West, Diana 1961-
West, Diana 1961-
Home—Washington, DC. E-mail—[email protected]
Journalist. Washington Times, Washington, DC, journalist, 1999-2002.
First prize, National Newspaper Association, 1990, for best feature writing.
Writes a weekly column for Washington Times and the Newspaper Enterprise Association since 2001. Contributor to numerous periodicals, including Wall Street Journal, New Criterion, Public Interest, Weekly Standard, Washington Post Magazine, Commentary, Women's Quarterly, and Atlantic Monthly.
Diana West is an American journalist. West, who completed her undergraduate studies at Yale University, has contributed articles and commentary to a number of periodicals. She also writes weekly syndicated columns.
West published her first book, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization, in 2007. The account argues that Americans have become overly complacent with the world around us, particularly the ideological conflicts between Islam and the West, as a result of our desire to perpetuate our youth.
Rebecca Christy, writing in the Michigan Review, agreed with the common topics of American pop culture West covers but found that "the flow of this book … is stopped abruptly, though, when West begins a discussion of Islamic terrorism." Christy concluded that "it is unfortunate that West … chooses this book to make her argument against Western policy towards Islam. The harangue on this unexpected topic leads one to find lack of credibility in otherwise well-argued and relevant themes in American culture." Christopher Orlet, writing in the American Spectator, remarked that "West does not advocate a return to some golden pre-war era, but she does prescribe a booster shot of old-fashioned adult values. Sounding refreshingly like our parents and grandparents before them, West warns that we need to grow up and get serious about life. Preferably before retirement age." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, William Grimes observed that "West makes a principled, conservative cultural argument unflinchingly" throughout the text. As for the discussion of Islam mixed in with American popular culture, Grimes remarked that "this cultural analysis fits awkwardly with Ms. West's grand thesis about the West's failure to confront Islam. Not Islamic fundamentalism, not Islamism, but Islam." Grimes concluded that "West, in her style of argument, shows herself to be more a child of the 1960s than she might care to admit. In the end the facts matter less than the emotions. She surely remembers the slogan: If it feels good, do it."
Booklist contributor Brendan Driscoll suggested that readers looking for "a sweeping polemic against the cultural Left" would "enjoy this jeremiad's fiery indignance and playfully cutting prose." A contributor to Publishers Weekly noted that West presents "nothing less than the decline of Western civilization on the American counterculture," creating a book that will appeal "only to those already in her corner." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews found the account both "bright" and "readable." The same critic noted that "often the author moves from bracing to over the top, demonstrating why a reader of her column once told her to lighten up." Stefan Beck, responding to criticism of the book in a New Criterion article, noted that "West may get hysterical at times, but the most significant aspects of her argument are all but undeniable." Beck added that West "has laid out a very articulate defense of her belief that the American public can no longer be bothered to think about things outside its immediate pleasure and safety."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Spectator, October 26, 2007, Christopher Orlet, review of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.
Booklist, August, 2007, Brendan Driscoll, review of The Death of the Grown-Up, p. 13.
Front Page, August 30, 2007, Jamie Glazov, author interview.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of The Death of the Grown-Up.
Michigan Review, January 29, 2008, Rebecca Christy, review of The Death of the Grown-Up.
New Criterion, December, 2007, Stefan Beck, review of The Death of the Grown-Up, p. 73.
New York Times Book Review, August 29, 2007, William Grimes, review of The Death of the Grown-Up.
Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2007, review of The Death of the Grown-Up, p. 51.
Diane West Home Page,http://www.dianawest.net (February 15, 2008), author biography.
Townhall.com,http://www.townhall.com/ (February 15, 2008), author profile.
Victor Hanson on the Web,http://www.victorhanson.com/ (August 24, 2007), Bruce Thornton, review of The Death of the Grown-Up.