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Anti Americanism Paperback – September 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1972, Revel shocked the world with his best-selling book, Without Marx or Jesus, in which he defended America against global denunciation. Thirty years later, Revel is back with the same purpose. His latest book, a bestseller in France, comes at a crucial time. It seeks to explain the root cause of the world's and particularly Europe's obsession with hating America. He does not pretend that America is perfect. But he argues that the daily denunciations exceed the bounds of reasonable criticism. Furthermore, Revel says, European critics are quick to point fingers when they should be looking in the mirror. Rather than mock America's 2000 presidential election, he notes, Europeans should have been examining their own abysmally run European Union. He attributes such inconsistencies to Europeans' desperate desire to "project our faults onto America so as to absolve ourselves." Revel further finds fault with the antiglobalization movement. Though the movement claims to oppose inequality and poverty in underdeveloped countries, its true anathema is liberal capitalism, whose chief representative is the United States. The barrage of attacks will make it impossible for the United States to confer with European officials or take any criticism seriously. It is in Europe's interest, Revel says, to put aside its envy and consider a more constructive relationship with the United States. As a French citizen, the author laments the sorry state of his home country; he believes that careful consideration of American principles will strengthen Europe. Revel writes with a style at once informative and incisive. He possesses a sarcastic wit that is undoubtedly as irritating to his critics as it is endearing to his supporters.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Revel skillfully dismantles false assumptions, outmoded theories, and outright lies--from both the political Left and the Right throughout the world."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; 1st English Language Ed edition (September 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159403060X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594030604
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Govindan Nair on October 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
~American readers may be surprised to discover that this putatively pro-American book reached the best-seller list in France. It is written by a French intellectual and journalist who, at nearly eighty years of age, knows the United States well (having written on the same subject nearly three decades ago in a book called Ni Jesus Ni Marx or, in English, Without Jesus or Marx ). The global position of the United States having evolved considerably since his previous book, Revel takes a fresh look~~ at this question in a larger context of debates worldwide on globalization, and not just U.S. society and foreign policy.
Published about a year after the events of September 11, 2001, the book takes a fresh look at the root causes of anti-Americanism, particularly in France, but also, to some extent, in Europe and the rest of the world, although some critics in France argue that he uses the book to pursue his own hidden political bias against certain French elites and domestic policies.
~Revel examines the mixed and often contradictory dual sense of envy and contempt that the United States inspires abroad, seeking to identify which of these attitudes are objectively based. He generally contends that it was this long-established ambivalent set of feelings outside the Untied States, and not the aftermath of 9/11, which underlies the resurgence of negative attitudes to the United States.
Revel's style is full of irony and paradox as he takes on subjects as diverse as attitudes~~~ on globalization, foreign fears of cultural extinction from Americanisms, and foreign policy. He sees in the anti-globalization debate a deeper resentment of American ideals of economic free-market liberalism.
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150 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Masson on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a French person living in an Anglo country(Australia)I'm well used to hearing the kind of mindless nonsense that is spouted daily aboth against the US and against France. This book is a reminder that France also has a great many intelligent, incisive writers of great clarity and passion, who not only don't hate America but admire it without gushing. Let me tell you, folks, there's more than one French person who completely agrees with Revel's thesis, and the limpid elegance, combined with biting wit, with which he puts his case. Only thing I'd say as small critcism is that he fails to address the fact that the anti-US beast is simply the resurrected, mutated form of the anti-Anglo-Saxon beast, the auld enemy, as it were.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Stefano D'Amiano on November 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My perception of the US when I first moved here from Italy at the age of 23 to attend an American University was very much negatively biased by the daily media, where the US is portrayed as a country where people would be willing to sell their mothers for money, with very little morality, no regard for the poor, very racist and violent... Although I didn't quite believe all of it, it was very hard to escape the constant barrage of daily negative news about the US.
Well, it turns out that this was mostly all wrong. I have been living in the US for about 10 years, most of which in NYC. I love this country and living in NYC. I found the American people a lot more civilized, open minded and compassionate than most Italians. Not to mention the dignity, patriotism and work ethic.
This book should be a mandatory reading for every person in the world. If people would stop accusing the US and rather try to learn something from her, the world will be a far better place that it is today.
And for any American who still believes in a socialist US, with the goverment in charge of solving all of your problems, read this book. If that didn't change your mind, then move to France or Italy for a couple of years... You will be running back in the US, thanking whatever higher power you believe in for the luck of being born here!!
Happy reading!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Hi, I'm Steve on November 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Contrary to the psychological needs of some reviewers, Revel doesn't present a stridently pro-American polemic, a la Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. By linking the US to the liberal democratic tradition, he shows how this tradition is under fire from totalitarian mindsets on the Right and the Left. He provides numerous examples of oxymoronic "criticisms" (really just attacks) of America, all of which undermine the theoretical and intellectual qualifications of the political elites tossing them out. When listed side-by-side, the contradictory nature of these ongoing misstatements is shocking.
At the end of the 20th century, America is the lone superpower in part because the rest of the world has avoided the self-criticism and self-examination that are desperately required of liberal democracies. America has been running the race while the rest of the world has meandered around the track. Anti-Americanism wastes resources that could actually be used to compete with America; furthermore, such reasoned competition could make the world a better place. Revel laments Europe's unwillingness to take political risks, and rely instead on the very safe, very proven method of attacking the Americans. The results are very harmful indeed.
Finally, Revel concludes that the end is not in sight. Whereas polls indicate that the average European citizen (an ironical term, as he points out) is just not that obsessed with bashing the US, political elites on the Right and Left ARE obsessed and will stay that way. Look for the 21st century to be another American one.
This book is well-written and foot-noted and clocks in at 176 pages. Very useful.
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