BN.com Gift Guide

The Ugly American

( 18 )

Overview

The multi-million-copy bestseller that coined the phrase for tragic American blunders abroad.
In the episode that lends the book its title, the "ugly American" is Homer Atkins, a plain and plain-spoken man, who has been sent by the U.S. government to advise the Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan on engineering projects. When Atkins finds badly misplaced priorities and bluntly challenges the entrenched interests, he lays bare a foreign policy ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$11.98
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (70) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $8.72   
  • Used (62) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The multi-million-copy bestseller that coined the phrase for tragic American blunders abroad.
In the episode that lends the book its title, the "ugly American" is Homer Atkins, a plain and plain-spoken man, who has been sent by the U.S. government to advise the Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan on engineering projects. When Atkins finds badly misplaced priorities and bluntly challenges the entrenched interests, he lays bare a foreign policy gone dangerously wrong.
First published in 1958, The Ugly American? became a runaway national bestseller for its slashing exposé of American arrogance, incompetence, and corruption in Southeast Asia. In linked stories and vignettes, the book uses gripping storytelling to draw a devastating picture of how the United States was losing the struggle with Communism in Asia.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Herald Tribune
“A very important bombshell.”
New York Times
“Not only important but consistently entertaining.”
Time
“Slashing.... Draw[s] the reader into a vital subject rarely treated by fiction.”
Robert Trumbull - New York Times Book Review
“To make use of the truth, unbelievable truth... William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote this devastating indictment of American policy [in Southeast Asia] as fiction. But any correspondent who has been any length of time in the locale of the story will recognize its veracity.”
James A. Michener
“A delightfully readable book.”
Boston Herald
“Both enlightening and absorbing reading, with humor and wit.”
Los Angeles Times
“A powerful, searching book.”
Robert Trumbell
The attack on American Policy in Asia this book makes is clothed in sharp characterizations, frequently humorous incident and perceptive descriptions of the countries and people where the action occurs. As a piece of literature, The Ugly American may fall into a permanent niche as a source of insight into the actual, day-by-day by-play of the present titanic struggle for Asia that will engage future historians - unless, of course, the communists win, and supress all such books.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393318678
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 143,012
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugene Burdick's other books include Fail-Safe.

William J. Lederer (1912-2009) was the co-author of The Ugly American (with Eugene Burdick), The Mirages of Marriage (with Don D. Jackson) and other books.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2014

    I saw this book on my parent's bookshelf as a kid but never read

    I saw this book on my parent's bookshelf as a kid but never read it. When I was preparing for an internship to Mexico as a college student it was required reading. It really opened my eyes to international relations and helps me see the mistakes we continue to make, not only as a government with our international policies and "aid," but also as tourists of the world. This is one of the few books I actually remember from my college days. My teenagers are now preparing to go abroad for the first time. Funding of their expeditions is contingent upon finishing this novel. I don't want them to be Ugly Americans. I really wish it was required reading for all our politicians, military and everyone that represents America abroad.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Should be required reading in Washington

    It has taken me literally years to finish reading this book because it was often so frustrating to read I had to put it down, then pick it up again a little later for just a bit because it was so riviting before having to put it down again. I often found myself saying out loud "Don't do that!" or "You're so ignorant!". Though it was written over fifty years ago we are still having to learn these lessons. How many times will the United States make these same kind of mistakes before our leaders "get it"?
    I will cherish the old 1963 Crest Book printing that I scrounged. It will be one of only a very small handful of books I may read again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    WOW

    This was one of the greatest books I have ever read. It was witty and funny, but alos informative. I loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    summer reading

    I first read The Ugly American summer of '97 when I ended up in summer school for History...I couldn't put it down (i always say i loved it too much that i made the unconscious decision to flunk history again the next year so i could read it again). It's become one of my favorite books, the tongue in cheek, cynical and almost satyrical view of american foreign policy is absolutely brilliant. Almost ten years later, I'm hoping to get into the MSFS (masters in foreign service) program of Georgetown in DC. There's hope yet for our nation's foreign diplomacy...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2003

    Definitely worth reading!

    I was forced to read this book for a history class. I started out knowing very little about asian foregin policy. But I was definately impress with the insight this book gave me on it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    Excellent!

    I was forced to read "The Ugly American" for english class and in the end I discovered that it is by far the best book I have ever read for school! I really proves to us all that our government is very "ugly". It should be a lesson to us all!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2002

    A different perspective

    I thought this was an excellent book. It deeply impacted me by giving me a new perspective on America and its foreign policy. The novel also gives some fancinating stories about some heroic and non-heroic Americans in South East Asia in the 60's. Please read, it will surely give you a different or new perspective of what foreigners really think of Americans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2001

    People in this book still exist around us.

    The same as the reader who hates to read, I to am not very fond of reading all the time. But this book was recommended by a friend while I was working abroad on Diplomatic duty. I found those people still present on diplomatic duty and was not able to understand how they can go to these places and just hate the people and what they do so much. But of course the money looks good to them. Maybe the Government should lower wages and get people out there who do want to help, and not just get paid high wages. These people make Americans as a whole look like really bad people, luckily I made alot of people feel diferently about us. Maybe because I was there to help, and not for the money. As in the book there are plenty of good Americans out there who want to help change the world for good, lets listen to them for a change.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2001

    Perhaps the most misused title of the 1900s

    The title character -- the 'Ugly American' himself -- was the GOOD GUY in this book. The people of the SE Asian country in which the book is set LIKED him, because he was unpretentious and humble and truly helpful to them. (For example, he found a way to convert abandoned Jeep engines into pumps to help irrigate their rice paddies.) Only his face was 'ugly' to them. So when you hear somebody refer to a loudmouthed know-it-all tourist as an 'ugly American', you can be sure they haven't read the book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2001

    A constant in American Diplomacy

    I really anjoyed the book although it carries with it the times in which it was written. The scary thing about the book is that it rings so true. American diplomats are still ignorant about the culture in which they are stationed and we still fail to attract the cream of the crop to enter the foreign service. I have never met an American diplomat that is fluent in a foreign language and I have come into contact with very many through my business with Americans. So sad and so true is the real summary of this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    Historical Significance of The Ugly American

    This novel explores some of the failings of the US foreign policy abroad. It was extremely popular when it was released (Ike even read it on vacation). However, the true interest in this novel is not its bashing of US foreign policy, but the fact that it was read and popular during the 50s. This was a time of liberal consensus and followed shortly on the heels of McCarthyism. The historical significance of The Ugly American is that it exposes gaps in the popular belief in a perfect and infallible America.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2000

    Someone who hates to read

    For someone like myself who just totally hates reading books,this one really grabbed my interest. I didn't read this just because I had to for World history,well that's why I did.If I could just summarize my opinion in one word about this book it would be 'different'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2000

    I was forced to read it, and actually enjoyed it

    i enjoyed this book, i read it for my sophomore class, and this was a great book. I recommend it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)