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Uniting a divided nation: Americanism and anti-Americanism in post-war Germany

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In the context of the Iraq war, ‘Anti-Americanism’ has become a European fact but also an instrument of political controversy, part of a simplifying argument of either/or. The essay probes into the various implications of European ‘Anti- Americanism’ and then concentrates on German cultural history where the influence of American culture (‘Americanization’), after both wars, was fought by cultural nationalists on the right as well as on the left but was also embraced by those who wanted to break up rigid social and cultural structures in the name of innovation and democracy. Resentment and ambivalence run deep but should not hide a basis of shared values as well as the new global fact of a mutual dependency which makes multilateralism a necessity.

Keywords: Americanization; Anti-Americanism; German Unification; Globalization; Modernization; Multilateralism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Free University Berlin

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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