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Christopher Caldwell is a columnist for the Financial Times, a contributing writer for The New York Times and a senior editor at the Weekly Standard. He lives in Washington, DC and travels regularly across Europe. He has been described by Matthew d'Ancona as 'one of the best journalists in the world' and has been reporting on the politics and culture of Islam in Europe for more than a decade.
Caldwell frames the issue of Muslim immigration to Europe as a question of "whether you can have the same Europe with different people." The author, a columnist for the Financial Times and a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, answers this question unequivocally in the negative. He offers a brief demographic analysis of the potential impact of Muslim immigration-estimating that between 20% and 32% of the populations of most European countries will be foreign-born by the middle of the century-and traces the origins of this mass immigration to a postwar labor crisis. He considers the social, political and cultural implications of this sea change, from the banlieue riots and the ban on the veil in French public schools to terrorism across Europe and the question of Turkey's accession to the E.U. Caldwell sees immigration as a particular problem for Europe because he believes Muslim immigrants retain a Muslim identity, which he defines monolithically and unsympathetically, rather than assimilating to their new homelands. This thorough, big-thinking book, which tackles its controversial subject with a conviction that is alternately powerful and narrow-minded, will likely challenge some readers while alienating others. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Caldwell is a bracing, clear-eyed analyst of European pieties . . . this book pulsates with ideas * Observer * The most rigorous and plainspoken examination of Muslim immigration in Europe to date . . . well researched, fervently argued and morally serious * New York Times * Dispenses a sharp common sense . . . If his book sharpens a so far sluggish debate, it will have served an important purpose -- Martin Woollacott * Guardian * Reflections on the Revolution in Europe will inspire some readers, infuriate others and leave very few indifferent. That's exactly as it should be - because wherever you stand on this debate, it's one we can't afford to ignore. * Sunday Business Post *
Respected conservative journalist Caldwell (senior editor, Weekly Standard) writes with deep skepticism about Europe's future relations with the Islamic world. He most clearly expresses his attitude when arguing that immigration has had unintended consequences, "importing not just factors of production but factors of social change." More specifically, Caldwell is concerned about what he sees as Islam's tendency to "trump" other social identities and ultimately form a single identity contrary to the values of democratic rule; at its peril, Europe neglects religion as the "anchor" of this identity. The values and culture of secular Europe are dependent on "ethical survivals of Christianity," says Caldwell, but the same is not true of Islam, despite the number of European converts. Caldwell also rejects American-style assimilation as a model for European immigrant "integration." Verdict Regardless of one's attitude toward immigration, Caldwell interprets an important European policy debate and illuminates why anti-immigrant sentiment cannot be dismissed as simple bigotry. Recommended for informed readers.-Zachary T. Irwin, School of Humanities & Social Science, Penn State, Erie, Behrend Coll. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.