» » The Ugly American

Fb2 The Ugly American ePub

by William J. Lederer

Category: Anthropology
Subcategory: Political books
Author: William J. Lederer
ISBN: 0449207323
ISBN13: 978-0449207321
Language: English
Publisher: Fawcett (January 12, 1985)
Fb2 eBook: 1425 kb
ePub eBook: 1914 kb
Digital formats: azw mobi doc txt

The Ugly American is a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that depicts the failures of the US diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia. The book caused a sensation in diplomatic circles and had major political implications.

The Ugly American is a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that depicts the failures of the US diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia. The Peace Corps was established during the Kennedy administration partly as a result of the book. The bestseller has remained continuously in print and is one of the most influential American political novels. It has been called an "iconic Cold War text.

William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote this devastating indictment of American policy as. .The Ugly American is not really a novel, and does not have a single unifying plot. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote this devastating indictment of American policy as fiction. But any correspondent who has been any length of time in the locale of the story will recognize its veracity. Although there are common themes and interactions between some of the characters, this is really a set of loosely connected short stories (but according to the Note from the Authors, based on fact). I found it a great read, nonetheless.

The endurance of The Ugly American may say less about its literary merits than about its failure to alter attitudes. In the annals of misunderstood titles, a special place belongs to William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick’s novel The Ugly American

The endurance of The Ugly American may say less about its literary merits than about its failure to alter attitudes. Lederer and Eugene Burdick’s novel The Ugly American. Today, the phrase is shorthand for our compatriots who wear tube tops to the Vatican or shout for Big Macs in Beijing.

Lederer and Burdick's fictional diplomat laid bare allegations of American arrogance and .

Lederer and Burdick's fictional diplomat laid bare allegations of American arrogance and corruption in 1950s Asia.

The Ugly American book. William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick were smart enough to write a book that pretty much anyone can understand

The Ugly American book. Lederer and Eugene Burdick were smart enough to write a book that pretty much anyone can understand. In terms of prose, it’s clear and precise, with few chances for misinterpretation. This helps to explain, no doubt, why it became a huge bestseller in the late 50s/early 60s and is still a linchpin in many Political Science classrooms today.

Read online books written by William J. Lederer in our e-reader absolutely for free. Books by William J. Lederer

Read online books written by William J. Author of The Ugly American at ReadAnyBook. Lederer: The Ugly American.

Read The Ugly American Online. Authors: Eugene Burdick,William J. Lederer. At the end of the book we have added a documentary epilogue which we hope will convince the reader that what we have written is not just an angry dream, but rather the rendering of fact into fiction. The names, the places, the events, are our inventions; our aim is not to embarrass individuals, but to stimulate thought-and, we hope, action. Bill Lederer Eugene Burdick Pearl Gty, Oahu Territory of Hawaii 1958.

Contact Ugly Americans on Messenger. com/shows/ugly americans/index. See actions taken by the people who manage and post content. Page created – 13 November 2009.

Lederer, William J. & Eugene Burdick. Norton, New York (1958).

Reissued in new trade paperback format and design, "The Ugly American" is the multi-million-copy bestseller that coined the phrase for tragic American blunders abroad.
Comments to eBook The Ugly American
Lestony
This book was required reading by Americans in Viet Nam in 1963. The book was important for the diplomatic corps, but it didn’t seem to make a difference in their behavior. I heard people say that Americans just had to be polite, tuck in their shirts, and not get drunk. It had nothing to do with ignorance of Vietnamese culture or history, but the attitude had everything to do with American culture and courtesy.

I loved the book and hated the movie. The major parts of the book fall away under the star power of Marlon Brando who didn’t do a very good acting job.

The Ugly American is just as important now as it was decades ago. We continue to make the same diplomatic and cultural mistakes. How can we justify the invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq, destroy their country, vilify their religion and culture, then proudly proclaim that Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. Wonder what Lederer and Burdick would think of American world-wide policies today.
Small Black
“The Ugly American” is not really a novel, and does not have a single unifying “plot.” Although there are common themes and interactions between some of the characters, this is really a set of loosely connected short stories (but according to the Note from the Authors, based on fact). I found it a great read, nonetheless.

The overriding theme was one of the chief obsessions of the US 60 years ago when this was first published. That theme concerns the questions of how the US should counter the growth of Communist influence in the developing world, and why the US struggles to be as effective as the Communists seem to be.

The Communists as depicted are seemingly never wrong-footed when it comes to dealing with the natives, but have absolutely no moral scruples when it comes to promoting their own cause. Americans involved in initiatives that would genuinely benefit natives are murdered because this good thing would be seen to be coming from the West; a donated shipment that is a genuine gift from America is deceptively relabeled by Communists as being from the Soviet Union just before distribution so that they will get credit for it with the people—these are just two examples.

The Americans in the book, by contrast, do not engage in these kinds of tactics, and those that are not selfless and moralistic are not so from malice, but are either ignorant of how they should be acting, are fat and lazy from a little too much of “the good life,” or just naively believe that the merits of what they are advocating are obvious enough to be taken at face value. This is the unnuanced “good vs. evil” view that was popular at the time the book was written.

One native recalls her 1952 trip to America via Hawaii: "She was held up for hours in an Immigration and Customs waiting room for aliens. This room was neither dirty nor shabby; but obviously no one had ever given it much thought. And the officials were cold almost to the point of insult." I couldn’t have said this better—I had the same thought myself way back in the 1970s one time when returning to the US from Canada.

The book never explores the question of WHY the US is working to counter this influence, and takes an uncritical moralistic stance that Communism is evil and that the US model of liberty is worth exporting for its own sake. Making no assertions about the correctness of this view, I only note that the reader will need to look elsewhere for that discussion.

A more timeless and perhaps bigger question, one that doesn’t directly concern Communism, is that of the most effective way to approach interaction with a foreign culture.

Vietnam, The Philippines, Burma, and (fictional) Sarkhan are the countries in which the book’s characters either work or visit. The book is replete with Americans who never acquire a true understanding of the native inhabitants. Whether these people are well-intentioned or self-absorbed and greedy, they are often cultural snobs who bring with them an assumption of US superiority that they never challenge by interacting in the native language and on the natives’ own terms; they remain inside their US-created bubble during their entire stay. A few are truly well-meaning just don’t know how to break through the invisible barrier that separates them from the inhabitants, and leave knowing little more than they did when they first arrived.

Strangely, the archetype for the so-called “ugly American” is Homer Adkins, who is ugly by his own definition because he actually knows how to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and deal with the natives as equals, living among them and doing his best to speak to them without interpreters in their own tongue. He is focused on figuring out what the people in the villages need and then working with them to create something sustainable, from locally available material whenever possible (in the case of Sarkhan, a simple water pump). He is not concerned with whose French or US rice bowl he might break in the process.

He rejects the big, grandiose projects such as dams and superhighways, pointing out (for example) that the native country doesn’t even have the vehicles that could make use of such highways yet. He suggests they start small and work their way up. Brick factories, stone quarries, more and better chickens to produce more eggs—these are all easy ways to give the ordinary man more of what he needs, without a huge time lag or a large investment.

The authors offer about a dozen pages of factual “Afterward” where they make some sobering observations:

- "We pay for huge highways through jungles in Asian lands where there is no transport except bicycle and foot. We finance dams where the greatest immediate need is a portable pump. We provide many millions of dollars worth of military equipment which wins no wars and raises no standard of living."

- "It is not the fault of the government or its leaders or any political party that we have acted as we have. It is the temper of the whole nation."

- "We have so lost sight of our own past that we are trying to sell guns and money alone, instead of remembering that it was the quest for the dignity of freedom that was responsible for our own way of life."

I personally thought this was great reading, and I’ve barely scratched the surface in my above comments. I do not believe, as at least one reviewer commented, that this is a “hate America” book—it simply takes a critical look at American behavior and gives us examples of people who know how to do better. For many reasons this is still relevant today, even if one does not believe Communism to be the threat it once may have been.
betelgeuze
Undoubtedly, the most respectable and enjoyable book I have ever read. The book is easy to read through the use of capturing anecdotes and entertaining vignettes, while serving to demonstrate effective and meaningful messages. This book should be required reading for any individual who will be working or serving in any capacity which involves them representing the United States in a foreign context, or any individual who wants to better understand how we can improve our behavior abroad. This book is truly excellent, and just reading it and learning from it could be considered "a memorable experience." The reader becomes aware of what makes Americans ugly, and develop a nuance for how to effectively and diplomatically engage the world around us. Great read.
WtePSeLNaGAyko
While fiction, this work is based on real-life examples of both the very good and the very bad sort of Americans which were working in Asia in the foreign services in the late 1950's. The authors hoped to motivate change in the policies of Americans overseas which could have drastically changed the outcome of the Viet Nam conflict. Unfortunately no one seemed to pay attention. Reading these thoughts in the second decade of the 2000's is particularly frustrating. We were told what to do and how to change and chose to ignore the advice. I fear that American influence will be forever tainted until real changes along the lines of the authors' suggestions can be made.
Kirizius
Honestly, one of the best books I have ever read. It should be required reading for any student of political science, particularly for those wishing to work in the US State Dept.

Having lived abroad for many, many years, it breaks my heart to say that the American government not only makes the exact same mistakes it was making in1958 (when this book was published), but that the situation is actually worse today than in the 1950s! Reading this book will hopefully provide relevant insight to the greater public as to how to turn around the US State Dept/ foreign service and regain our footing on the international stage. As it stands, our institutional arrogance and stupidity have made the US a laughingstock on the world stage.
greatest
The Ugly American is a somewhat dated book, in that it is clearly cold war era. Yet it remains timeless. It is a blistering critique of the American foreign diplomatic corp who don't speak the local language, and aren't sensitive to local customs, and remain aloof to the locals and their true needs. Meanwhile the Soviet bloc countries are suave, sophisticated, sensitive, and thereby win the hearts and minds of the locals, just as the U.S. is trying vainly to do.
According to the Wikipedia article, the book caused a sensation in diplomatic circles, and JFK sent copies to everyone in the Senate.
The book is a great read, in part because of the examples of ordinary Americans who actually did go overseas and make a difference, each helping in their unspectacular but quiet way, to make a geniune difference.
Related to The Ugly American
American investment in British manufacturing industry (American business abroad) eBook
Fb2 American investment in British manufacturing industry (American business abroad) ePub
On Foreign Soil: American Gardeners Abroad eBook
Fb2 On Foreign Soil: American Gardeners Abroad ePub
The Foreign Expansion of American Banks: American Branch Banking Abroad (American business abroad) eBook
Fb2 The Foreign Expansion of American Banks: American Branch Banking Abroad (American business abroad) ePub
The Ugly Duckling Returns (Happy Ever After) eBook
Fb2 The Ugly Duckling Returns (Happy Ever After) ePub
God Still Don't Like Ugly eBook
Fb2 God Still Don't Like Ugly ePub
Ugly Duckling Storytime (Look-Look) eBook
Fb2 Ugly Duckling Storytime (Look-Look) ePub
The Ugly Duckling (Now YOU Can Read....) eBook
Fb2 The Ugly Duckling (Now YOU Can Read....) ePub
The Ugly Duckling (Pictureback Readers) eBook
Fb2 The Ugly Duckling (Pictureback Readers) ePub
Beyond Ugly. Constance Briscoe eBook
Fb2 Beyond Ugly. Constance Briscoe ePub