The Ugly American

The Ugly American

Large Print - 1994
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First published in 1958, this book became a bestseller for its expose of American arrogance, incompetence and corruption in Southeast Asia. The stories and sketches drew a picture of how the United States was losing the struggle with Communism in Asia.
Publisher: G.K. Hall, 1994 Thorndike, ME
ISBN: 9780816159383
Branch Call Number: LP FIC LED
Characteristics: 316 p
Additional Contributors: Burdick, Eugene L.


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Aug 24, 2014

If nothing else, Lederer and Burdick's "The Ugly American" was the rare book title that entered the lexicon. This book was something of a sensation when it was released in the Cold War atmosphere of the 50s and, as such, has to be read in context. Set in a fictional Southeast Asian country, it is critical of American foreign policy, especially the way it was combating communism in Asia. It is interesting (and a little depressing) as a look at Vietnam before we became involved militarily. Graham Greene's "The Quiet American" is a similar, if more cynical book. Turned into a film with Marlon Brando and followed by a sorta sequel called "The Deceptive American." Co-writer Burdick also wrote "Fail-Safe."

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