Understanding Anti-Americanism: Its Orgins and Impact at Home and Abroad

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Although it has been a global phenomenon for decades before recent acts of massive violence, anti-Americanism has prompted few serious studies in English. This collection of original reports and observations seeks to explain its impact in areas throughout the world, taking advantage of the cultural and geographical expertise of the contributors. Understanding Anti-Americanism distinguishes between rational and specific critiques of American foreign policy and American society on the one hand, and that brand of hostile predisposition that blames the United States for a wide variety of grievances and frustrations that are at best tangentially related to its policies, institutions, or way of life. The book includes essays on the historical origins of anti-Americanism and its occurrences in the Arab world, Western Europe, post-Communist Russia, Latin America, and China. Like-minded sentiments within the United States are examined in the contexts of education, mass culture, the peace movements, and feminist rejections of American society, and in a comparison of trends between the 1960s and the twenty-first century. Recent international developments as well as U.S. leadership in modernization and globalization receive special attention as sources of hostility. Among the contributors are James Ceaser, Patrick Clawson, Walter Connor, Anthony Daniels, Dario Fernandez-Morera, Adam Garfinkle, Roger Kimball, Harvey Klehr, Michael Radu, Barry Rubin, Bruce Thornton, Arthur Waldron, and Cathy Young. In his substantial Introduction, Paul Hollander examines the major sources and expressions of anti-Americanism and suggests reasons why it is unlikely to disappear or diminish in the near future, notwithstanding its irrational features and the spectacle of millions of people voting with their feet to become members of this much maligned society.

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Editorial Reviews

National Review
What the 18 assembled authors conclude is both fascinating and depressing…. Hollander has performed a great service with this volume...
Robert Kagan
A fascinating collection of essays on a complex but important topic by some of America’s foremost scholars and thinkers.
Harvey Mansfield
Paul Hollander leads a distinguished team of scholars in an examination, both vigorous and detached.... A serious, comprehensive book relevant for today.
Daniel Pipes
Understanding Anti-Americanism fills a vital niche [and] surpasses what one expects from a multi-author study, for Hollander brought together an all-star cast of writers who jointly mull over and draw insightful conclusions.
New York Sun - Jay Nordlinger
Mr. Hollander and his contributors make some excellent diagnoses.
Commentary - Arch Puddington
Valuable collection...
Political Studies Review - Yves Laberge
Essential for anyone in American studies, political sociology or international relations.
Society - Bryan-Paul Frost
A masterful job.... Each entry is limpid, thoughtful, and often incisive.
Bryan-Paul Frost
"Each essay is limpid, thoughtful, and often incisive."
New York Sun
For many years, our sage on anti-Americanism has been Paul Hollander.... Mr. Hollander and his contributors make some excellent diagnoses...
The National Review
What the 18 assembled authors conclude is both fascinating and depressing.... Hollander has performed a great service with this volume...
Publishers Weekly
The essays collected here, by political scientists, foreign policy experts and other scholars, cast a skeptical eye on previous accounts of their subject, arguing that true anti-Americanism is an extreme hostility born of, in editor Hollander's words, "a deep-seated, emotional predisposition" to loathe the U.S. rather than one based on rational critique. With varying levels of persuasiveness, each essay isolates a different strand of anti-Americanism in its cultural context of origin. Anthony Daniels paints France as an anxious, judgmental, contradictory former colonial power, threatened by invasive "Anglo-Saxon" (read "American") culture and the English language. Michael Freund analyzes Germany's relation to the U.S. by making detailed reference to 19th- and 20th-century German philosophical thinkers. Patrick Clawson and Barry Rubin argue that Middle Eastern anti-Americanism is spawned more by the scapegoating tendencies of radical Arab nationalism than by U.S. foreign policy. David Brooks, Mark Falcoff and Walter D. Connor suggest a pattern of frustration, failure, bitterness, blame and envy in their essays on Nicaraguan, Cuban and Russian anti-Americanism. A final section on anti-Americanism at home scrutinizes the history of the U.S. Communist Party, Canadian and American feminists' purported moral relativism and anti-Americanism in U.S. popular culture. Because the collection emphasizes anti-Americanism as a vitriolic intellectual construction, some readers may find its tone overly defensive, particularly in relation to American foreign policy. Nevertheless, the sense of cultural contradictions and differing philosophical legacies that the collection conveys is enriching and allows anti-Americanism to be viewed less as a bundle of generalizations and more in terms of the cultural particularity of each country and region. (May 28) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635646
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/25/2004
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Hollander is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the classic Anti-Americanism as well as Political Will and Personal Belief, Decline and Discontent, The Many Faces of Socialism, and Political Pilgrims. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the new virulence and popularity 3
1 The philosophical origins of anti-Americanism in Europe 45
2 Sense of superiority and inferiority in French anti-Americanism 65
3 Recent trends in British anti-Americanism 84
4 Affinity and resentment : a historical sketch of German attitudes 105
5 Anti-Americanism in the Middle East 124
6 A matter of identity : the anti-Americanism of Latin American intellectuals 144
7 Nicaraguan anti-Americanism 165
8 Cuban anti-Americanism : historical, popular, and official 190
9 Anti-Americanism in post-Communist Russia 214
10 Anti-Americanism then and now 239
11 The rejection of American society by the Communist Left 258
12 The feminist hostility toward American society 279
13 Peace movements and the adversary culture 301
14 Moral equivalence in education : the use of the Holocaust in discrediting American society 322
15 Anti-Americanism and popular culture 347
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