The Decivilizing Century

When I contacted Transaction to request a review copy of the paperback edition of The Strange Death of Moral Britain (the hardback appeared in 2004), I was told I would have to wait for a few weeks, because they were completely out of stock of the first print run.  Perhaps this book has struck a chord, as it certainly ought to.

Professor Davies is a stocky, bearded, somewhat peppery Welshman—as I had occasion recently to remind an enthusiastic American reviewer of Strange Death, who had presumed that Christie was short for Christine.  Davies was an academic high-flyer at Cambridge (first-class honors in both parts of the Economics Tripos and President of the Cambridge Union).  He then worked for a time as a BBC radio producer, before becoming a lecturer in sociology at the University of Leeds and then at Reading, where he taught for 18 years.  He has also been a visiting lecturer in the United States and India.  Davies has written other books on morality—Permissive Britain (1975), Censorship and Obscenity (1978)—and several books on humor, most recently The Mirth of Nations (2002).  He is a regular contributor to newspapers and journals, including Chronicles and the Salisbury Review, and to radio and television programs.  He has also been active with various libertarian groups and the Social Affairs Unit.  Christie...

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