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Through a Screen Darkly
Author: Martha Bayles

ISBN: 9780300123388
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 6 January 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.9
Description:
What does the world admire most about America? Science, technology, higher education, consumer goods-but not, it seems, freedom and democracy. Indeed, these ideals are in global retreat, for reasons ranging from ill-conceived foreign policy to the financial crisis and the sophisticated propaganda of modern authoritarians. Another reason, explored for the first time in this pathbreaking book, is the distorted picture of freedom and democracy found in America's cultural exports. In interviews with thoughtful observers in eleven countries, Martha Bayles heard many objections to the violence and vulgarity pervading today's popular culture. But she also heard a deeper complaint: namely, that America no longer shares the best of itself. Tracing this change to the end of the Cold War, Bayles shows how public diplomacy was scaled back, and in-your-face entertainment became America's de facto ambassador. This book focuses on the present and recent past, but its perspective is deeply rooted in American history, culture, religion, and political thought. At its heart is an affirmation of a certain ethos-of hope for human freedom tempered with prudence about human nature-that is tr...

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