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Reviews of America in the Eyes of the Germans: An Essay on Anti-Americanism

“In his brilliant and refreshingly polemical essay, German-Israeli historian Dan Diner argues that the European consciousness uses America as a metaphor for the dark sides of modernism. The author finds an especially aggressive variant of this negative judgment in Germany, the roots of which he traces back to the Romantic period, where German society stands for ‘true culture’ … America for money, interests, and the stock exchange. … This scheme of thinking has had a normative role in German intellectual and political history. … Anti-Americanism is a constant indicator for a German ongoing attempt to pull away from the West.”

— North German Broadcasting Corporation

“Valuable for presenting ideas that are not usually part of the political and cultural discourse concerning the U.S.”

Publishers Weekly

“Anti-Americanism is not an exclusively German phenomenon. But the German version tends to lead to contempt for and underestimation of the Americans.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“The author presents a short history of a rather complex idea that began around the year 1800. Though the United States was often viewed by the people of Germany as a land of opportunity, a portion of the intelligentsia, with which this book is principally concerned, tended to see the U.S. as the home of greedy hypocrites estranged from and envious of all higher culture. From the beginning of the Romantic period and throughout all the turnings of German history to the end of the Cold War, this theme was embellished differently in each era, but its essence remained remarkably unchanged. Diner has written a popularization of the subject for the nonprofessional reader, but the book is also valuable for presenting ideas that are not usually part of the political and cultural discourse concerning the U.S. The ideas are sometimes made murky by the translator, who unfortunately has retained too much of the phrasing and style of the original German, but the author’s outlook remains accessible. It is of particular interest now that the former Iron Curtain countries have begun looking to Germany rather than to the U.S. as the model upon which to rebuild their societies.”

Publishers Weekly