Reading List: The Suicide of the West


While I have the time, I guess I can continue on with a preferred reading list.

This book, The Suicide of the West, did not so much change my view of what’s happening here in America, and to a larger degree to withering Europe, but it certainly did define the reasons as to why it’s happening, why cynicism, self-hate and loss of public virtue and values will in the end result in the West becoming decidedly Un-Western.

Authored by Chris Smith–former culture minister to Tony Blair– and Richard Koch–consultant and business man, the book is small, but excellently organized. Written clearly, and inspiringly, The Suicide of the West examines the building blocks of the West, hewn from perhaps our greatest age: The Enlightenment. They are: Christianity, Optimism, Science, Growth, Liberalism, and Individualism. The West can only fall from the inside. When the inside is hollow, when our identity and motivation disappear, then the barbarians can have at tearing down our gates and sacking the temples. We’ve seen the start of that too…

I think I’ll be reading this book for the rest of my life, actually. Once a year, to remind me that the depressing media and casual nihilists hanging out in the coffee shops, complaining about the evils of America are nothing but haters contributing to the decline of their own world.

3 Responses to “Reading List: The Suicide of the West”

  1. November 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I thought I had I finally beat you to reading a book. I actually read this back in undergrad or so I thought. I actually read the Burnham treatise by the same name but it’s not the same book. I tried looking around to find it but nothing on Amazon’s Kindle list or Amazon. I did find it on google books in the UK but it doesn’t look like the whole text is available. If you would, can you let me know where you picked it up? So far I’ve been more than pleased with your book recommendations and this sounds like it’s right up my alley. (BTW, I certainly can’t speak for your other readers but I suspect they feel the same way – it’s always cool learning what books your favorite writers/bloggers/pundits have been most influenced by or find really informative. Being a hard core book nerd, I really try to keep up with books people I enjoy reading recommend – so keep the recommendations coming man 😉 )

  2. November 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm


    There is a classic book by the same title. Sam Huntington perhaps?

    I bought the book two years ago at borders Book Store in Bangor Maine. It may not be in print anymore though…

  3. November 15, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Oh yes–Burnham. I think I saw this on Amazon UK.

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