Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents. Her ideas have influenced politicians in both government and opposition, who follow her battles in the culture wars with fascination. Styled a conservative by her opponents, she prefers to think of herself as defending authentic liberal values against the attempt to destroy western culture from within. Born in 1951, Melanie read English at St Anne's College, Oxford before training as a journalist on the Evening Echo, Hemel Hempstead. After a short period on New Society magazine, she joined the Guardian in 1977 and soon became its social services correspondent and social policy leader writer. After a stint as the paper's news editor, she started writing her column in 1987, taking it to the Observer and then the Sunday Times before starting to write for the Daily Mail in December 2001. Apart from All Must Have Prizes, she is the author of The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, published by the Social Market Foundation, and America's Social Revolution, published by Civitas. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.