Theodore Dalrymple

Theodore Dalrymple

Theodore Dalrymple is an author and retired doctor who has written for many publications round the world, including the Spectator (London), the Wall Street Journal (New York) and The Australian (Sydney). He writes a monthly column in New English Review and is contributing editor of the City Journal of New York. His latest book is Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality, Encounter Books.

A Pug’s Life

I have never really understood why people like pug dogs. They seem to me ugly, they run to fat, and because of their pushed-in snouts and widely spaced eyes, they are inexpressive. They have difficulty breathing, like a fat man trying to sleep on his back. Between breathing and choking, there is ...

Donald Trump

Trumped-Up Charges

Several of my American friends expressed to me their outrage at the recent trial of Donald Trump, his sons and associates, in New York for civil fraud, resulting in a huge and possibly ruinous fine; so I decided to read in full Judge Arthur F. Engoron’s decision in the case. Let me first lay ...

Hampstead Heath, John Constable

Untrue Believers

Sometimes I wonder whether the true aim of modern “progressives”—progress toward what, one is tempted to ask—is to provoke such a strong and even violent reaction among conservatives and old-fashioned liberals that it would retrospectively justify their division of humanity into the woke, ...

The Center of Mediocrity

A correspondent who knows precisely the type of things that I habitually complain about (and without such complaint I would have nothing to say) kindly drew my attention to the proposed Obama Center in Chicago. The Center is completely mad, the madness in question being an attack of megalomania ...

Tortured Art

On the whole, the cinematic world has dealt less severely with Communism than it has dealt with Nazism. The reason for this is at least twofold. The first is that many in the cinematic world were sympathetic to Communism, at least in the abstract—which is to say, they might want it for others, ...

Judges of History

Last week, I gave a talk to my local historical society about a distinguished lady who lived locally and died sixty years ago this year. After my talk, a middle-aged gentleman—by far the youngest in the audience—came up to me and said something very revealing, which, of course, I shall leave to ...

Bleak Options

The current preliminaries to the forthcoming American election are both appalling and fascinating (the appalling usually fascinates in a way that the meritorious seldom does). The contest seems to be boiling down to which of the two candidates’ mental gaffes is the more disqualifying for the ...

Justice Underserved

Viscerally, I am in favor of the death penalty, but in more sober reality I am against it. There are some crimes so heinous, so beyond all extenuation, that death seems the only just punishment; but justice is not the only desideratum in human arrangements, so this is not a decisive argument. I ...

A Tale of Two Drunks

Personal experience is no guide to statistical reality, a lesson brought home to me recently once again by a trip to London. When I arrived back home from my trip, a copy of The Spectator was waiting for me, and its cover story was about the decline of drinking in Britain. Suffice it to say that ...

Children at Checkout

It is a trope of many intellectuals that to stack shelves in a supermarket, or to work at a supermarket checkout, is the worst fate that can befall a human being. Such a job is regarded as the very epitome of dead-endedness, though a dead end is what we are all progressing toward anyway, and many ...


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