And so the rage and pride gave birth to disdain, guided by reason. In the prologue, Fallaci reveals how the gatekeepers of political correctness have attacked her since the publication of her previous book, The Rage and the Pride. Politicians, academics and sections of the mass media joined in this choir of condemnation and she received insults and death threats from various quarters. But there was also an outpouring of support, mostly letters from ordinary people in Europe who expressed their gratitude for someone speaking on their behalf.
What makes Fallaci's style so appealing is the blend of historical fact with eyewitness journalism. As a rhetorical device, she addresses a variety of contemporary and historical personages in the form of letters throughout the text. She scorns the peace activists, explaining why some wars are right and legitimate. In a blunt semantic shift, she now describes the shrill ensemble of politically correct "cicadas" as outright traitors and collaborators. She takes a swipe at the double standards and the hostile political climate in Europe as well as the hypocrites and fools at the United Nations.
In chapter one she gives her assessment of the changing demographics in Europe where non-integrated immigrant communities have sprung up in most major cities. To counter the propaganda of the crusades as a sin of the West, she provides numerous examples of Islamic incursions into Europe before and after the crusades, including the 668 assault on Constantinople, the 711 invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the attempted subjugation of France in 721 and the conquest of Sicily in 827. There were also the raids on the Italian coast and the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. Sensitive readers must be aware that this section contains many graphic descriptions of the utmost cruelty. Finally, she draws a parallel between those early wars and the Islamic expansionism of today.
Fallaci then takes us on a tour of Europe to show how bad things have become. She starts and ends with Italy and visits other countries in between. In France, there are cities where Maghrebis make up 30% of the population. She refers to the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, and describes Spain under its current government as a hopeless case. But it is the UK that is the real strategic base sheltering the vanguard, and Fallaci even has harsh words for the singer Cat Stevens. She mentions Louis Farrakhan, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali in the USA, recounting a frightening interview she had with the famous boxer.
The author reproaches herself for not having seen the danger coming in the early 1970s. Drawing on the research of Bat Ye'or, she chronicles the sordid conspiracy between the then-EEC and Arab governments. It started after the Yom Kippur War and the OPEC oil boycott. In the form of the Euro-Arab dialogue, European academics and politicians, spearheaded by Leftists, have sold Europe's soul for oil and immigrants. With their servile attitude, they have betrayed the essence of our Western values. She also makes mention of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader that became an ally of Hitler.
Fallaci identifies those who have sold out Europe as the Triple Alliance: the Catholic Church, the Right and the Left. The church stood by when terrible intellectual robberies took place, for example the appropriation of Judeo-Christian myths for the purposes of the enemy. Mourning the decline of the historical Italian Right of the Risorgimento, she calls it a noble lady that committed suicide. Before launching into the Left the points out the striking similarities between the extreme Right and extreme Left.
Accusing the Left of dogmatism and intellectual terrorism, she shows how it embraced Khomeini in 1979 and how it has since fallen in love with Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. She claims that the Left is not secular but is in fact an illiberal and totalitarian church under whose rule in the 1990s the number of immigrants to Italy increased exponentially. At the root of its Anti-Occidentalism is a profound and irrational hatred of the USA and Israel.
In the Epilogue she diagnoses the death of reason in the West as caused by people too lazy to think. Here she provides further evidence of the onslaught on Western culture, talking of the fear of being free, the decline of intelligence and the decline of reason. Although the USA gives her hope, America alone is not enough to reverse the decay. Fallaci maintains that terrorism is just a strategy, that immigration is the real danger and that the enemy aims to destroy our very souls, our dreams, ideas and achievements.
The Post-Script is the text of her speech on the occasion of receiving an award from the Center For The Study of Popular Culture on 28th November 2005. In it, Fallaci boldly states that she hates the Bin Ladens, Zarkawis, Ward Churchills, Noam Chomskys and Michael Moores of the world. She talks favourably of her meeting with Pope Benedict, expressing confidence in his understanding of the situation. Referring to the 2005 riots in France, she states that Left and Right are obsolete expressions since they are just two teams battling for power. She does not consider herself as either. Finally, she thanks those who persist in exposing the facts. Although they are criticized as dissidents, heretics and outlaws, she encourages them to pursue the battle of ideas, confident that truth will win in the end.
The Force Of Reason is a tour de force, more measured than the previous book but not entirely devoid of her trademark fury and full of humour. In essence, the book is a comprehensive analysis of the perilous intellectual climate and alarming world events, a much-needed antidote to a set of widely held false beliefs, and an impassioned wake-up call to the West.