As Others See Us

As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America

STEPHEN BROOKS
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 178
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttx74
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  • Book Info
    As Others See Us
    Book Description:

    "This is a gem of a book. It should be read by all who care about the role of the United States in the world." - Graham Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0324-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. 7-10)
  4. Preface
    (pp. 11-12)
    Stephen Brooks
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 13-16)

    “Why do they hate us?” Seldom posed before September 11, 2001, this question came to preoccupy Americans in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on that day. A range of answers were given, from President George W. Bush’s assessment that the terrorists hated the values and freedoms embodied by America, to social critic Noam Chomsky’s argument that the attacks were a response to exploitation and injustice experienced abroad, perpetrated and abetted by American policies, governments, and interests. In true American fashion, opportunity was seized and a small industry arose from the ashes of the World Trade Center—an industry of...

  6. CHAPTER ONE The THREE “I’s” of COGNITIVE ISOLATIONISM
    (pp. 17-36)

    All students of American foreign policy know that isolationist impulses have occupied an important place in the minds of Americans ever since George Washington’s farewell address of 1800, when he warned his successors and countrymen to beware of “foreign entanglements.” These impulses have occasionally had the upper hand over internationalist tendencies in American foreign policy and public opinion, as was true between the First and Second World Wars and, to a much lesser degree and in a very different global environment, after the Vietnam War. Today it is apparent that isolationism is not an option. Indeed, the real debate has...

  7. CHAPTER TWO The AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE
    (pp. 37-58)

    “It is safe to say,” John Steinbeck wrote, “that the picture of America and Americans which is branded on the minds of foreigners is derived in very large part from our novels, our short stories,and particularly from our moving pictures” (Steinbeck 1966, 390; emphasis added). Steinbeck made this observation in 1966, when it was still reasonable to speak of the impact of print and visual media in the same sentence. Even so, Steinbeck the novelist, who also spent many years working for the Hollywood studios of America’s dream machine, recognized that the visual images of America exported around the...

  8. CHAPTER THREE MASS and ELITE PERCEPTIONS of AMERICA
    (pp. 59-78)

    Long before the “idea of America” broke upon the general consciousness of the world, originally as a place to immigrate and eventually as a power whose military, movies, music, and money spanned the globe, elites were aware of what they called the New World.Mundis novisandde orbe novowere the terms used by educated literate classes of Western Europe to describe the Americas after Columbus’s voyages of discovery. The idea of America gripped the imaginations of ruler and thinkers. Rulers envisioned it as a place rich in resources and territory that could add to the strength and grandeur...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR A VALUES GAP?
    (pp. 79-98)

    Those who have seenFriday Night Lights, a film about the Permian Panthers high school football team in Odessa, Texas, will recall that before and after each game the players gathered with their coach in a prayer circle. People who have gone to school in the United States and attended football or basketball games will find nothing exceptional in this. But a spectator from France or England witnessing this gathering would probably find it a bit unusual, and, on hearing that the team was engaged in group prayer, might even find it rather bizarre. On the other hand, this foreign...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE ELITE PERCEPTIONS of AMERICA
    (pp. 99-122)

    When it comes to most things beyond the ambit of our direct experience, we rely on information from others to inform our impressions, images, knowledge, and, ultimately, judgements. As Walter Lippman said inPublic Opinion, “The only feeling that anyone can have about an event that he does not experience is the feeling aroused by his mental image of that event” (Lippman 1922, 13). Those who shape and communicate the character of world events outside the immediate experience of most people play a crucial role in the formation of the public’s perception of people, cultures, places, and conflicts abroad.

    Although...

  11. CHAPTER SIX What DRIVES ANTI-AMERICANISM?
    (pp. 123-150)

    An important fact is often lost from sight in all the discussion of anti-American sentiment throughout the world:Most people in most parts of the world have a favorable impression of at least some aspects of America, if the evidence of opinion surveys, consumer decisions, and patterns of emigration are taken seriously.

    Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies’ bookWhy Do People Hate America?is profoundly misleading, the title alone seeming to imply that most foreigners hate America. Historically, European anti-Americanism was mainly the preserve of cultural and political elites, and, in fact, their sentiment rarely deserved the label “hatred.”...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN WHY the WORLD’S PERCEPTIONS MATTER
    (pp. 151-160)

    This assessment from senior State Department official Margaret Tutwiler, as the American-led occupation of Iraq lurched from bad to worse in early 2004, was only partly correct. The international image of the United States government and its foreign policies had, in fact, deteriorated to an all-time low. Negative sentiment and even hatred toward America had spread across more regions of the world than ever before. The roots of this antipathy were, as Tutwiler observed, deeper than the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq and replace the regime of Saddam Hussein. And the “problem”—from the standpoint of American policy-makers and...

  13. References
    (pp. 161-166)
  14. Index
    (pp. 167-178)