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Anti Americanism

Anti Americanism
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Soon after the 9/11 attack on the United States, the early outpouring of sympathy from around the world began giving way to blame. In many quarters of Europe, especially France, and elsewhere in the world, it was said that the Americans must somehow have brought this violence upon themselves. The U.S. was a “cowboy” nation unwilling to abide by the will of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, and bent on pursuing its objectives no matter what.

Angered by the increasingly shrill polemics against a nation he knows and admires, the distinguished French writer Jean-François Revel has come to America’s defense in Anti-Americanism, a biting and erudite book that spent several weeks late last year on top of the French best-seller list.

Revel probes the origins of the notion that America is the source of all evil: imperialistic, greedy and ruthlessly competitive—the “hyperpower” whose riches are acquired at the price of Third World impoverishment. He shows how these charges ultimately stem from weakness and envy on the part of those who make them, and criticizes the legions of foreign propagandists and pseudo-intellectuals who make a living “bashing America.” As far as America’s “unilateralism” is concerned, Revel shows that the U.S. is forced to act alone because Europe has failed repeatedly to act in the cause of collective security. As far as America’s sins of “globalization” are concerned, Revel shows that the developing countries of the world want more, not less access to rich markets and corporate investment. Much anti-Americansim, he believes, is simply anti-capitalism on the part of those—in Europe and the rest of the world—who are still committed to doctrines that are at heart illiberal and even totalitarian.