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The Strange Death of Europe



The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam is a 2017 book by the British journalist and political commentator Douglas Murray. It was published in the United Kingdom in May 2017, and in June 2017 in the United States.

The book's title was inspired by George Dangerfield's classic of political history The Strange Death of Liberal England, published in 1935.

Thesis

Murray explores two factors that explain why, in his view, European civilization as we have known it will not survive. The first is the combination of mass migration of new peoples into the continent together with Europe's below replacement birth rates. The second is what Murray describes as "the fact that… at the same time Europe lost faith in its beliefs, traditions, and legitimacy".

Reception

Sam Harris lauded the book as "wonderful". Writing in the National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty praised it as "informed by actual reporting across the Continent, and a quality of writing that manages to be spritely and elegiac at the same time. Murray's is also a truly liberal intellect, in that he is free from the power that taboo exerts over the European problem, but he doesn't betray the slightest hint of atavism or meanspiritedness".

In The Daily Telegraph, Juliet Samuel summarised Murray's book by saying, "His overall thesis, that a guilt-driven and exhausted Europe is playing fast and loose with its precious modern values by embracing migration on such a scale, is hard to refute".

Conversely, writing in The Guardian, the political journalist Gaby Hinsliff described Strange Death as "gentrified xenophobia" and "Chapter after chapter circles around the same repetitive themes: migrants raping and murdering and terrorising; paeans to Christianity; long polemics about how Europe is too 'exhausted by history' and colonial guilt to face another battle, and is thus letting itself be rolled over by invaders fiercely confident in their own beliefs", while also pointing out that Murray offers little definition of the European culture he claims is under threat.

A review of the book in The Economist claimed it "hit on some unfortunate truths", but "shows an incomplete picture of Europe today." Furthermore, it said that "the book would benefit, however, from far more reporting" and claimed Murray often "lets fear trump analysis" and was "prone to exaggeration."

Bibliography

  • - added Murray's Afterword on pp.321-337 at April 2018.