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Understanding Anti-Americanism


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About 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.


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.

A fascinating collection of essays on a complex but important topic by some of America's foremost scholars and thinkers. -- Robert Kagan
Paul Hollander leads a distinguished team of scholars in an examination, both vigorous and detached.... A serious, comprehensive book relevant for today. -- Harvey Mansfield, Professor of Government, Harvard University; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
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. -- Daniel Pipes, director, Middle East Forum; author of Militant Islam Comes to America
Mr. Hollander and his contributors make some excellent diagnoses. -- Jay Nordlinger * New York Sun *
The enriching... * Publishers Weekly *
What the 18 assembled authors conclude is both fascinating and depressing.... Hollander has performed a great service with this volume... * National Review *
Valuable collection... -- Arch Puddington * COMMENTARY *
Essential for anyone in American studies, political sociology or international relations. -- Yves Laberge * Political Studies Review *
A masterful job.... Each entry is limpid, thoughtful, and often incisive. -- Bryan-Paul Frost * Society *

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