Liberals tell us that "diversity is our strength", while Talibanic enforcers cruise Greenwich Village burning books and barber shops, while the Supreme Court decides that sharia law doesn't violate the "separation of church and state", and the Hollywood Left decides to give up on gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.
If you think this can't happen, you haven't been paying attention, as the hilarious and provocative columnist Mark Steyn shows to devastating effect in this, his first book on American and global politics.
©2006 Mark Steyn; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"America Alone is Mark Steyn at his best: funny and irreverent, even while assembling well-reasoned and complex arguments in support of serious insights." (Human Events)
"In America Alone Steyn's acerbic wit and relentless pursuit of politically incorrect truths show how Islam is gradually conquering the West by reverse assimilation, aided and abetted by global-warming ecochondriacs, craven multiculturalists, and self-detonating Islamists of the Muslim baby boom." (Jed Babbin, author of Inside the Asylum)
I'm just through the Introduction and can't believe how funny, insightful and provocative Steyn is. Not going to matter if Martha's Vineyard is under water if we're living in a bankrupt, Sharia-ruled country. Good to read an author who understands that losing in Iraq is not an option.
I like the content of the book--you have to be interested in a conservative analysis of the middle east and current affairs. Steyn displays great breadth in his scholarship, skipping around effortlessly between Greek philosophers, Shakespeare, and contemporary pundits. His acerbic wit is hilarious; as readers we'd laugh a good deal harder if our own demise wasn't the butt of the joke.
The problem I have with the audiobook is the narration: monotone, pedantic, and hardly ever seeming to "get" Steyn's humor. I miss Steyn's Aussie accent, which can carry sarcasm like the British do without really offending because it all sounds so--jovial and good natured. This narrator sounds merely ponderous, without any of the lightness the language demands. He has this really annoying practice of ending sentences with an ascending tone, like he's asking a question when he's not. Completely affected!! I think it's a book that's more enjoyable read rather than heard, at least in this rendition.
I found his thesis fascinating. The demographic changes that we have all heard rumbles about are spelled out here in frightening detail. It is amazing to think that these great western societies, which have brought us everything from modern science and medicine to the first real slavery abolition movement in human history, are simply destroying themselves by selfishly not breeding. The concept of the perpetual adolescence brought on, largely, by the social democratic state making sure their population is not self reliant in an interesting one I had not thought of before. I have heard for years that great societies fall because of the collapse of the family but I have never understood the case for this until now. This book is a great, if somewhat disturbing, read. Let us hope that the author is wrong and that the west (Europe, Japan) can pull itself out of its own self inflicted demographic death spiral.
Audio: Well-read by narrator Brian Emerson. If you've ever heard Mark Steyn speak, such as when he's on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, you know it would have been a special treat if he had narrated his own book. Steyn's listenable Candadian-British accent and ability to deliver his many humorous witticisms with just the right emphasis is a pleasure to hear. Emerson is an excellent stand-in however, with his clear, well-pronounced, and lively delivery. The narrator and subject matter held my attention such that I listened to the 10 hours over about 3+ days, despite having 12 of 52 hours remaining on Atlas Shrugged that I've been working on for 2 months.
Content: Excellent, superb, intelligent, insightful, witty to a fault? All of the above. The Islamic 'influence' (isn't THAT putting it mildly!) on the rest of the world is a subject people would be highly advised to inform themselves about. This is not something happening "over there" somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away. Steyns' intelligent compilation of FACTS, and his insightful discourse about them, is one such information resource. Combined with Steyns' inability to deliver more than a few sentences without injecting very clever wit, humor, or innuendo, the book becomes easy to read\listen to. (If only I could muster even HALF the wit and humor that Steyn does, then I'd be a, uhh... oh nevermind.) His humor does not degrade this serious subject, but makes it more palatable. The book is not a rant (The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!), but a level-headed, clear-sighted discussion. I highly recommend it.
(P.S. For backup on demographic facts, surf the 'Net for United Nations Birth Rates and wallow in their databases. Also have a look at Pat Buchanan's STATE OF EMERGENCY, which is packed with referenced demography, such as from UNpopulationDotOrg. I felt Steyn must have read Buchanan amongst others, or used similar available data.)
Yes, it would be great to have those heady pre 911 days back when radical Islam wasn't our problem. Unfortunately there IS no going back and as Mark Steyn puts it so succintly; An old lady driving erratically on the highway is her problem. The same old lady with the same driving pattern, in an 18 wheeler, becomes your problem. That 18 wheeler is radical Islam and it IS our problem. We either deal with it or we do what Neville Chambelaine did with Hitler; ignore it and hopefully it will go away. This book is a must for every liberty loving person, Chinese, Indian, the West, it does not matter, the message is relevant and crucially important for us all. Yes, the multi culti leftys will scoff, as they do, at us "alarmists" but I fear they will one day hear the words "Told ya!" Sadly that will be too late.
Every American needs to read and absorb this information. A very clear and well defined analysis of what is happening in America now.
A 5-star book that I gave 4 because Mr. Stein should have read it! His marvelous senes of humor doesn't come through with this narrator which is a real shame. I would be willing to re-purchase this download if Mr. Stein were to re-record it. Anyway--I HOPE HE'S WRONG, and I don't agree with everything but his brutal collection of demographic evidence and history is compelling. More importantly, he NAILS the inherent, fatal weakness of our current wishy-washy, cultural relevatism in the face of assertive, aggressive, devout belief! By the time you realize what's happening--it's too late! (...as it already is in Europe and soon will be in the U.S.A.)
I thought this would be another "Rah, Rah America" book. Wrong!!!! It is a fascinating study of demographics and the shift of populations. I pretty much listened straight through! I use earbuds, so it makes my ears ring, but it was worth it! Well done, Steyn!!!
The narration was fine. I had wished Steyn had read it himself, at first, but then fell right in with the narrator. Again, well done!
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Mark Steyn runs the billiard table from William Buckley to, sadly, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, and Rush Limbaugh in “America Alone”. His commentary ranges from erudite insight to conservative rant.
Listening to Brian Emerson’s narration of Steyn’s book makes one smile and cringe. In one section Steyn intelligently reflects on the demographics of world population and then, in the next page, whips out a Glenn Beck-like’ riff on the name “Muhammad” that sounds like Michele Bachmann’s guilt-by-association comment about ex-Senator Wiener’s wife’s meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood representative; i.e. Steyn incriminates the entire Muslim religion by inferring that it is a fascist conspiracy to take over the world.
Steyn is obviously well read and informed but one feels like he plays the publicity game of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh that have the objective of being darlings of an ideological minority that can make them rich. Steyn wastes his intelligence; pandering to an ideological constituency rather than serving the general public by searching for the truth.
There is a truth and it lies in freedom and equal opportunity. Demographics are not destiny; i.e. demographics are a part of the human condition that can be managed by recognizing human nature’s fundamentals and conscientiously creating nations that are governed by rule-of-law.
The only disappointment in this book was not hearing Mark Steyn's voice reading it. It felt strange hearing his words coming from the mouth of another.
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