Title: The Eagle’s Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World
Author: Mark Hertsgaard
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Review: This book was required reading for me in a colloquium entitled “America’s Role in the World.” The course explored not only the idea of globalization but also the ways in which the United States is perceived versus how we, as American citizens, believe or want it to be viewed, making this an excellent choice of text.
Hertsgaard approaches the topic as unbiasedly as I think he can as an American himself. His visits with individuals from around the world provide interesting and sometimes eye-opening ideas and it’s easy to get the sense that he was learning just as much as the reader through his conversations. The cultural comparisons as well as the discussions of specific actions and policy choices are indeed enlightening as is the way in which many of the interviewees make a stark differentiation between their views of America and AmericaNs.
While I think this book might be difficult for some people, as we often let our ethnocentrism get in the way of considering outside perspectives, it is indeed a very different one. While the description of the book does reference September 11, 2001, it’s not the focus of the book itself or of the conversations, necessarily, that Hertsgaard relates in the text.