America’s Self-Image Perceived Abroad

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Two very interesting posts over at the Lowy Interpreter on how Americans present themselves to and are perceived by non-Americans (in this case, Aussies). The first discusses Americans’ tendency towards self-deprecation and self-criticism (particularly, but not exclusively, in terms of foreign policy); the second suggests that this is both a cover for “an unwavering belief in [our] pre-eminence” and a poker-playing culture’s technique for eliciting information based on the listener’s reaction. Significantly, the first is based on American officials encountered in Australia, whereas the second is based on American private citizens encountered in America, which might explain for the different […]


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