Theodore Dalrymple : biography
Anthony (A.M.) Daniels (born 11 October 1949), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is an English writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. He worked in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries as well as in the east end of London. Before his retirement in 2005, he worked in City Hospital, Birmingham and Winson Green Prison in inner-city Birmingham, England.
Daniels is a contributing editor to City Journal, published by the Manhattan Institute, where he is the Dietrich Weismann Fellow. In addition to City Journal, his work frequently appears in The British Medical Journal, The Times, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, The Salisbury Review, and Axess magasin. He is the author of a number of books, including Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass, Our Culture, What's Left of It, and Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality.
In his writing, Daniels frequently argues that the liberal and progressive views prevalent within Western intellectual circles minimise the responsibility of individuals for their own actions and undermine traditional mores, contributing to the formation within rich countries of an underclass afflicted by endemic violence, criminality, sexually transmitted diseases, welfare dependency, and drug abuse. Much of Dalrymple's writing is based on his experience of working with criminals and the mentally ill.
Although he is occasionally accused of being a pessimist and a misanthrope, his defenders praise his persistently conservative philosophy, which they describe as being anti-ideological, sceptical, rational and empiricist. In 2010, Daniel Hannan wrote that Dalrymple's work "takes pessimism about human nature to a new level. Yet its tone is never patronising, shrill or hectoring. Once you get past the initial shock of reading about battered wives, petty crooks and junkies from a non-Left perspective, you find humanity and pathos".
In 2011, Dalrymple received the 2011 Freedom Prize from the Flemish think-tank Libera!. The Flemish nationalist Bart De Wever considers Dalrymple as one of his leading examples.
His father was a Communist businessman of Russian ancestry, while his Jewish mother was born in Germany and came to England as a refugee from the Nazi regime.Dalrymple, Theodore. Our Culture, What's Left of It (2005) Ivan R. Dee. Note: Daniels writes that it was not a happy marriage; he characterised his parents as having "chose[n] to live in the most abject conflictual misery and created for themselves a kind of Hell on a small domestic scale". In his essay What we have to lose p. 158, Daniels wrote: "(...) my mother was a refugee from Nazi Germany (...) She had left Germany when she was seventeen (...)".
His work as a doctor took him to Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia), Tanzania, South Africa and the Gilbert Islands. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1990, where he worked in London and Birmingham.
In 2005 he retired early as a consultant psychiatrist, writing in the Sunday Telegraph: "Retired at last! Retired at last! Thank God Almighty, retired at last! Such are the feelings of almost all hospital consultants and general practitioners who retire from the National Health Service after many years of service: years that increasingly have been ones of drudgery, servitude and subordination to politicians and their henchmen, the managers, who utter Pecksniffian pieties as they secure the advancement of their own inglorious careers." He now divides his time (with his wife, Dr Agnes C. Nalpas) between homes in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, and France, and continues to write.
Regarding his pseudonym Theodore Dalrymple, Daniels says he "chose a name that sounded suitably dyspeptic, that of a gouty old man looking out of the window of his London club, port in hand, lamenting the degenerating state of the world".
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