Magazine August 10, 2009, Issue

Struggle for a Continent

The minaret of the Mahmud Mosque, Zurich, Switzerland, May 23, 2007 (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)
Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, by Christopher Caldwell (Doubleday, 432 pp., $30)

Not long ago, when I was staying at a Turkish resort on the Aegean coast, my sleep was disturbed by two sounds: the call of the muezzin and the deep bass boom of rock music seeping out, like poison gas, from the local nightclubs. Needless to say, if my sleep had to be disturbed by one or the other, I would have much preferred the muezzin.

For many young Europeans, Western civilization comprises little more than pop music, soccer, a sexual free-for-all, social-security programs, and five-week holidays to exotic places: not a strong position from which to face either the economic

Theodore DalrympleMr. Dalrymple, a retired doctor, is a contributing editor of City Journal and The New English Review. He is the author of False Positive: A Year of Error, Omission, and Political Correctness in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Of course Obama hasn’t read the health-care bill — he’s probably still working his way through the stimulus.

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