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We Are Doomed: Review

May 7, 2010 14:23:22.000

I read a cheery book recently - John Derbyshire's "We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism ". It's an interesting read - whether you agree with the author's politics or not, it's hard to argue with some of his pessimism.

If I had to categorize him, I'd say that he falls on the libertarian-ish end of conservatism. I tend to fall in that direction, so there's a lot in the book I agree with, but - your mileage may vary, of course. It's a short read, so you won't need to invest a ton of time on it. If nothing else, have a look at his section on education. Based on my daughter's tour through the local school system, I'm not quite as pessimistic as he is, but it's close. You want to get depressed? Next time your teenage kid has a few friends around, pull a bill out of your wallet (any bill, including a $1), and ask the lot of them to identify whoever is on it. If you haven't tried this before, prepare to be astonished.

Anyway, it is a polemic - if you don't agree with the author's viewpoint, you may well be infuriated by the book. It's not an angry book though, so if you bring an open mind to it, you'll at least see where people you don't necessarily agree with are coming from. In that light, I recommend the book.

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posted by James Robertson

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