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At this event, AEI scholar Richard Perle and award-winning British columnist Melanie Phillips held an informal discussion of Ms. Phillips’s book, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (Encounter Books, 2010). In this work, Ms. Phillips, author of the acclaimed Londonistan, repudiates the view that faith and reason are incompatible, demonstrating that in many cases the opposite is true. Her central thesis is that the trivialization of religious belief, rejection of the Judeo-Christian heritage, and postmodernism all combine to erode the foundations upon which Western civilization is based. Ms. Phillips explains that this vacuum has resulted in the emergence of a host of irrational cults and preposterous conspiracy theories-a world in which verifiably false statements are continuously reiterated, while truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are reversed; a world which may lead Western civilization to a new antirational dark age.


Speaker biographies

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her column on political and social issues, which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of the international bestseller Londonistan and All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain’s educational and moral crisis, among others. Her latest book is The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. She joined the Guardian newspaper in 1977 and became its social services correspondent and social policy 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.

Richard Perle, an AEI resident fellow, served as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, and a staff member to Senator Henry Jackson (D-Wash.). Mr. Perle is coauthor of An End to Evil (Random House, 2003) and author of Hard Line (Random House, 1992), a political novel. He codirected AEI’s Commission on Future Defenses.

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