Notes on A Foreign Country

Notes on A Foreign Country

An American Abroad in A Post-American World

Book - 2017
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"A revelatory reflection on America's role in the world from the perspective of a young woman who has been living in Istanbul for the past six years"-- Provided by publisher.
"In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Hansen arrived there with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East and West, and with a naive sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling throughout Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures, histories, and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country--and herself, an American abroad in the era of America's decline. It would take leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world. She came to understand that anti-Americanism is not a violent pathology. It is, Hansen writes, "a broken heart ... a hundred-year-old relationship." Blending memoir, journalism, and history, and deeply attuned to the voices of those she met on her travels, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America's place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation--a profound reckoning with what it means to be an American in a time of grave national and global turmoil."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780374280048
Branch Call Number: 956.1041 Han
Characteristics: 276 pages ; 24 cm


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Feb 01, 2019

I wouldn't even give this book ONE star. It's a political diatribe against everything American since Plymouth Rock. 90% rant against all things American and 10% about Turkey. This Jersey Shores girl has forgotten her heritage as a 3rd generation American and transformed into a 3rd world wannabe.

Dec 02, 2017

Agree with previous notation r/t naivete of author,who seems to think America's a single entity expected to make morally responsible decisions r/t the Judeo Christian ethics built on though doesn't allude to this, jeers at "freedom" as practiced by "Western World", whatever that means. Turkey comes off as a hodge/podge of ideas, beliefs, systems emblematic of the author herself (wonder if she'll ever come back to States or settle permanently in Turkey where it seems as if she's found her milieu). IN other words, bored half way through and did not finish the book.

Nov 26, 2017

I feel like I'm reading Fuchsia Dunlop without the fun. And Turkey instead of China. And no cooking school. And no quirky self-effacing. And no insight. And no compelling reason to continue after about page 75. So that's where it ended for me.

Maybe if you're excited about all things Turkey, which I was, this would be fascinating. But I felt like I was reading a college student's journal, although that would be more readable, perhaps. Something was missing for me, and I usually enjoy books that begin with all the reasons the writer is so naive about the world and why the writer chose to get educated and knowledgeable.

Great idea, but kinda dry. Read Elif Batuman instead. Yes, she write fiction. But even as fiction, even not really about Turkey, it's more satisfying than this. And I hate fiction.

Nov 12, 2017

The author appears to be permanently naive. First she is dismayed that she has so readily bought into the American image of our nation helping the world achieve democracy. Once she begins traveling, she swallows uncritically anything she is told by her new friends in Turkey Greece and the middle east. I am not sure she is capable of critical thinking.

Oct 26, 2017

A must read for anyone interested in today's world problems. A very thoughtful and thought provoking book.


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