“Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth.”1
—Jean Baudrillard, French cultural theorist
“America’s problem is not with its brand—which could scarcely be
stronger—but with its product.”2
—Naomi Klein, author of “Selling Uncle Sam: The Spectacular Failure of Brand
“This is how people see America, the America of fast food, fast
computers, MTV, and Hollywood. This crisis has made clear that
Americans have no idea how they’re perceived around the world.”3
—Benjamin R. Barber, author of Jihad vs. McWorld
JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS IN 2005, KAREN P. HUGHES, THE NEW undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, gathered her senior team to discuss the results of their efforts to promote the Iraqi elections of the month before. The Bush team considered the elections one of its singular successes in a country still torn by suicide bombings and lacking such niceties as regular electrical service and safe drinking water.
“Would any of you like to guess what was driving the commentary and all the chatter on all the talk shows in Western Europe that weekend?” she asked, with a hint of exasperation. “You know what it was? It was the death penalty case in California!”
Stanley “Tookie” Williams, the Los Angeles gang leader turned peace activist, had been executed on December 13, two days before 11
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Publication information: Book title: Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do to Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad. Contributors: Dick Martin - Author. Publisher: AMACOM. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 105.
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