Life at the BottomTheodore Dalrymple
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass is a collection of essays written by British writer, doctor, and psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple and published in book form by Ivan R. Dee in 2001. In 1994, the Manhattan Institute started publishing the contents of these essays in the City Journal magazine. They are about personal responsibility, the mentality of society as a whole, and the troubles of the underclass. Dalrymple had problems in finding a British publisher to help him turn his individual essays into a collection, so he eventually turned to American companies for publication.
The main themes expressed in the collection include how an individual’s worldview (Weltanschauung) affects their actions and the attitudes of those around them, the philosophy of social determinism, and why a lack of personal responsibility for one’s actions results from an individual’s beliefs in determinism. The writing style that Dalrymple explains these in was praised by reviewers for its clear, witty prose and for going immediately to the truth and heart of any matter that is being discussed.