Customer Reviews for

Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    More truth than we are used to.

    Dalrymple has seen the underclass and its habits. As they are 'anecdotes' they somehow don't count. The aplolgists come out and denounce him, then they go back to their champagne and take more classes with no tangible value. Ignore Dalrymple at your peril.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2003

    Unintentionally humorous drivel

    This is a painfully self-righteous and badly written read. Dalrymple comes across as a typical stiff and pretentious Englishman who confuses modernity with vulgarity. I picture him standing on his door step shaking his fist after a retreating motorcycle shouting 'Kids these days!!' and wondering aloud why the poor don't just go to their Caribbean summer homes when they're feeling down. In his effort to prove that all English negativity, including ethnic stereotypes and bad architecture, are the fault of bad attitude, he reminds me of just another Aspen-style guru in Connover's 'White Out'. The book could have been called: 'I Did My Best and for What: a guilty upper classman's disassociation of guilt.' He is able to successfully argue a few old tried and true clichés,(kids don't think school is hip, people who are bored drink more at clubs and act funny), but overall he falls into the problem of 'F'ed Companies' in that he ends up simply listing observations instead of delving into the academic task of analysis. He is overcome by the rose tinted spectacles of false nostalgia for an imagined time when the church forced everyone to act respectably, public housing and assistance were available only to suitably clean and grateful 2-parent families, and beautiful women only said 'yes' out of the purest, emotionally mature, virginal love. The book is more the author's ego trip for his martyrdom (Look at me, I condescended to study the savages in their own habitat!) than anything resembling an accurate treaties, and is often rather humorous as such.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    This is a must for Americans to read as well

    In this book Mr. Dalrymple discusses what is happening in Great Britain, but you can replace the words Great Britain with USA just as easily. Dumbed down education, collapse of the family structure, indifference to out of wedlock births, and the trickling up of the underclass lifestyle to the middle and upper spheres of society. You doubt? Then read the section which tells you just who some of the hooligans are at the soccer games, and then replace the word soccer with American sports. Which sport? Take your pick. Space precludes any more of my opinion, but Mr. Dalrymples covers many more aspects of the underclass life and lifestyle which you the reader should find interesting, if not alarming. I'll say again that this is a book all Americans should read. But apparently the local library I wanted to give this book to doesn't see it that way. They declined as of this writing to put it on the shelf.

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