"ANTI-AMERICANISM: Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965-1990" by Paul Hollander

"ANTI-AMERICANISM: Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965-1990"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More counterculture-bashing from sociologist Hollander (Univ. of Massachusetts), here continuing in the form of a comparative review of anti-American sentiments around the world the campaign he began in Political Pilgrims (1981) and The Survival of the Adversary Culture (1988--not reviewed). Jumping right into the stream of quotations that makes up the bulk of his argument, Hollander uses comments from those attacking US policies and society as proof of their alienation, and their alienation as proof of a creeping un-Americanism in academia. Depicting participants in the ""adversary culture"" from Tom Hayden to Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer to Daniel Berrigan as carrying the torch of 60's activism, Hollander notes with disdain and dismay their--and others'--presence and influence in religious institutions, the media, and especially the nation's universities (the ""Five College"" area of Northampton-Amherst in particular), with the persistent intimation that critical thinkers of this kind are merely disaffected and unfulfilled. Concern for anti-American feeling abroad is limited to brief consideration of attitudes in Europe and the Third World, with additional glances at Canada and Mexico reduced to surveys of select intellectuals. Fundamentally, then, Hollander sees the adversarial position of critics in the US, if not elsewhere, as derived more from personal unhappiness than from social reality. The idea of such a comparative study has merit, but Hollander's analytically weak and ideologically top-heavy effort is more polemical conservatism than sound scholarship.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press