John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisited

By Paul Harper; Joann P. Krieg | Go to book overview

10
The Ugly American: A Bestseller Reexamined

Joan Iversen

On January 23, 1959, a New York Times advertisement for a bestselling book, The Ugly American, featured an open letter to United States senators signed by prominent citizens who had sent them complimentary copies of the book. One of the signatures was that of Senator John F. Kennedy, then engaged in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. After fourteen weeks on the bestseller list, the book was headlined as "the best-selling novel that has become an affair of state." 1

Whether or not congressmen receiving the book actually read it, the record does show that subsequently many of them cited the book in legislative debate and congressional hearings. At least twenty-one pieces of legislation introduced in the year following its publication referred to the book. In addition, the novel was credited with creating a presidential commission, and its title rapidly became a new term in contemporary usage. "Ugly American" became a pejorative phrase used to connote the poor image Americans had earned overseas through insensitive or boorish behavior. Ironically, the book's titled character was actually the hero in the book and a positive example of American interaction abroad, but the title became, instead, a shorthand way to express the central message of the book. 2

The phenomenal sales (nearly 5 million) of The Ugly American should alone earn it our attention, but the uses it served rendered it even more historically relevant. The book became a significant weapon in the Democrats' foreign policy critique of the Eisenhower years, supporting partisan criticism of the foreign aid

The preliminary research for this study was undertaken at the NEH Summer Seminar, "A Generation of American Foreign Policy, 1945-1975," conducted by Professor Thomas G. Paterson, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1983.

-153-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 362

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.