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. international coverage when you consider that Sept. 11 has been formed by means of the designated personality of our nationalism. inside of that nationalism, Lieven analyses very varied traditions. One is the "American thesis," a civic nationalism in keeping with the democratic values of what has been referred to as the "American Creed." those values are held to be common, and somebody can develop into an American via adopting them. the opposite culture, the "American antithesis" is a populist and infrequently chauvinist nationalism, which has a tendency to work out the USA as a closed nationwide tradition and civilization threatened by way of a antagonistic and barbarous open air world.

With the United States wrong or right, Lieven examines how those antithetical impulses have performed out in U.S. responses to the terrorist assaults of Sep 11, and within the nature of U.S. help 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.

Reviews:

"A attention-grabbing and incisive research of yank nationalism."--London evaluation of Books

"Lieven is relentlessly candid, and has produced a remarkably thought-provoking book.... Tightly written and widely researched.... A beneficial and in addition a troubling publication on an issue that's either the most important and in lots of methods super sensitive."--Brian Urquhart, ny assessment of Books

"Cogently argued...an 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 exhibits a major highbrow expertise and ambition stretching its wings. particularly, Lieven takes on the various mammoth questions about American identification, ideology and exceptionalism in ways in which yield staggering and provocative results.... At its admirable most sensible the USA wrong or right asks vital questions and makes readers evaluate a few of their very own such a lot loved convictions."--Walter Russell Mead, Washington put up booklet World

"This combating booklet digs underneath the trauma of Sept. 11 to discover the cultural resources of well known aid for a blindly competitive and self-defeating international coverage. awesome and inspiring."--Stephen Holmes, Professor of Politics and legislation, manhattan college college of Law

"Anatol Lieven is certainly one of today's such a lot insightful observers of U.S. international coverage. during this unparalleled ebook he offers an research of the virtues and the risks of yankee nationalism that's as provocative because it is perceptive." --Michael Lind, writer of the subsequent American Nation

"A looking exam of the deep-seated resources of yankee habit, Anatol Lieven's the United States wrong or right takes on what others evade--the subject matters that, no matter if for strong or ailing, make us who we're and supply the engine of U. S. international coverage. In smelly, muscular prose, Lieven makes a robust case that the neoconservatives have got some distance an excessive amount of credits for the process American coverage seeing that Sept. 11. His bankruptcy at the together damaging process U.S.-Israel family is not just brave yet powerfully illuminating."--Andrew J. Bacevich, writer of the imminent the recent American Militarism

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

"Anatol Lieven is likely one of the such a lot idea frightening and insightful writers in Washington. This publication is particularly a lot within the comparable tradition."--Senator Dick Clark, Director of The Congressional application, The Aspen Institute

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Sample text

23 Republican strategists were often remarkably frank about this. According to Bush advisers, this is the gist of his speech, which will have solemn passages with an overall tone of optimism: 'We are a nation at war. My bold decisions have made America safer, but we are not yet safe. At home, my administration's policies have made us better and more prosperous. 25 They were not only calling for support for the war effort, or even adherence to a nationalist political program; in many cases, they were also seeking to defend a particular class and domestic political position.

58 And this is as true of the European elites as of the populations at large. The European nationalist death ride unleashed in 1914 began by destroying the sons of those elites, and by 1945 it had destroyed their dominance and in many cases their countries as well. American capitalists, however, like America as a whole, escaped the European catastrophes of the first half of the twentieth century. In this America was very fortunate; but it also means that the United States and its rulers escaped perhaps the most searing lessons the world has ever known in the need to keep social, class, economic and national ambitions, and passions, within certain bounds.

Many Poles do not much like Russians and probably never will, for old historical reasons. Does this mean that Polish-Russian relations would be unaffected by new Russian policies which Poland saw as contemptuous and hostile? Or how about Greece and Turkey? Or South Korea and Japan? The whole point of these arguments however is precisely that, like all such nationalist discourses, they are intended to free America from moral responsibility for the consequences of its actions and therefore to free America to do anything.

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