These days, despising America and Americans is a favorite international (and even national) pastime. What many people may not realize, suggest Barry and Judith Rubin, is that an historical continuity and evolution of anti-Americanism coincides with the foundation and development of the United States from its discovery by European explorers and subsequent independence from these same European powers. Co-authors of an acclaimed political biography of Yasir Arafat and widely regarded for their experience and understanding of Middle East affairs, the Rubins recognize the need for a new framework by which to approach this critical issue. Rather than adopting a particular ideology they rely on analysis and narration, restricting the discussion to anti-American views held by non-Americans. Called 'wise,' 'pungent,' and 'compelling' by reviewers, Hating America
draws on sources from a wide range of countries to track the trajectory of anti-Americanism from colonial days through the early twenty-first century. International recognition of U.S. domination-both as a great power and as a model of globalization, modernization, and Westernization-is an established fact and America as 'super-villain' an unfortunate derivative, but the Rubins stress that for most of America's history anti-Americanism was little more than a 'curiosity found in the writings of travelers and novelists.' The examples they provide make Hating America
a fascinating read, and before reaching the conclusion that anti-Americanism has always been a response to the 'phenomenon of America itself,' they uncover how it is ultimately based on 'a false, irrational case.'
An Eighth Day View:
Reviled as an imperialist power, an exporter of destructive capitalism, an arrogant crusader against Islam, and a rapacious over-consumer casually destroying the planet, it seems that the United States of America has rarely been less esteemed in the eyes of the world. In such an environment, one can easily overlook the fact that people from other countries have, in fact, been hating America for centuries. Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin here draw on sources from a wide range of countries to track the entire trajectory of anti-Americanism. With this powerful work, the Rubins trace the paradox that is America, a country that is both the most reviled and most envied land on earth. In the end, they demonstrate, anti-Americanism has often been a visceral response to the very idea--as well as both the ideals and policies--of America itself, its aggressive innovation, its self-confidence, and the challenge it poses to alternative ideologies.