Our Culture, What's Left of It :
The Mandarins and the Masses

Ivan R. Dee, 2005
By Theodore Dalrymple

This new collection of essays by the author of Life at the Bottom bears the unmistakable stamp of Theodore Dalrymple's bracingly clearsighted view of the human condition. In these twenty-six pieces, Dr. Dalrymple ranges over literature and ideas, from Shakespeare to Marx, from the breakdown of Islam to the legalization of drugs. The book includes "When Islam Breaks Down," named by David Brooks of The New York Times as the best journal article of 2004.

Informed by years of medical practice in a wide variety of settings, Dr. Dalrymple's experience allows him to discover the universal in the local and the particular, and makes him impatient with the humbug and obscurantism that have too long marred our social and political discourse.

As in Life at the Bottom, his essays are incisive yet undogmatic, beautifully composed and devoid of disfiguring jargon, Our Culture, What's Left of It is a book that restores our faith in the central importance of literature and criticism to our civilization.

Theodore Dalrymple is a British doctor and writer who has worked on four continents and has most recently practiced in a British inner-city hospital and prison. He has written a column for the London Spectator for thirteen years and is a contributing editor for City Journal in the United States. His earlier collection of essays, Life at the Bottom, was widely praised.




Lindsay M. Young
Vice President,
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Clarice Smith
Media Relations
Manhattan Institute

Book Info:

Available at
ISBN: 1566636434

"…There is so much learning and unconventional wisdom in it that you want to make the reading last."
- Norman Stone

"The brutal, penetrating honesty of his thinking and the vividness of his prose make Dalrymple the Orwell of our time."
- Denis Dutton,
editor Arts & Letters Daily




City Journal