Why do people hate America?
Saturday 27 October, 12.15pm until 1.15pm, Student Union Bar-room Rants

America once symbolised (rightly or wrongly) all that was good about the Enlightenment project of human progress: economic prosperity, political freedom and equality – a refuge from the more repressive European nations. Today however many in America including members of the Bush administration wonder ‘Why do people hate us?’

These days Americans feel that hardly anyone supports them, and public opinion polls in Europe and elsewhere seem to confirm this. Indeed, America is accused of a variety of sins: being a bully in world affairs; the major cause of global warming; the superpower spreading consumerist values and crass mass entertainment around the world, to name just a few.

As the race to the 2008 presidential election gets into full swing the NY Salon asks, what’s new about the anti-American outlook in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere? Is anti-Americanism in the Middle East different from that emanating from Europe? And why are some Americans themselves anti-American?


John Luik
senior fellow, Democracy Institute, Washington DC; co-author, Diet Nation
James Matthews
management consultant; founding member, NY Salon; writer on economics and business
Dr Cheryl Hudson
lecturer in American history, University of Liverpool
Jean Smith
specialist development consultant; co-founder and director, NY Salon

 Produced by

Jean Smith specialist development consultant; co-founder and director, NY Salon

Anti-Americanism at home and abroad , Nancy McDermott

 Recommended readings

Authors find global knowledge lacking
Terrorists do not attack America because of what it is, as American apologists of both left and right claim. They do so, rather, because of what it's done
Steven E. Alford, Houston Chronicle , 27 February 2003

America alone
Drawing on demographic trends that show falling birth rates in the West comapred to the ever expanding Islamic world, this book presents Western civilisation as willing its own extinction
Mark Steyn, Regnery Publishing Inc., 2006

Why do they hate us?
Because America has 'intervened to shape the destinies of other countries and then, as a nation, walked away,' just as many despise it for the arrogance of its foreign policy as they envy it for its power and wealth
Mohsin Hamid, Washington Post, 21 July 2007

Why do they hate us?
Attacking everything, from America's role in global warming to its iniquitous campaign finance laws, Osama Bin Laden's declarations reveal the unfocused, opportunistic nature of this brand of anti-Americanism
Reza Aslan, Slate, 5 August 2007

America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked
It is America's exceptionalism, its go-it-alone approach that underpins the rest of the world's dislike
Andrew Kohut & Bruce Stokes, Owl Books, 2007

Greater than all the parts
A review of the work of Robert Rodriguez, a writer whose oeuvre draws from America's "'mixed, confused, lumped, impure, unpasteurized'" sense of both its past and its future
Anthony Walton, New York Times, 6 April 2002

recommended by spiked

American identity revisited
Alan Miller, 4 May 2006

Let’s remake America the ‘Land of the Free’
Alex Standish, 23 July 2007

How the left is living off Latin America
Rob Lyons, 17 June 2007

After the ‘day without immigrants’
Nancy McDermott, 3 May 2006

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