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A Furious Hunger: America in the 21st Century
     

A Furious Hunger: America in the 21st Century

by Bruce Grant
 

At the end of the 20th century, the United States—the most powerful nation on earth—is driven by quasi-religious patriotism and by conspicuous materialism. At once restless and violent, creative and democratic, it is also, at another level, deeply unsure of itself. Bruce Grant’s engrossing text reveals the core of America’s

Overview

At the end of the 20th century, the United States—the most powerful nation on earth—is driven by quasi-religious patriotism and by conspicuous materialism. At once restless and violent, creative and democratic, it is also, at another level, deeply unsure of itself. Bruce Grant’s engrossing text reveals the core of America’s greatness—and its vulnerability. Americans believe that their country is blessed and exceptional—blessed by God and nature, exceptional because of their management of the twin icons, democracy and capitalism. But have Americans separated themselves too much from the rest of the world? Can they meet the challenge of the 21st century, which is to provide true global leadership? A Furious Hunger is a penetrating exploration of America’s way of life, its people, its history, its rhetoric, its government and politics, and its arts and popular culture. The author’s “modest intention” is to try to understand the United States better, not as the leader of the Western world, but as itself. Bruce Grant writes critically and sympathetically of the country and the people he has visited and observed for more than 30 years. Clever and subtle, his writing uncovers the American way through conversations, visual images, incisive historical analysis, and astute personal recollections. This original and challenging book will interest readers who welcome America’s influence on our lives as well as those who resist it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A professional lifetime goes into this distillation of America: a warm, even affectionate, meditation on the pertinent aspects of US politics, history and culture in the 20th century.” —The Australian

“There is much in this excellent book that transcends the personal . . . that make it a valuable read for anyone seeking to understand the continuing importance of the US to us all: for better or worse.” —The Age

“In a thoughtful inquiry into the American character and the role the US may play in the next century, Grant . . . combines a Tocquevillian detachment with first-hand familiarity with the American scene.” —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a thoughtful inquiry into the American character and the role the U.S. may play in the next century, Grant (Indonesia, etc.), a professor at Monash University in Australia who has traveled extensively in the U.S., combines a Tocquevillian detachment with first-hand familiarity with the American scene. Americans, he asserts, are a contradictory people: rampant individualists, we are nevertheless community minded; hard drinkers, fast food eaters and drug takers, we profess our spirituality and devotion to God but also pursue insatiable consumer lusts; avowedly isolationist, we support countless interventions in the affairs of other countries. The view from Down Under, as Grant reports, is that too many of us buy into "American exceptionalism," the belief that the U.S. is a singular, implicitly superior nation--a view that encourages America's political leaders to cloak their pursuit of national self-interest in lofty moral rhetoric. Grant writes with considerable aplomb and historical breadth. An admirer of John Kennedy, he maintains that America's reforming conscience has been stilled ever since the turmoil following the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, which made Americans deeply conservative. Grant believes that post-Cold War America could become a humane superpower, but only if it recognizes that problems like poverty, environmental degradation, population growth, debt relief, genocide and nuclear weapons proliferation require international cooperation rather than a unilateral approach. All of Grant's insights and arguments are defensible and reasonable; by the same token, none are new or surprising enough to tell American readers anything they haven't previously heard about themselves. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780522847925
Publisher:
Melbourne University Publishing
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Grant is a distinctive Australian writer who is also a distinguished analyst of international affairs. He has been a foreign correspondent, a newspaper columnist, a film and theatre critic, an ambassador, and an adviser to governments, while writing novels, short stories, and books about the outstanding issues of our time. He is now a professor at Monash University, teaching statecraft to young diplomats. A Furious Hunger is his eleventh book, among which Indonesia has become a minor classic.

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