The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
by Douglas Murray
Published in May 2017
Thibault’s Score: 5/5
The Strange Death of Europe stands as a dire warning for the populations of Europe for what is to come should mass immigration from the third world continue. It is the single most compelling book that I have read about immigration so far.
The book concisely covers a very wide range of issues that I have been following and researching over the last few years. It recapitulates the history of mass immigration into Europe following the second World War, summarizes the debates which occurred across Europe as the waves of immigration increased, and the evolution of the recent migrant crisis.
It doesn’t just strictly confine itself to immigration, but also briefly explores the reasons why European culture appears to be in decline. For example, Murray talks about the emergence of brutalist architecture, contrasting it with more elegant and traditional styles. He argues that the fall of Christianity in the 19th century, followed by the devastation of two world wars, deeply scared the European psyche. This scar has led to widespread hedonism and nihilism, and is a key psychological driver behind mass immigration.
Most of the book is spent going over various incidents and events that led to the current state of mass migration. I remember many of the news events throughout 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 which deeply shook me at the time when they occurred. He recalls acts of terrorism such as the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the Bataclan shooting, or the Nice truck attack. He also discusses key events during the migrant crisis, such as the mass columns of migrants which crossed through Hungary, the drowning of a little boy on the shores of Turkey, or Angela Merkel telling a 14 year old girl why she can’t stay in Europe. These are all events I vividly remember, and having someone go through them chronologically especially made a mark.
I really liked that he also spent time interviewing migrants. He opens the book and closes the book with interviews of migrants from Eritrea, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. These interviews reveal the tragic nature of the lives which migrants live, and helps remind the reader that migrants are just as human as the people into the countries they are migrating to.
Few books have so elegantly summarized my thoughts over the last few years, and reading this book was an incredible experience.
I am just as pessimistic about the fate of Europe now as I was before the book. Even though nothing can be done to prevent the slow death of Europe, understanding and chronicling the decline is key. Perhaps future societies and civilizations will then be able to use the information we gather this time to prevent their own declines.
This book is a 5 out of 5, and I strongly recommend it to supporters and detractors of mass immigration alike.
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