Cover image for Understanding anti-Americanism : its origins and impact at home and abroad
Understanding anti-Americanism : its origins and impact at home and abroad
Hollander, Paul, 1932-
Publication Information:
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, [2004]

Physical Description:
372 pages ; 24 cm
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E840 .U475 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E840 .U475 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Author Notes

Paul Hollander is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This work purports to study the phenomenon of foreign (British, French, German, post-Communist Russian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American) and domestic anti-Americanism. Yet, what constitutes anti-Americanism? The editor and contributors deny that they have focused on criticisms of US policy and society but, instead, in the words of editor Hollander (emer., sociology, Univ. of Massachusetts), examine "a largely groundless, irrational predisposition ... a disposition more closely related to the problems, frustrations, and deficiencies of those entertaining and articulating it ... than to the real attributes of American foreign policy, society, or culture." This subjective distinction underpins the central problem of this tendentious, impressionistic work. A minority of the contributors offer a nuanced, well-researched assessment of anti-Americanism, foreign (Michael Freund on Germany, Patrick Clawson and Barry Rubin on the Middle East, David Brooks on Nicaragua) and domestic (Harvey Klehr and John Haynes on American Communists). The editor's introduction and the majority of the contributors, in contrast, offer assessments that reflect their own political biases (anti-radical) or cultural conservatism (an anxiety about and antipathy toward feminism, multiculturalism, postmodernism). As a result, readers learn little about the phenomenon of anti-Americanism but much about the obsessions of neoconservative intellectuals. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. A. Theoharis Marquette University

Table of Contents

Paul HollanderJames CeaserAnthony DanielsMichael Mosbacher and Digby AndersonMichael FreundPatrick Clawson and Barry RubinMichael RaduDavid BrooksMark FalcoffWalter D. ConnorRoger KimballHarvey Klehr and John Earl HaynesCathy YoungAdam GarfinkleSandra StotskyBruce S. Thornton
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: The New Virulence and Popularityp. 3
Part I. Anti-Americanism Abroad
1 The Philosophical Origins of Anti-Americanism in Europep. 45
2 Sense of Superiority and Inferiority in French Anti-Americanismp. 65
3 Recent Trends in British Anti-Americanismp. 84
4 Affinity and Resentment: A Historical Sketch of German Attitudesp. 105
5 Anti-Americanism in the Middle Eastp. 124
6 A Matter of Identity: The Anti-Americanism of Latin American Intellectualsp. 144
7 Nicaraguan Anti-Americanismp. 165
8 Cuban Anti-Americanism: Historical, Popular, and Officialp. 190
9 Anti-Americanism in Post-Communist Russiap. 214
Part II. Domestic Denunciations
10 Anti-Americanism Then and Nowp. 239
11 The Rejection of American Society by the Communist Leftp. 258
12 The Feminist Hostility Toward American Societyp. 279
13 Peace Movements and the Adversary Culturep. 301
14 Moral Equivalence in Education: The Use of the Holocaust in Discrediting American Societyp. 322
15 Anti-Americanism and Popular Culturep. 347
A Note on the Contributorsp. 369