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In Defense of America Hardcover – July 1, 2008

2.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bronwen Maddox is the Chief Foreign Commentator for The Times (London). She is the daughter of Sir John and Brenda Maddox and she lives in the United States.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316032239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316032230
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,496,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In Defense of America is Bronwen Maddox's rather provocative comparison of the criticisms leveled at the United States over the last eight years to the realities of the situation as she sees them from her seat in the U.K. The book is a provocative one primarily because of its Eurocentric point-of-view, a viewpoint that accepts most of the usual criticisms as valid ones and quarrels with them only as to matter of degree.

Maddox does, very early in the book, make a key point about all the criticism directed at the U.S.: it is simply not fair. As she puts it, "The accusations take the best of the United States for granted while exaggerating the worst, and ignore the complexity forced on America by its size and its constitution." She also makes the very valid point that Europe is setting itself up for a major disappointment if it expects to see major changes in policy under an Obama administration. Maddox, in fact, sees much of the criticism directed at the U.S. to be the inevitable offshoot of its status as the world's only remaining superpower and believes that the high tension level between the U.S. and the rest of the world would have occurred even without George W. Bush in the White House.

Maddox outlines a three-point defense for the United States: the success that the country has had in peacefully assimilating such diverse peoples peacefully under one government, how the rest of the world has benefitted from America's development of competitive capitalism, and the fact that American foreign policy is generally a defense of the values most dearly shared by Europe and America. She, however, does not offer much in defense of the U.S. approach to the "war on terror" that was implemented after 9-11 or its supposed lack of cooperation in fighting global warming.
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Format: Hardcover
I think the book treats the subject, especially about America, quite fairly. Here in Amazon, this book is buried under the "Conservative" category when clearly the intended audience of this book are for those non-conservatives that are ambivalent about the anti-Americanism surrounding them. I can understand some readers giving a thumbs down to this book because of the author's treatment of Pres W. Bush, but in all, the book treats the anti-Americanism phenomena and its consequent blindness to the benign nature of the American project evenhandedly. I dare say the author can open up some eyes for those willing to be convinced. I also suggest, for American's sake, that Amazon don't categorize this as "conservative". It needs a wider audience.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this book might be a little misleading, because the book includes Chap 6 "Arrogant but not lawless", and Chap 10 "How America can help itself" where she ( Bronwen Maddox -[...]) lists about 12 areas where she is critical of the USA; also in Chap 7 she basically says the USA made an error (or errors) so "stupid" as to be "breathtaking" in our invasion of Iraq, and the book has Chap 8 "The Indefensible: Guantanamo and Torture" in which the title of the chapter is so descriptive that it needs no further comment from me...

HOWEVER, because it is short & to the point, well written, and is some-what "balanced" in its criticism & praise of the USA, I recommend reading it.
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This is NOT a book that defends America. It is merely a somewhat more moderated version of the typical anti-American rant. The author has "advice," for America, ie, what we can do to be better liked abroad. Gee, thanks! Why didn't you put that in the title and I could have saved my money and passed on this boring same-old, same-old European view of America. Why not a book giving Europeans advise on how they can be better liked by America? I resent this author titling her book in a manner that dishonestly makes it appeal to Americans, while it is really an APOLGY for America. Funny, I don't recall doing anything I need to apologize to Europe for. I sort of thought that after two world wars and protecting them in the cold war, a "Thank you," from Europe would be nice, but that would be too much to ask for, of course! I would not want to inconvenience their tea time or WHINE sipping, after all. If you can say ENVY, you already know all you need to about European attitudes. They were all, at different times, great super powers of their age! No more. Imagine how you would feel about a nation, ie, the United States, that now held that title. Many European nations are on the verge of slipping into third world status with crumbling economies and huge governments that tax their people into economic slavery. How would YOU like to spend half your working life paying your taxes? No wonder they resent America! What they should be doing is making changes themselves, instead of following the pointless hope that if they can just somehow knock down America by an inch, they will magically grow themselves by the same amount.

Joseph M. Vottis
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