from the publisher:
Americans rarely used to think about the outside world. As the mightiest nation in history, the United States could do as it pleased. Now Americans have learned the hard way that what foreigners think matters. When terror struck on September 11, 2001, author Mark Hertsgaard was completing a trip around the world, gathering perceptions about America from people in fifteen countries. Whether sophisticated business leaders, starry-eyed teenagers, or Islamic fundamentalists, his subjects felt both admiring of and uneasy about the United States, enchanted yet bewildered, appalled yet envious.
This complex catalogue of impressions -- good, bad, but never indifferent -- is the departure point for a short, pointed essay in the tradition of Common Sense and Culture of Complaint. How can the world's most open society be so proud of its founding ideals yet so inconsistent in applying them? So loved for its pop culture but so resented for its high-handedness? Exploring such paradoxes, Hertsgaard exposes up-lifting and uncomfortable truths that force natives and foreigners alike to see America with fresh eyes.
"Like it or not, America is the future," a European tells Hertsgaard. In a world growing more American by the day, The Eagle's Shadow is a major statement about and to the place (and people) everyone discusses but few understand.
Mark Hertsgaard is the author of four previous books, including On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency. His journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Die Zeit, The Independent, Le Nouvel Observateur, Yomiuri Shimbun, and many other publications around the world. He has lectured at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Yale Universities, and he is a regular contributor to National Public Radio. He lives in San Francisco.