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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In this controversial critique of American political culture and its historical roots, Anatol Lieven contends that U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 has been shaped by the special character of our nationalism. Within that nationalism, Lieven analyses two very different traditions. One is the "American thesis," a civic nationalism based on the democratic values of what has bee ...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
I appreciate his perspective and it gave me some food for thought, but I think Lieven steered into bias and stereotypes a little too much. I can see his points and respect his impressive scholarship/resume but we fundamentally disagreed on enough things that I couldn't get on board. ...more
Jeremy Hill
Sep 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Anatol Lieven definitely has a different perspective, but he lets personal vendettas get in the way of actually striving for a common ground for us all to meet at so we can reduce the antithesis in his book. Even if you agree that nationalism can harm America, his book doesn’t address why nationalism harms America, but it addresses who is causing detriment to America. He has an obsession with figures like Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin. He never says what is wrong with them in detail. He just ...more
Nisar Hussain Mastoi
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well written and well researched book specially last two chapters are thoughts provoking
Author explained Palestine-Israel conflict thoroughly and so-called American vision for democracy in Middle East while supporting Israel aggression, occupation and hypocrisy.
Nicholas Whyte
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition[return][return]Anatol Lieven's analysis is basically that the driving force of American politics is nationalism; that this has a good side and a bad side; and that at the moment under Bush the bad side is prevailing. I finished the book with a much better understanding of what is going on than I had before.[return][return]I found his second chapter, analysing the "splendour and tragedy of the American Creed", particularly compelling. There are some wonderfu ...more
The American Conservative
'Of the scores of good books published in the last year about American foreign policy, the young British scholar Anatol Lieven’s America Right or Wrong stands ahead and apart. An erudite analysis of the historical and cultural strands that have forged contemporary American nationalism, it is the antidote to a view now popular among Bush administration critics: there is little wrong with American foreign policy that reducing the influence of several dozen Beltway neoconservatives would not cure. ...more
Bob Duke
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this to get a better handle on the Trump phenomenon. It does do this to some degree but the main focus is on US foreign policy and in particular the Middle East. Lieven argues that the US sense of nationalism is derived in large part from the protestant churches and the settlement of the frontier where religion and nationalism became intertwined. He reasons that this sense of religious mission prevents a coherent foreign policy being developed by the US and especially with respect to Isra ...more
T Bendzinski
Dec 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting and I think it is an enlightening look into the American political culture. Initially, I was on the defence, trying to combat Lieven's argument, but once I opened my mind I was able to get a lot out of the book. I think Americans tend to be very inward focused - not really caring how the rest of the world sees us. However, I believe we should be interested in how we are perceived in this increasingly global society, especially after 9/11. ...more
Sep 11, 2011 added it
I think this book tempered an already shitty Saturday afternoon for me. This book takes a sociological look at why the election in 2004 went the way it did. It also offers some insight on the rhetoric of Osama Bin Laden. What it means and how it was designed. I don't wanna spoil it for you. ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Re-read of a book assigned in college.
Finished this on Election Day 2008. Very smart.
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Anatol Lieven currently reports from Central Europe for the Financial Times. In 1996-97 he was visiting senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence, published by Yale University Press.

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