Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pg. 69: "Uncouth Nation"

Andrei S. Markovits is the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan, and the author of Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America.

I asked him to put the book to the "page 69 test"; here is his response:
Page 69 of my book Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America begins with the final paragraph of my historical presentation of German intellectuals' disdain for the United States before World War II. It also features how this disdain, so essential to the discourse of the European Right for two centuries, began to engulf the European Left after the Bolshevik Revolution. In particular, I describe how the great Bertolt Brecht mutated already in the 1920s from an admirer of things American to a harsh critic. In his comparing the United States with the Soviet Union, Brecht said: "The mistakes of the Russians are the mistakes of friends, the mistakes of the Americans are the mistakes of enemies."

The bottom half of my page 69 begins a presentation of anti-Americanism's history in Britain. While quite different from its manifestations on the Continent where anti-Americanism has often been coupled with an antipathy for all things Anglo as well -- American and British being perceived as virtually interchangeable -- it nevertheless features very similar tropes of resentment so familiar to Continental discourse.
Many thanks to Andy for the input.

Read an essay adapted from the book, and read the introduction to Uncouth Nation.

Among the praise for Uncouth Nation:

In Uncouth Nation, Andrei Markovits provides deep insights into anti-Americanism in Europe today and delves into many of the facets that make the American-European relationship so unique. This book should be read and discussed!"
--Joschka Fischer, former Foreign Minister of Germany, and Professor, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

"Anti-Americanism is as old as the Republic--a historical constant, which is only remotely related to specific American behavior. So what is new? Andrei Markovits has delivered the best answer yet, ranging across an astounding wealth of material from politics and culture. Uncouth Nation is a rare academic treat. Rigorous and analytical, the book is also a pleasure to read as it penetrates a critical issue of our time."
--Josef Joffe, Publisher and Editor of Die Zeit, and Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"Andrei Markovits does three things in this excellent book: he provides an account of the historical and contemporary forms of European anti-Americanism (and of its close relative, anti-Semitism); he analyzes the roots and causes of this phenomenon; and, best of all, he gives us a running critique of the frequent silliness and malice of the anti-Americans and of their role in fashioning a certain kind, which is not the best possible kind, of pan-European politics."
--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study

Read more reviews.

Jeffrey Herf recently wrote:
[A]s Andrei Markovits, one of our leading scholars European politics and society argues in his important new book, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America, we know that there are sources of anti-Americanism that originate in disdain or even hatred for what the United States is rather than what a particular administration does and that will lead to opposition to American policies even when they are at one with traditions of enlightenment and liberty.
Markovits' many other books and publications include Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism.

He is one of the authors of "American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto."

Read his recent paper, "Sports Culture Among Undergraduates: A Study of Student-Athletes and Students at the University of Michigan," and the description of his new research project into Human-Animal relationships, "The New Discourse of Dogs."

Andy is a Deadhead, and also likes Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvorak.

Previous "page 69 tests:"
Julie Kistler, Scandal
Robert Ward, Four Kinds of Rain
Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist
William Landay, The Strangler
Kate Holden, In My Skin
Brian Wansick, Mindless Eating
Noria Jablonski, Human Oddities
Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity
Neal Pollack, Alternadad
Bella DePaulo, Singled Out
Steve Hamilton, A Stolen Season
Eric Klinenberg, Fighting for Air
Donna Moore, ...Go to Helena Handbasket
Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye
Neal Thompson, Riding with the Devil
Sherry Argov, Why Men Marry Bitches
P.J. Parrish, An Unquiet Grave
Tyler Knox, Kockroach
Andrew Rehfeld, The Concept of Constituency
Laura Wiess, Such a Pretty Girl
Jeremy Blachman, Anonymous Lawyer
Andrew Pyper, The Wildfire Season
Wendy Werris, An Alphabetical Life
Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know
Meghan Daum, The Quality of Life Report
Scott Reynolds Nelson, Steel Drivin' Man
Richard Aleas, Little Girl Lost
Paul Collins, The Trouble With Tom
John McFetridge, Dirty Sweet
Michael Kazin, A Godly Hero
Bill Crider, Murder Among the OWLS
Zachary Shore, Breeding Bin Ladens
Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
Matt Haig, The Dead Fathers Club
Lawrence Light, Fear & Greed
Simon Read, In The Dark
Sandra Ruttan, Suspicious Circumstances
Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography
Alison Gaylin, You Kill Me
Gayle Lynds, The Last Spymaster
Jim Lehrer, The Phony Marine
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.
Debra Ginsberg, Blind Submission
Sarah Katherine Lewis, Indecent
Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
Danielle Trussoni, Falling Through the Earth
Andrew Blechman, Pigeons
Anne Perry, A Christmas Secret
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers
Kat Richardson, Greywalker
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue