OVERRIDE

America Against the World

How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked

Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes

St. Martin's Griffin

The precipitous rise in anti-Americanism is startling. America's image has dramatically deteriorated over the past five years, and even the American people themselves are less well regarded than in the past. From the war on terrorism to antiglobalization protests to entrenched resistance to U.S. initiatives at the United Nations, Americans feel assailed from all quarters.
 
To understand why the world has turned against the United States, the Pew Research Center, under the leadership of Andrew Kohut, has undertaken an unprecedented series of global opinion surveys—more than 91,000 respondents in fifty nations—to discover how the world views America and its people. In America Against the World, Kohut and Bruce Stokes unveil the sobering and surprising results of these surveys, looking at the role played by U.S. attitudes and values in the dynamic rise of anti-Americanism. They reveal that:
—More than 70 percent of non-Americans say the world would be improved if America faced a rival military power. Americans overwhelmingly disagree. 
—Two-thirds of Americans think that the preemptive war can be justified, while few Europeans agree. 
—Most people around the world believe that America ignores their interests in making foreign policy, yet 67 percent of Americans feel that the United States pays attention to the interests of other countries—a disconnect of a major order. 
—Americans take enormous pride in their way of doing business and practicing democracy, but citizens of other nations rank Australia, Britain, and Canada higher than the United States as places to go for economic opportunity and freedom. 
—Ninety-four percent of Americans believe in God—compared to 60 percent of the British, 56 percent of the French, and 50 percent of Germans. Spiritually, America has more in common with Muslim countries like Egypt and Pakistan than with its European allies. 
In what is perhaps their most provocative finding, Kohut and Stokes discern that what has pushed the world away is not simply the war in Iraq but also the American public's exceptional individualism that often results in go-it-alone attitudes. And it doesn't help that Americans' pervasive religiosity and deep patriotism are often exaggerated and misunderstood by America's critics.
 
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright argues in her foreword that we cannot stop the spread of anti-Americanism without truly understanding who we are. America Against the World provides the insight to take that step.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: America's Image 
IT IS FAIR to say that the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project is the first and foremost chronicler of the rise of anti-Americanism around the world in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The findings of Pew's surveys have brought home to Americans and their leaders the challenge the United States faces in restoring America's image and its influence overseas. Much of the discontent that we have documented can be attributed to criticisms of U.S. policies, especially the war in Iraq. In addition, there is strong resentment and suspicion
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for America Against the World

"If you've been wondering why the rest of the world often misunderstands, dislikes, and even fears the United States, this book offers convincing answers. Andrew Kohut, Bruce Stokes, and their colleagues have done impressive original research and produced truly arresting insights."
--Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times

"At a time when America needs international support more than ever, Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes explain why the United States is distinct and sometimes disliked. Rather than rely on conjecture, they use international surveys to answer these critical questions. Anyone worried about America's place in the world will find new evidence and unconventional answers in this well-written book."
--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics

"By holding up two mirrors--how we Americans look to ourselves and how we look to others--Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes hit us with a reality full of surprises, comforting and unsettling insights, and a full meal for policymakers and the rest of us to digest or pay the consequences. Very carefully and fairly analyzed, this is a truly important book."
--Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes

  • Andrew Kohut is the president of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, the leading nonpartisan polling organization in America. Kohut is a frequent commentator for PBS and NPR and a regular essayist for The New York Times. He lives in Washington, D.C.  Bruce Stokes is the international economics columnist for National Journal and a consultant to the Pew Global Attitudes Project. He lives in Washington, D.C.
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

America Against the World

How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked

Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes

  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

BACK