Anti-Americanism: History, Causes, Themes/Exceptional State: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the New Imperialism

Article excerpt

Anti-Americanism: History, Causes, Themes Brendon O'Connor, Editor. Oxford: Greenwood, 2007. 4 vols.

Exceptional State: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the New Imperialism Ashley Dawson and Malini Johaar Schueller, Editors. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Any culture that starts a new development with some success is bound to be negatively analyzed and criticized by others who are not so fortunate. Such has been both the culture and the politics of America. Often, somewhat bedazzled or blinded by its own success the new country has antagonized the others in the world who have not been so fortunate. Such has been the fate of America. Founded on the determination to create a "city on a hill" the people have to a certain extent been successfully but have failed to realize that a city on a hill becomes the envy of all others who for one reason or another have not constructed such a mansion. Americans have always sold at a high price the concept of The American Dream, limited it for sale to this continent, when it might more aptly been admitted modestly that it might be in fact the American Illusion. But Illusion or Dream it has always been the goal of citizens of other cultures to come to this Illusion or to imitate it. Mainly, sometimes with justice, it has been to criticize it. Evaluations of a culture is often most effective done by outsiders. This collection of four volumes of essays-all by non-Americans-gives us the outsiders' views. Sometimes the essays are insightful evaluations, sometimes annoyed misreadings, all make for interesting evaluations.

Volume I gives us "Causes and Sources," and consists of essays on such subjects as "What is Anti-Americanism," "The Anti-American Mindset," and "Modernity, Resentment and AntiAmericanism."

Volume II continues several of the subjects begun in Volume I, including "Philosophic AntiAmericanism," the animosities fired by the several wars that the United States has meddled in and the feeing of anti-Americanism generated in the United States itself as explained in "Race, Nationalism and Anti-Americanism in America. …


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