Barbarian Sentiments: How the American Century Ends

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9780374522483: Barbarian Sentiments: How the American Century Ends

Discusses Soviet and American misconceptions about radical national movements in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe

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From Library Journal:

The American century, badly begun after World War II, will end that way as well, or so Pfaff, a writer from The New Yorker , suggests. Americans, blinded by an inflated sense of national mission, and the Soviets, deceived by an outmoded Marxist rhetoric, have imposed their own "exhausted ideas" upon the complexities of the world. And while these culturally myopic "barbarians" have been locked in a struggle over parts of the globe that have proven impervious to modernity, a crisis looms as an enfeebled Soviet Union loses control over an unstable Eastern Europe. Nearly every page contains fascinating insights and arresting historical parallels, although Pfaff too often assumes that the future can be deduced from the past. For informed laypersons, this book will be important and controversial. The book will be the subject of PBS's Bookmark, a book-talk series, on May 28.
- Ed. -- Mark C. Carnes, Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Pfaff sees America's abysmal failure to grasp the independent nature of resurgent nationalisms in the Third World as the Achilles' heel of U.S. foreign policy. This reporter for the New Yorker (where many of these seven compelling essays first appeared) takes both liberals and conservatives to task for their sentimental, self-aggrandizing as sumptions that other countries should be more like us. A tough-minded, shrewd critic who takes the long view, Pfaff ( Condemned to Freedom ) suggests that Japan's meteoric transformation into industrial superpower may be an exception rather than a norm of development, and argues that the U.S.S.R. has lost a cultural struggle in Central Europe, where continued Soviet domination has become intolerable. He ponders Gorbachev's seemingly impossible balancing-act as the Soviet leader attempts to introduce greater freedoms while promoting a one-party system that will strengthen his own power.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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PFAFF, WILLIAM
Published by NOONDAY PRESS (1990)
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William Pfaff
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Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc (1996)
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