America Embattled: September 11, Anti-Americanism, and the Global Order

By Richard Crockatt | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1

How America sees the world

Historical perspectives

No insularity in the West, not even the English, has been so acute as the American: no international involvement, again not even the English, has been so deep.

Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America1


America and the world: the perceptual gap

It takes little imagination to see that the events of September 11 delivered a profound shock to America's sense of its relationship with the outside world. Commentators inside and outside the United States strove to find words to express their sense of the enormity of the attacks. The attacks were a “wake-up call for Americans.” They constituted the “end of American innocence, a final blow to America's privileged position of detachment from the messy and violent conflicts that blighted less favored countries. America had now once and for all entered the “real world” of international politics, its “illusion of invulnerability” finally shattered. An important assumption behind these reactions was that America's stance toward the outside world could and must change as a result of these events. American isolationism (in so far as it still existed), its tendency to act unilaterally, indeed its famed “exceptionalism” itself must inevitably give way to an acknowledgment that the United States was just like any other power. What precise policy implications might flow from such a recognition were as yet unclear; it was enough that the events of September 11 constituted a turning point in American foreign relations. The world, it was said repeatedly, would never be the same again, and neither would America. 2

It is not surprising that a shock of this scale and immediacy should incline people to reach for the most charged language. It seems intuitively right that

-7-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
America Embattled: September 11, Anti-Americanism, and the Global Order
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 207

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?