Across the Pond: An Englishman's View of America

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9780393088984: Across the Pond: An Englishman's View of America
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In this pithy, warmhearted, and very funny book, Eagleton melds a good old-fashioned roast with genuine admiration for his neighbors "across the pond."

Americans have long been fascinated with the oddness of the British, but the English, says literary critic Terry Eagleton, find their transatlantic neighbors just as strange. Only an alien race would admiringly refer to a colleague as “aggressive,” use superlatives to describe everything from one’s pet dog to one’s rock collection, or speak frequently of being “empowered.” Why, asks Eagleton, must we broadcast our children’s school grades with bumper stickers announcing “My Child Made the Honor Roll”? Why don’t we appreciate the indispensability of the teapot? And why must we remain so irritatingly optimistic, even when all signs point to failure?

On his quirky journey through the language, geography, and national character of the United States, Eagleton proves to be at once an informal and utterly idiosyncratic guide to our peculiar race. He answers the questions his compatriots have always had but (being British) dare not ask, like why Americans willingly rise at the crack of dawn, even on Sundays, or why we publicly chastise cigarette smokers as if we’re all spokespeople for the surgeon general.

In this pithy, warmhearted, and very funny book, Eagleton melds a good old-fashioned roast with genuine admiration for his neighbors “across the pond.”

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About the Author:

Terry Eagleton was born in Manchester, England. The author of more than forty books, including the seminal Literary Theory: An Introduction, he has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, and the University of Manchester. He resides in Dublin, Ireland, with his wife and children.

Review:

“Incisive and honest... Eagleton’s contribution to the persistent subgenre of Toquevillian analysis: the European curmudgeon’s critical, ultimately appreciative and, in Eagleton’s case, loving guide to the wacky Yanks and their nation.”
- Michael Washburn, Boston Globe

“[Eagleton is] clearly a writer who enjoys being a provocateur: there’s something to argue with on pretty much every page of Across the Pond, and usually something downright hilarious, too. Great stuff...Terry Eagleton is a funny man.”
- Geoff Nicholson, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Terry Eagleton has a gift for the kind of generalizations that at first appear outrageous but seem, on reflection, annoyingly perceptive. Were I one of the expressive Americans he describes, I’d call this book awesome; as a constipated Brit, I’m inclined to say that it is not at all bad.”
- Henry Hitchings, author, The Secret Life of Words

“His mode is that of a jocular anthropologist, pint in hand, chattily offering up his opinions.”
- David Wolf, The New Republic

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Book Description Norton. 1 Cloth(s), 2013. hard. Condition: New. Americans have long been fascinated with the oddness of the English, but Britons find their transatlantic neighbors just as strange, says literary critic Terry Eagleton in this quirky journey through the language, geography, and national character of the United States. Eagleton answers the questions that his compatriots have always had but, being English, dared not ask, like why Americans willingly rise at the crack of dawn, even on Sundays; why we laud our colleagues as "aggressive" or speak frequently of being "empowered"; or why we publicly chastise cigarette smokers as if we represent the surgeon general."His mode is that of a jocular anthropologist, pint in hand, chattily offering up his opinions."—New Republic"Eagleton has taught at top universities, authored 40-plus books, and feuded with, among others, Richard Dawkins and Martin Amis. He's a Marxist and a Catholic (or at least was raised as one), and he traces his roots not to Manchester, where he grew up, but to Galway, from which his family migrated. So when Eagleton follows Tocqueville and Dickens in anatomizing the American attitudes and anomalies, he employs a complex collection of tools and perspectives. Across the Pond explores the language the U.S., the UK, and Ireland (where the author now lives) share but use quite differently. It ponders these nations' utterly distinct notions of the relationships between body and mind, mind and will, and will and reality, and their relative fondness for comedy and tragedy, satire and 'the gag.' Henry James figures here, but so do Thomas Aquinas and Milan Kundera. Eagleton sees much to admire in the U.S.—plus contradictions, hypocrisies, and refusals to face reality that deserve scorn. He closes with 'Modest Proposals' that urge Americans to learn, among other things, 'how to mock themselves' and 'how to use a teapot'."—Booklist 179. Seller Inventory # 71704

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Americans have long been fascinated with the oddness of the British, but the English, says literary critic Terry Eagleton, find their transatlantic neighbors just as strange. Only an alien race would admiringly refer to a colleague as aggressive, use superlatives to describe everything from one s pet dog to one s rock collection, or speak frequently of being empowered. Why, asks Eagleton, must we broadcast our children s school grades with bumper stickers announcing My Child Made the Honor Roll ? Why don t we appreciate the indispensability of the teapot? And why must we remain so irritatingly optimistic, even when all signs point to failure? On his quirky journey through the language, geography, and national character of the United States, Eagleton proves to be at once an informal and utterly idiosyncratic guide to our peculiar race. He answers the questions his compatriots have always had but (being British) dare not ask, like why Americans willingly rise at the crack of dawn, even on Sundays, or why we publicly chastise cigarette smokers as if we re all spokespeople for the surgeon general. In this pithy, warmhearted, and very funny book, Eagleton melds a good old-fashioned roast with genuine admiration for his neighbors across the pond. Seller Inventory # BTE9780393088984

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans have long been fascinated with the oddness of the British, but the English, says literary critic Terry Eagleton, find their transatlantic neighbors just as strange. Only an alien race would admiringly refer to a colleague as aggressive, use superlatives to describe everything from one s pet dog to one s rock collection, or speak frequently of being empowered. Why, asks Eagleton, must we broadcast our children s school grades with bumper stickers announcing My Child Made the Honor Roll ? Why don t we appreciate the indispensability of the teapot? And why must we remain so irritatingly optimistic, even when all signs point to failure? On his quirky journey through the language, geography, and national character of the United States, Eagleton proves to be at once an informal and utterly idiosyncratic guide to our peculiar race. He answers the questions his compatriots have always had but (being British) dare not ask, like why Americans willingly rise at the crack of dawn, even on Sundays, or why we publicly chastise cigarette smokers as if we re all spokespeople for the surgeon general. In this pithy, warmhearted, and very funny book, Eagleton melds a good old-fashioned roast with genuine admiration for his neighbors across the pond. Seller Inventory # BZV9780393088984

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