The Arrogance of American Power: What U.S. Leaders Are Doing Wrong and Why It's Our Duty to Dissent

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We hear "anti-American" on a daily basis, it seems. When does it indicate a serious threat to security? When is it merely a label that the Bush administration slaps on anyone who dares to disagree with its foreign policy? Nancy Snow tackles not only the government's manipulation of the term, but also the broader use of U.S. propaganda for public relations. She further connects these to the tendency of U.S. administrations and media—past and present—to focus on projecting a better U.S. image rather than addressing the issues behind why the country's image is so poor, both at home and abroad. Snow is an American propaganda expert and a former U.S. Information Agency and State Department official. If America truly cares what others think, she argues, it needs to get over itself as the "number-one country." The government needs to spend less time diverting public attention and more time enlisting the public to help improve foreign relations. It needs to involve all citizens, not just government-approved lackeys, "journalists" paid to talk nice, or the predictable influentials and elites typically involved in foreign affairs. And the public needs to exercise its right to dissent—a critical power at the heart of democracy—rather than letting the government or the media halt foreign policy debates with labels, propaganda, and arrogant rhetoric.

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Editorial Reviews

Howard Zinn
Nancy Snow writes with eloquence, passion, and crystal-clear prose. In this book she brings these qualities to the most important issue before our nation today: Why has the United States alienated people all over the world, and how can its citizens bring democracy alive to change national policy?
Midwest Book Review
An excellent primer and a top pick for any debate on foreign relations policy past or present.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742553743
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 9/22/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Snow, an expert on American persuasion and propaganda, has appeared on CNN, ABC News, Fox News Channel, National Public Radio, BBC, and CBC. Formerly with the United States Information Agency and the State Department, Snow is associate professor of communications at California State University, Fullerton, and adjunct professor in the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. She also serves as senior research fellow in the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. For more information about Dr. Snow, please visit her website at

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 1 Living in the Number One Country Chapter 2 2 Perception is Reality in Marketing the Number One Chapter 3 3 American Propaganda and the Press Chapter 4 4 Information Wars Chapter 5 5 Image Wars Chapter 6 6 Public Diplomacy and America the Beautiful

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