Book roundup: Christopher Caldwell, Adeline Yen Mah, Mattias Svensson

Christopher Caldwell - Reflections on the Revolution in Europe

Christopher Caldwell – Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West (2009)

Immigration poses two challenges to Europe: The formation of a separate, oppositional identity among muslims, who make demands European social models are unprepared for, and the inability of the native cultures to deal honestly with the challenges this causes.

Recommended: Yes, even obligatory. Hardly anything written about European immigration is both relevant and sane, but this is an outstanding exception. My own view at the moment is close to Caldwell’s, but even if yours isn’t, this book is where the debate must continue, or remain irrelevant, a mere exercise in misdirection.

Adeline Yen Mah – Falling Leaves (1997)

Growing up in Shanghai and Hong Kong, the author has a Harry Potter childhood, but there’s no magic, and no rescue.

Recommended: Yes.  I’m skeptical of anyone who shares their family feuds with the world, but it is an impressive revenge for an unloved daughter to turn writer late in life, and, in front of a million readers, elevate her stepmother to the ranks of China’s evil old dragon ladies.

Mattias Svensson - Glädjedödarna

Mattias Svensson – Glädjedödarna, En bok om förmynderi (2011)

A survey of failed and misguided moral crusades, from alcohol and comic books to prostitution and drugs.

Recommended: Yes.  And isn’t it interesting how many of these principled rebuttals of social democratic overreach come out of Sweden these days?