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

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  408 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Can you have the same Europe with different people in it? The answer, says Christopher Caldwell, is no.

Europe has undergone a demographic revolution it never expected. A half century of mass immigration has failed to produce anything resembling an American-style melting pot. By overestimating its need for immigrant labor and underestimating the culture-shaping potential of
...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2009)
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Paul Bryant

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

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
...more
Omer
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Krista
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Dennis
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Phillip W.
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Charles
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book, published in 2009, shows its age. It was written before the mass immigration to Europe of the past few years, and also before the increase in Muslim terror. While nothing the book says is wrong, and its analysis is sound enough (though it nowhere justifies, or even attempts to justify, the echo of Burke in its title), its problem is that nearly everything it contains is outdated. The future has arrived, and it is much worse than Caldwell pessimistically predicted, though at least we c ...more
Matty-Swytla
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
Kurtz
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Craig Moerer
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Pamela
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Journalist Christopher Caldwell has written an interesting account of the post war attempt by Europe to restructure itself and simultaneously deal with the "temporary worker" populations they convinced themselves were necessary to rebuild a devastated Europe and who turned out to be not quite so temporary after all. Caldwell's contention is that the ordinary citizens of Europe's countries never really got a vote as to whether importing these workers and then allowing them and, eventually, their ...more
Michael Waugh
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Asher
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jake
May 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
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
...more
Arvind
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Nick Imrie
Sep 17, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
A poor man's Douglas Murray. A much larger, more speculative work than Murray's, who at least has travelled Europe, spoken to migrants, and studied that stats. Caldwell far too often either doesn't reference or his references are newspaper articles not the actual original sources. I gave up halfway through when we arrived the chapter on migrants and minority cultures approaches to sex and marriage. Caldwell clearly admires the strong families and low divorce rates, despite the fact that he has e ...more
Emily
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an incredibly nuanced book regarding Islamic immigration in Europe and, to a lesser extent, America. I imagine that some may attempt to cast Caldwell as "xenophobic," "racist," or "Islamaphobic," but I found his prose fair and insightful. Caldwell argues that Europe is viewed by many of its Arab immigrants as a civilization in decline, and one that may not even have value for saving. He also blames Europeans for failing to justify Western values and protect them.

A more thorough rev
...more
Lauren
Sep 01, 2010 added it
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
Frank Roberts
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
The definitive treatment of the subject. Sweeping and fair-minded.
John
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been meaning to read this book for some time, and two things made that intention more urgent. First, I’m taking a class in European security issues this fall, and second, and more importantly, is I’ve read reviews for Douglas Murray’s new book ‘The Strange Death of Europe’ and had my memory jogged. 'Reflections on the Revolution in Europe' (a play, obviously, on Burke's 'Reflections on the Revolution in France') is now eight years old, but even though it has been somewhat overtaken by event ...more
Jason Born
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A terrific warning for all who would abandon the fibers of our American culture in the name of modernity without regard to unintended consequences. Though the book is about Europe's contest with Islam, it has application to the US in the future. And even though the US is different in many ways to Europe, should we allow mass Islamic immigration, our society would suddenly experience many of the same issues facing them.

A forceful culture or religion need not be the numerical majority to begin ext
...more
Lukas op de Beke
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although this is a hugely important book that accurately analyses the consequences of mass immigration, it is a tad too anecdotal and fragmented. Part 1 of the book actually covers most of the problem and Caldwell's opinion.
Rebekah Mercer
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book doesn't disguise the fact that it is arguing a one sided view of ‘immigration’, by which it means ‘immigration of muslims’. It's a hate-filled read.
Paul
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A useful overview of the anti immigration view. Worth reading. Not endorsing caldwells views.
Erik
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Edward
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Nathan Duffy
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ann
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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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.” 2 likes
“If the spread of Pakistani cuisine is the single greatest improvement in British public life over the past half-century, it is also worth noting that the bombs used for the failed London transport attacks of July 21, 2005, were made from a mix of hydrogen peroxide and chapati flour.” 1 likes
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