Anti-Americanism in Europe

Anti-Americanism in Europe

A Cultural Problem

Author: Russell A. Berman
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4511-4
Publication Date: 1/18/2008
Pages: 186

Our Tarnished Image in Europe: The Fault of U.S. policies or an Indicator of European Culture?

Since September 11, 2001, the attitudes of Europeans toward the United States have grown increasingly more negative. For many in Europe, the terrorist attack on New York City was seen as evidence of how American behavior elicits hostility—and how it would be up to Americans to repent and change their ways. Yet, as this book argues, the deep cultural roots of European anti-Americanism predate contemporary partisan concerns. In this revealing look at the deep divide that has emerged, Russell Berman explores the various dimensions of contemporary European anti-Americanism.

The author shows how, as the process of post-cold war European unification has progressed, anti-Americanism has proven a useful ideology for the definition of a new European identity. He examines this emerging identity and shows how it has led to a position hostile to any "regime change" by the United States—no matter how bad the regime may be. And he details the elements—some cultural, some simply irrational—of this disturbing movement and tells why it is likely to remain a feature of relations between the United States and Europe for the foreseeable future.

Anti-Americanism in Western Europe is not just a friendly disagreement, but a widening chasm. This book makes a major contribution to understanding this important ideological challenge.

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Russell A. Berman

Russell A. Berman, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, is a senior fellow, by courtesy, at the Hoover Institution.


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by Omar Carlucci
on 11/26/2016
Not a very thoughtful analysis
Unfortunately, Berman fails to deliver on either his promise to tell his audience why anti-american sentiment exists in Europe or why we should care. Wake up and smell the roses -- good policy is not the result of uncritical obeisance to those who happen to wield greater military power. The value of critical allies is not explored in detail in this text. The sentiment is at least in part the very real result of an over-zealous foreign policy over decades that prioritized the development of American arms dealers and weapons manufacturers over the well-being of its own citizens. America was not simply an easy target for an opportunistic exercise of political self-definition; it was a nearly unchecked political and military force for decades that would have done well to try to understand itself critically through the eyes of those cultures closest to its own (indeed, from which it developed).
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Introduction to the Hoover Classics Edition
1. The German Perception of the United States since September 11 and the European Context
2. Not Just a Friendly Disagreement: Anti-Americanism as Obsession
3. Democratic War, Repressive Peace: On Really Existing Anti-Americanism
4. Saddam as Hitler
5. Anti-Americanism and the Movement against Globalization

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