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Why Do People Hate America? Hardcover


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  • Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840468580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840468588
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,930,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
The question: 'Why do people hate America?' arose out of the dust and ashes of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. But this question became a statement and a focus for retaliation, rather than the starting point for a serious investigation into the real issues surrounding global hatred and terrorism.
Fortunately, Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies have provided for us a powerful and challenging book which reflects a serious study of the many reasons behind this question. This is an important book for the present time and because it is written for a wide audience has the potential to really open up the debate concerning the numerous effects of what they refer to succinctly as the 'American Way', on communities around the world. In particular the rigid adherence to the economic 'growth' model is considered, and America's control of the institutions of globalisation, such as the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and the IMF, which stand above all other considerations as the main cause of global hatred of the American Way, if not (thankfully) of the American people themselves, many of whom are by now just as appalled by (and powerless to redirect) the actions of their own government and institutions.
Then entrenched self-obsession of America, that its culture and value systems are 'simply the best: the last best hope for humanity', is perhaps the most powerful understanding that comes across over and over again through the pages of this book, as we are shown clearly how what used to be a 'super power' has now become a 'hyper power', dominating the whole world. This absolute faith in themselves and the American Way is promoted, entrenched, fought for and defended with no concern for evaluation.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
Some very good chapters, but the comparision with cowboy films becomes a little over-used, if not slightly tenuous. If you enjoyed this then I recommend Chomsky's "Rogue States", which is a slightly more academic book on the same subject. Chomsky is certainly not as readable as Why Do People Hate America? but seems more complete. It (Rogue States) doesn't always spell out the conclusions but does provide a wealth of examples of the type that are also used in this book.
Certainly food for thought. Even if you don't agree with the ideas and believe that the US policy cannot be held responsible for anti-US sentiments, it's worth reading to see why it is that some people do believe this.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
...unless you define "America bashing" as any anthropological attempt to understand America as such. As the sayin goes: The truth may set you free, but first it'll piss you off. This book was required reading for a course I am taking on American Studies, and I fully enjoyed reading it. It presents something for people on both sides of the Atlantic. For Americans it gives them an insight into how others may view them, and for Europeans and other foreign nationalities it provides a window into what shaped the popular culture and attitudes of the US. For being a bridge of understanding I'm giving this book 5 stars.
That being said - it should be noted that both these eloquent authors have anthropological backgrounds, and as such tend to boil the question/title of the book down to anthropological answers. That may have worked if American were a democracy, and the populace shaped by this popular culture actually ruled. America is not, and Americans do not. As in Europe and the rest of the world, the US is a Representative Democracy, meaning the people hand over their will to an elect group every four years or so. This elect group (gov't) are the ones who make the foreign policy and carry out the decisions and action which are the prime reason Americans are "hated" by some. That this elect group also suffers from 'knowledgeable ignorance' (which the authors diagnose Americans with), this book has not managed to convince me. The premise that world sentiment 'against' the US has it's roots in prevalent public attitudes within the US, is the only short comming to this book, in my opinion. But regardless of whether it fully accomplishes to answer the title question, the anthropological studies within should be, as others have said, 'required reading'.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By RussUK on 7 Aug 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book browsing in a bookshop and was instantly caught by the narrative. It makes no bones about being heavily one-sided and defends America very infrequently, but it's scope is scholarly and its arguements delivered by and large very well.
Despite its political and philosophical content, it is also highly readable. I think it is difficult to discount as a piece of anti-US propaganda as it eloquently disects everything from US TV and media concerns stifling normal debate within the US to the heavy handedness and undemocratic nature of US foreign policy.
Truly enlightening, and I am sure it should be read by every American and for that matter European, as much of the subject matter applies to many former colonial countries too.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 July 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I bought it to try to understand why September 11th happened, to understand the reasons for Muslim anger at the US and to know more about the US involvement with the Israeli situation. I now know more than I may have wanted. Why Do People hate America uses recent and past history, cultural studies including analysis of film and TV and American and other commentary to show why the rest of the world is becoming exasperated with the US to the point of hatred. From small farmers with livelihoods ruined in the name of free trade to cultures watching their young people adopting attitudes drawn from Hollywood, the writers of this book list reasons why hatred of the US has grown. At no time do they condone violence or write in support of anyone promoting violence; however, they have no message of hope to offer to anyone hoping that the status quo will endure.
Read this book if you like to be challenged, if you like to think and if you know there is more to what is going on in the world than what you read in most papers.
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