America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism by Anatol Lieven

By Anatol Lieven

During this arguable critique of yank political tradition and its old roots, Anatol Lieven contends that U.S. overseas coverage on account that 11th of September has been formed through the unique personality of our nationalism. inside that nationalism, Lieven analyses very diverse traditions. One is the "American thesis," a civic nationalism in line with the democratic values of what has been referred to as the "American Creed." those values are held to be common, and somebody can turn into an American through adopting them. the opposite culture, the "American antithesis" is a populist and infrequently chauvinist nationalism, which has a tendency to work out the US as a closed nationwide tradition and civilization threatened by way of a adverse and barbarous open air world.

With the US wrong or right, Lieven examines how those antithetical impulses have performed out in U.S. responses to the terrorist assaults of 9-11, and within the nature of U.S. aid for Israel. This hard-hitting critique directs a focus at the American political soul and at the curious mix of chauvinism and idealism that has pushed the Bush administration.


"A interesting and incisive research of yankee nationalism."--London overview of Books

"Lieven is relentlessly candid, and has produced a remarkably thought-provoking book.... Tightly written and widely researched.... A worthwhile and likewise a troubling booklet on a topic that's either the most important and in lots of methods super sensitive."--Brian Urquhart, big apple evaluation of Books

"Cogently very important contribution to the discourse on nationwide id, the conflict on terror and the character of political liberalism."--Publishers Weekly

"America wrong or right indicates a significant highbrow expertise and ambition stretching its wings. particularly, Lieven takes on many of the titanic questions about American id, ideology and exceptionalism in ways in which yield magnificent and provocative results.... At its admirable top the USA wrong or right asks very important questions and makes readers evaluation a few of their very own so much adored convictions."--Walter Russell Mead, Washington put up ebook World

"This combating booklet digs underneath the trauma of Sept. 11 to discover the cultural assets of well known aid for a blindly competitive and self-defeating international coverage. fantastic and inspiring."--Stephen Holmes, Professor of Politics and legislations, big apple collage university of Law

"Anatol Lieven is considered one of today's such a lot insightful observers of U.S. overseas coverage. during this remarkable ebook he presents an research of the virtues and the hazards of yank nationalism that's as provocative because it is perceptive." --Michael Lind, writer of the subsequent American Nation

"A looking exam of the deep-seated assets of yankee habit, Anatol Lieven's the US wrong or right takes on what others evade--the themes that, no matter if for solid or ailing, make us who we're and supply the engine of U. S. overseas coverage. In stinky, muscular prose, Lieven makes a powerful case that the neoconservatives have got a long way an excessive amount of credits for the process American coverage considering September 11. His bankruptcy at the together harmful process U.S.-Israel family members isn't just brave yet powerfully illuminating."--Andrew J. Bacevich, writer of the approaching the hot American Militarism

"The writer demonstrates that U.S. coverage in Afghanistan through the Eighties was once a failed try and counter Soviet impression and to catch up on the loss in Vietnam skillfully unravels the origins of yank nationalism and illuminates its failings and virtues."--Karl Helicher, Foreword Magazine

"Anatol Lieven is among the such a lot concept scary and insightful writers in Washington. This publication is particularly a lot within the similar tradition."--Senator Dick Clark, Director of The Congressional software, The Aspen Institute

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Extra resources for America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism

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Gradually but unmistakably, America is showing signs of that arrogance of power which has afflicted, weakened, and in some cases destroyed great nations in the past. In so doing, we are not living up to our capacity and promise as a civilized example for the world. 51 18 One An Exceptional Nationalism? We were long since a great power, we were quite used to it, and it did not make us as happy as we had expected. The feeling that it had not made us more attractive, that our relation to the world had rather worsened than improved, lay, unconfessed, deep in our hearts....

Something in those events, wrote an uplifted Peggy Noonan, "something in the fact that all the different colors and faiths and races were helping each other, were in it together, were mutually dependent and mutually supportive, made you realize: we sealed it that day. " Or as Ernst Glaeser expressed the mood in Germany then: "At last life had regained an ideal significance. The great virtues of humanity, fidelity, patriotism, readiness to die for an ideal.. "20 Earlier that year Georges Docrocq had written, "To act.

According to these traditions, America certainly does not "surrender" to other countries. It does however show a "decent respect" to their views and their vital interests and seeks pragmatic accommodations accordingly. When a nation is very powerful but lacking in self-confidence, it is likely to behave in a manner dangerous to itself and to others. Feeling the need to prove what is obvious to everyone else, it begins to confuse great power with total power and great responsibility with total responsibility: It can admit of no error; it must win every argument, no matter how trivial...

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