Phillips, author of Londonistan,[1] has produced another book that underscores the threat that aggressive, political Islam poses to Western civilization, to the security of Israel, and to non-Muslims in Islamic lands. The scope of The World Turned Upside

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Phillips, author of Londonistan,[1] has produced another book that underscores the threat that aggressive, political Islam poses to Western civilization, to the security of Israel, and to non-Muslims in Islamic lands. The scope of The World Turned Upside Down is ambitious, tackling Western pacifism and fatalism, political Islam, anti-Semitism, the dimming of the Enlightenment, Marxism, and even creationism.

Phillips is outspoken about the naiveté of Western intellectuals toward the ascent of Islamism in Europe. Her book explores the battle of ideas between advocates for Islam and their secular opponents, the international criminalization of Israel, and the leftist-Islamic alliance in building a Muslim proletariat. It also touches on the decimation of the few remaining pockets of Christianity in the Middle East.

Phillips sometimes trains her sights erratically, taking aim at relatively harmless targets. The author has sarcastic fun with the handful of Hollywood celebrities who have been exploring, if only superficially, the secrets of Jewish mysticism, but what harm has Madonna, a well meaning though not overly educated chanteuse, done to Judaism, or to the West, or to anything else? There is also something schoolmarmish about passages in which she takes the West to task for its insufficient religious piety, gratuitously alienating secular readers.

The World Turned Upside Down is informative but a slower read than Londonistan, perhaps because of its broader focus, perhaps because the author clearly did her homework: Each of the chapters is fully footnoted with an average of forty-five to fifty citations. These shortcomings aside, Phillips's book shines with her intellectual integrity. A conservative who left the trendy leftism of her 1960s youth, she is an English Jew who refuses to take refuge in anti-Zionism to prove her independent credentials. For these and other reasons, Phillips is largely an outsider in European intellectual circles.

[1] See "Brief Reviews, Londonistan," Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2007, p. 83.