Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America is a book written by Andrei Markovits. This book is an analysis about the European anti-Americanism phenomenon. The book explains the background of Euro anti-Americanism. Markovits shows how anti-Americanism has swept through Europe in the recent years. In his book, Markovits does three things; he gives an account of the historic and contemporary forms of anti-Semitism, he scrutinizes the roots causes of European anti-Americanism and best of all, Markovits gives the readers a running critique of common malevolence and silliness of the anti-Americans (Markovits, 2009).
In his book, Markovits argues that, Europeans only hate America for what it is and not what it does. In his text, he cites a lot of examples to prove his point of view for example in politics, culture, economy and sports, Americans are often seen as shallow, egoistic, rowdish, stupid and uncouth and this makes Europeans hate them (Markovits, 2009). Many nations have a fear for America as they think that, Americans will always want things to be done their way and they will impose their conditions on them or Americanization. In addition, many Europeans dislike America and Americans and this is highly blamed on the irresponsible and disastrous bush administration policies. Moreover, Europeans blame it on the haughty demeanor and arrogant tone which has highly contributed to the unprecedented vocal animosity on Europeans against America and Americans.
According to Markovits (2009), Euro anti-Americanism is something that has existed since America’s creation and it’s not something that is new. In my perspective on Why Europe Dislikes America, is that America should not be disapproved for what it does and what it is. Many people have always found fault in many things America does and they do not even compliment it on something positive that it does. Finding fault in everything America does not help in any way. Markovits argument of Euro anti-Americanism is that not all Europeans nor a majority but a group are anti American and this is affecting the relationship between Europe and America. Anti- Americanism has washed away and outweighed all the positive things America has done for Europe. The atrocities committed by many states are always blamed on America because it is argued that America fails to stop them and this is very disturbing because who will now control America and America cannot control all the states. There is anti-Americanism not only in Europe but also in the Middle East and even Asia. Nonetheless, many people still admire America’s culture and democracy however much they do not like what it does. Everyone around the world will always have something to like and talk about positively about America and so the issue of anti-Americanism should be stopped and this is why Markovits in his book Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America decided to expose this phenomenon. Anti-Americanism does not really matter as it does not influence America be it politically or economically because America remains in power and many people admire it for what it does and what it stands for. Moreover, America still gets support from many states as there is no pragmatic evidence of direct effects of anti-Americanism and if any, it is extraordinarily difficult to document them empirically.
Furthermore, anti-Americanism has not affected America’s diplomacy and war against terrorism and its cooperation with its allies. My take on this issue of anti-Americanism is that it has no empirical effects on the United States as it has not affected its governance, security and international institutions. America continues to cooperate with its allies in the reconstruction of Iraq where there has been this anti-Americanism phenomenon and it does not affect it in any way. Also, many people still travel to the United States in large numbers including Arabs where anti-Americanism spiked. Anti-Americanism is not that salient even though it might be widespread. Europe should stop anti-Americanism and start recognizing the good that America has done instead of choosing to blame them what is bad and what they think America could have controlled. America is hated for it has become a symbol of progress, innovation and most of all equality of opportunities. America has dominated the world after the end of the cold war by becoming the sole superpower and this has distorted Europe and even France and that is why there is this fear of America. Hating a nation and its people does not help in any way; Europe should strengthen its ties with America for global security and growth.
It is very important to have such literature like Andrei Markovits’ Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America because, there is anti-Americanism in Europe and Markovits is dealing with a real phenomenon that is affecting America. A number of people argue that there is no anti-Americanism in Europe and there are only disagreements with specific American policies yet this is a real issue that was carefully covered by Markovits. This book reveals the resentment and antipathy towards and against America and how it has been there since time immemorial even before America became a super power and Europe’s rival. This ambivalence was there following the end of the cold war and after the September 11th attacks, this ambivalence has given out way to absolute unequivocal hostility.
Markovits book provides us with the necessary feedback on anti-Americanism. Markovits exposes and dispels anti-Americanism and the negative generalization of Americans. Through Markovits book, we are able to know that the hostility towards America and Americans drifted from the periphery and from the disrespected borders of European politics and later on became a reputable part of the European mainstream. Additionally, this type of literature is important because the world is exposed to the reasons behind Europeans animosity towards the United States and to explain that anti-Americanism has been a core factor among European elites for a long time. Through this literature, one is able to know that the close relationship between Europe and the US is at low level since anti-Americanism in Europe has generated frustrations between the two states and more complexities to transatlantic relationships.
Markovits book has its flaws. Markovits is not a great stylist as his book is poorly organized. In addition, his sentences are maddeningly complicated when one reads through the book and it is at times confusing. However much Markovits arguments are compelling, I do not agree with some of his arguments whereby he says the current anti-Americanism in Europe is due to the dislikes of George Bush’s policies. This is not true because anti-Americanism has been there for a long time. In addition, Markovits exaggerates some of his points and he ignores citing some examples which could be helpful in the text. For example he could have used the many passionate writings that were used in defense of the September 11 attacks in America’s defense.
In conclusion, Euro anti-Americanism is not a new phenomenon as it has been there for more than half a century. According to Markovits in his book Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America, anti-Americanism has swept through Western Europe specifically in France, Germany and in Great Britain. Americans and Europeans should realize that they share and cherish a lot in common and they should choose to cooperate and provide global problems solutions. The two states should avoid tensions between them and manage their differences amicably in order to restore the transatlantic alliance as anti-Americanism in Europe has adversely affected this alliance.
Markovits, A. S. (2009). Uncouth Nation: Why Europe dislikes America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.