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The Ugly American Paperback – January 17, 1999
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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“Not only important but consistently entertaining.” (New York Times)
“Slashing.... Draw[s] the reader into a vital subject rarely treated by fiction.” (Time)
“[A] powerful and absorbing indictment.... Should be required reading in Washington and elsewhere.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“To make use of the truth, unbelievable truth... William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote this devastating indictment of American policy [in Southeast Asia] as fiction. But any correspondent who has been any length of time in the locale of the story will recognize its veracity.” (Robert Trumbull - New York Times Book Review)
“A delightfully readable book.” (James A. Michener)
“Both enlightening and absorbing reading, with humor and wit.” (Boston Herald)
“A powerful, searching book.” (Los Angeles Times)
From the Inside Flap
Authentic, infuriating, and explosively candid, this is the daring, classic bestseller that unmasked the blundering hypocrisy of some of our top-level diplomats. It exposes the opportunism, incompetence, and cynical deceit that have become imbedded in the fabric of our public relations, not only in Asia but all over the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
1) The book is a devastating look at the way the American diplomatic corps presents itself abroad. It may have been written decades ago, but given recent events and little evidence that anything has changed in the State Department, the lessons are still extremely applicable to this day. Every foreign service officer should read this as a manual on how to conduct themselves and adapt to foreign cultures.
2) The authors are clearly cutting into American policy without going overboard and cutting into the United States. This is no anti-American rant; Lederer and Burdick seem to write this book with one eye firmly on furthering America's ability to advance its interests and cooperate more effectively with other nations.
3) Each one of the short stories is extremely entertaining. I started this book at 10 pm one night and finished it three hours later after being totally unable to put it down. On top of its commentary, it's a quick and fascinating read.
Each tale is an enchanting story. The characterization is wonderful and the lessons of cultural sensitivity - or lack of it - are valuable. You could also use parts of the book as anecdotes for teaching leadership, but it is not a textbook; read it to enjoy it and you can have the "food for thought" as a bonus. Americans should not be put off by the title as the main character is far from ugly and people from other nations are also shown to be "ugly", for example, some of the French in Vietnam. Also, as the authors are American, they did not intend the title to be a slur.
Trivia FYI: Universal made a movie from the book, staring Marlon Brando, in the 1960s.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having seen many of these instances and examples abroad, I highly recommend this book. This, and "Nation of Sheep", are must reads in order to be informed and knowledgable. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Undoubtedly, the most respectable and enjoyable book I have ever read. The book is easy to read through the use of capturing anecdotes and entertaining vignettes, while serving to... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
It has become increasingly fashionable
For Americans to hate America. There is nothing new in this. The vitriol in this hatred is over whelming. Read more
While fiction, this work is based on real-life examples of both the very good and the very bad sort of Americans which were working in Asia in the foreign services in the late... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Linda Jacobs
The ugly American may be based on the fight against communism but it is still relevant when thinking about the way Americans do business and travel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cindela
This book should be required reading for anyone who does foreign service/work. I travel a great deal and reading this "fictional" story felt all too real. Good lessonsPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
classic and a must read for Americans who do not look in the mirrorPublished 1 month ago by Edward C. Kokkelenberg
Although written during the mid XX century, this book shows the permanent mistakes done during the international relations of a great power and its allied countries. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carlos Santos-Burgoa