Rethinking Anti-Americanism

Rethinking Anti-Americanism : The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations

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'Anti-Americanism' is an unusual expression; although stereotypes and hostility exist toward every nation, we do not hear of 'anti-Italianism' or 'anti-Brazilianism'. Only Americans have elevated such sentiment to the level of a world view, an explanatory factor so significant as to merit a name - an 'ism' - usually reserved for comprehensive ideological systems or ingrained prejudice. This book challenges the scholarly consensus that blames criticism of the United States on foreigners' irrational resistance to democracy and modernity. Tracing 200 years of the concept of anti-Americanism, this book argues that it has constricted political discourse about social reform and US foreign policy, from the War of 1812 and the Mexican War to the Cold War, from Guatemala and Vietnam to Iraq. Research in nine countries in five languages, with attention to diplomacy, culture, migration and the circulation of ideas, shows that the myth of anti-Americanism has often damaged the national interest.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 6 b/w illus.
  • 113953386X
  • 9781139533867

Table of contents

1. Introduction: the myth of anti-Americanism; 2. History of a concept; 3. Americanism and anti-Americanism; 4. The specter haunting Europe: anti-Americanism and the Cold War; 5. Bad neighborhood: anti-Americanism and Latin America; 6. Myth and consequences: de Gaulle, anti-Americanism, and Vietnam; 7. Anti-Americanism in the age of protest; 8. Epilogue: the anti-American century?
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Review quote

'Max Paul Friedman has crafted here a highly original, and excellent, investigation of anti-Americanism cast in a brand new light ... This remarkable book, fluidly written and very enjoyable to read, is based on thorough historical research in United States, Latin American, and Western European archives.' Sophie Meunier, Political Science Quarterly 'Max Paul Friedman's study traces how the term [anti-Americanism] has been used historically and suggests the discursive power it has come to have in specific times and places. In pursuing this goal, it also plumbs the diverse meanings of 'America' itself. This book could be considered a transnational intellectual history - a very difficult genre because of the need to chart the multiplicity of connotations and contexts over time and place ... This smart and significant book not only demonstrates the importance of methodological innovation and transnational research but offers valuable insights about US policymaking - both past and future.' Emily S. Rosenberg, Journal of American Studies '[Friedman] has produced an outstanding piece of work that no scholar of 'anti-Americanism' will be able to ignore; original and thought provoking, this is a revisionist study in the best meaning of the term.' Egbert Klautke, Journal of Contemporary History
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About Max Paul Friedman

Max Paul Friedman is a historian of US foreign relations at American University in Washington, DC. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, he held a Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship and taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Florida State University and the University of Cologne. His first book, Nazis and Good Neighbors: The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin America in World War II (Cambridge University Press, 2003) won the Herbert Hoover Prize in US History and the A. B. Thomas Prize in Latin American Studies. The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations awarded him the Bernath Article Prize and the Bernath Lecture Prize for his scholarship, which has appeared in Atlantic Studies, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Diplomatic History, German Life and Letters, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Journal of American Studies, the Journal of Social History, Modern Intellectual History, the Oral History Review, Procesos: revista ecuatoriana de historia, Revue francaise d'etudes americaines and The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, among other publications. He is co-editor, with Padraic Kenney, of Partisan Histories: The Past in Contemporary Global Politics (2005).
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