing to welcome immigrants (especially Muslims), who do not share their liberal values, and too tolerant of many of their cultural practices. He sees an erosion of European identity in the face of a more vigorous and uncompromising Islamic culture.
Mahfuz Talukder
Feb 04, 2016 Mahfuz Talukder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book that shows that a lot of research has been made before writing this very informative book. The author seems to present information very clearly and it was difficult to detect any bias towards weather on not this "revolution" is positive or negative in his opinion. Instead, what you get is a very interesting read looking at how the demographic of the European continent is rapidly changing and speculation on what may follow. :)
Dec 13, 2015 Matthias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Caldwell addresses the complexities of Islam in Europe with rare frankness, and he supports his claims with meticulously researched facts and statistics. Caldwell does justice to a complicated issue –Islam in Europe –by actually treating it like a complicated issue with no simple answers. His conservatism does show itself in some unfortunate moments of bias, but on the whole he manages to sound alarms without being alarmist. ...more
Marcos Junior
Oct 23, 2012 Marcos Junior rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the last few decades, mass immigration, particularly of North African Muslims, has become a reality in Europe. Caldwell avoids taking a political position about the issue, focusing on analyzing the actual situation, and presenting perspectives for the future. There's no doubt that in a few decades Europe will be more Muslim than today, specially among youth. What are the implications of that? What will the European economy, political system, culture, be affeced? According to Caldwell, a revol ...more
The phenomenon of mass immigration waves (muslim followers in particular) into Europe and the attendant effects on culture, crime, demographics of Europe

While informative and entertaining to read, the book veers off into some strange territory that is very anti-islam (perhaps with good reason in some cases) and anti-immigration. I’m not sure the whole book cohered into a solid, sustained argument against mass immigration and it’s ill effects in Europe.

The book was interesting in its arguments ag
Jul 30, 2011 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I can/should rate this book. I didn't comprehend most of it as it was a subject I thought would be more interesting but it kind of wasn't. The book was very well written and the flow was great, which is why I want to rate it, but I was like so board flipping through it. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I like that it was very current as well. And if you are interested in this topic of immigration in Europe, especially Muslims and stuff, then I highly recommend this book. I like ...more
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“Typical was the French polymath Ernest Renan, who wrote in 1883: Those liberals who defend Islam do not know Islam. Islam is the seamless union of the spiritual and the temporal, it is the reign of dogma, it is the heaviest chain mankind has ever borne. In the early Middle Ages, Islam tolerated philosophy, because it could not stop it. It could not stop it because it was as yet disorganized, and poorly armed for terror.…But as soon as Islam had a mass of ardent believers at its disposal, it destroyed everything in its path. Religious terror and hypocrisy were the order of the day. Islam has been liberal when weak, and violent when strong. Let us not give it credit for what it was merely unable to suppress.” 1 likes
“arrived veiled, as compared to 639 the previous fall. Chirac ordered that the hundredth anniversary” 0 likes
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