Anti-Americanism in European Literature

Overview

This book presents the first systematic study of anti-Americanism in European literature. Combining scholarly rigor with accessibility, Jesper Gulddal carefully analyzes a range of works from Dickens to Le Carré, arguing that fictional literature is a key factor in the development and dissemination of hostile attitudes towards the United States. As the book identifies the specific narrative and figurative resources of literary anti-Americanism, it also unearths the reasons for its persistence throughout two ...

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Anti-Americanism in European Literature

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Overview

This book presents the first systematic study of anti-Americanism in European literature. Combining scholarly rigor with accessibility, Jesper Gulddal carefully analyzes a range of works from Dickens to Le Carré, arguing that fictional literature is a key factor in the development and dissemination of hostile attitudes towards the United States. As the book identifies the specific narrative and figurative resources of literary anti-Americanism, it also unearths the reasons for its persistence throughout two centuries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Gulddal has an eye for details and telling formulations (anti-Americanism is indeed a 'fusion of critique and resentment') and his work is well organized, concise and readable. It should encourage mroe research on how authors abuse American and European ideals in order to bolseter or criticize national identies." - TLS
 
"In a brilliant analysis of German, French, and English literature's major figures, Gulddal demonstrates convincingly that the antipathy towards most things American has deeply informed European public discourse much beyond immediate policy disagreements or disdained figures like George W. Bush. The negative 'essentializing' of American culture, character and way of life has a distinguished history among European intellectuals and shows little, if any, abating despite their superficial admiration of Barack Obama. This book is a tour de force that deserves a broad readership and wide discussion." - Andrei S. Markovits, University of Michigan and author of Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America

"No other feeling has created more divisions between cultures than the feeling of anti-Americanism, regardless of whether it was staged as 'friendly criticism' or visceral aggression against the 'hegemonic power.' For both pragmatic and intellectual reasons, therefore, the topic of anti-Americanism has long been in need of a more 'neutral' interpretation. Gulddal's book brings the debate about anti-Americanism to a new, more complex and differentiated level by reconstructing the genealogy of this discourse from the point of view of fictional literature. This genealogy will not endear anti-Americanism to anyone—but it helps us to understand how certain positions today have long been overshadowed and determined by prejudices originating in the remote past. Anti-Americanism in European Literature should become obligatory reading for all academic humanists—and it will be a both informative and entertaining read for the larger public as well." - Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Stanford University
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jesper Gulddal is a senior lecturer in English in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle.

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Table of Contents

The Invention of Anti-Americanism
• Ambiguous America
• Anti-American Futurology
• Before the Tribunal
• A Hyperpower Gone Mad

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