America's Perceptions of Europe

Overview

This book seeks to rectify Americans’ views of its closest ally, Europe—an ambitious task, but one sorely lacking in the literature. Many prejudices about Europe surface in headlines, while others remain latent, but they are real, pervasive and ingrained. By addressing the ordinary citizen in an easy to read, jargon free, factual and non-ideological text, my hope is to begin this process of correcting Americans’ often outrageous, yet widely held and perpetuated beliefs about Europe. If the dominant media outlets ...

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America's Perceptions of Europe

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Overview

This book seeks to rectify Americans’ views of its closest ally, Europe—an ambitious task, but one sorely lacking in the literature. Many prejudices about Europe surface in headlines, while others remain latent, but they are real, pervasive and ingrained. By addressing the ordinary citizen in an easy to read, jargon free, factual and non-ideological text, my hope is to begin this process of correcting Americans’ often outrageous, yet widely held and perpetuated beliefs about Europe. If the dominant media outlets actually reported the facts about Europe and America’s relationship with its European allies, and if the average American knew the importance of Europe to their own, and our global, well-being, this book would be unnecessary. However, this is not the case, making it imperative to address the prevalent and pervasive distortions, misperceptions and even flat-out lies about Europe, European policies, societies, and people. Myths and distortions can be directly harmful to our economy, security, and quality of life. Citizens support policy initiatives, vote, invest, shop and travel. In all of these areas Europe is our most important ally, trading partner, and source of foreign investment. Decisions taken in any of these areas, if based on myths and misperceptions, can have dire consequences for the average citizen. The current economic crisis, domestic reform proposals, and America’s increasing realization of its relative decline—and increased need to cooperate with others—makes a book explaining the truth about our closest ally imperative.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This very readable book provides a needed supplement to any introductory international relations course, and will find a thankful audience among both students and others interested in world affairs but put off by overly theoretical and abstract writing. Professor Eliasson explains clearly the importance of US-European relations to Americans while debunking myths, misperceptions, and outright errors commonly held by Americans about Europe, its people and institutions. Professor Eliasson shares with the reader his expertise as a foreign policy scholar as well as personal insights and experiences developed as a European and US citizen. His well researched book is supported with data and useful tables. He identifies US-European differences, similarities, complementariness, and competition. He argues that as both Europeans and Americans have changed, their interdependencies and need for each other politically and economically have grown. He urges the reader to consider that while China, India, Brazil and other developing nations have increasingly important international roles, the United States and Europe will continue to be dynamic engines of global economic growth and political stability upon which others depend.”—Wayne R. Martin, Professor, Department of Political Science, California State University, Dominguez Hills

“Professor Leif Johan Eliasson’s book American Perceptions of Europe is a welcome addition to the public policy debate on transatlantic relations after Iraq. Eliasson delivers a provocative and empirically-supported argument for what Europe is—and is not—that is accessible to lay readers and specialists alike. The book serves as a useful corrective to the most blatant pundit outbursts and helps to narrow the gap between the perception and reality of contemporary Europe. As the United States seeks partners in addressing important global challenges, it needs an accurate portrait of Europe. Professor Eliasson’s book provides just that.”—David Armitage, Jr., American University, author of Enduring Dilemmas in Transatlantic Relations

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230100046
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/6/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Leif Johan Eliasson is Assistant Professor of International Relations at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. He is a self-declared pragmatic conservative and author of several publications on trade and security, including Handbook of Military Administration (2008).

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Table of Contents

The Global Engine that Keeps on Going, and Going, and Going
• Misperceptions, Myths, and Justifications Explained
• Simplifying the Confusing: The “Short-Short” of Europe and the European Union
• Attractive, Determined, and Competitive: Socialism Has Ceased to Be
• High Tech Gizmos, Web-surfing, Cells, and Green Power
• The Things We Want in Life: Health, Security, Work, Culture, and Quality * Europe’s Global Tentacles Reach You Everywhere: Trade, Law, Business, Armaments, and Military Operations
• Kant and Uncle Sam: Competition, Cordiality, Coordination, Congruence, and Cooperation

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