About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    America Is the Coolest

    By kyle | September 6, 2011

    Science has spoken! A poll shows the American nationality is (as always) still considered the coolest one in the world. This is an excellent way to phrase the question; you could, if you so chose, easily find Americans are not well respected internationally if you phrased the question a different way. I have always found the conventional liberal view that America was despised overseas, especially in the Reagan and Bush eras, to be total nonsense — mainly because I’ve traveled a lot overseas. All the distaste I find for Americans is invariably abstract and tied up in political questions, not in actually disliking specific Americans. For instance, I was in Paris when Jimmy Carter won his Nobel Prize and supposedly anti-American sentiment had skyrocketed because of our “cowboy President’s” policies. And France was supposedly the most sophisticated and influential leader of this way of thinking, and Paris is the capital of intellectual thought in France. I encountered zero anti-Americanism in my three weeks there that fall. What I did hear, several times, was that 9/11 caused Americans to curtail their traveling, especially their long-distance traveling, and the resulting loss in tourism business was devastating to the French and Parisian economies.

    Topics: Europe, Politics | 4 Comments »

    4 Responses to “America Is the Coolest”

    1. yankeefan Says:
      September 7th, 2011 at 10:57 am

      People abroad don’t hold their opposition to our policies against us as individuals. This says a lot of about our likability — and also about their hospitality and ability to make distinctions and not conflate individuals with the actions of their government

      “Anti-American” is actually an inexact, if not meaningless, term. It more accurately describes “opposed to US policy.” Anti-American is about as illuminating a term as anti-Italian or anti-Ugandan.

    2. Kyle Says:
      September 7th, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Right – but many were the Obama supporters who said, “They don’t respect us overseas anymore. I want to feel like a welcome citizen of the world again.” Which is nonsense.

    3. yankeefan Says:
      September 7th, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Well, yes, that was indeed nonsense.

    4. kishke Says:
      September 7th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      There are certainly some who push anti-Americanism, such as the makers of the films “In Bruges” (which I liked anyway) and “2 Days in Paris” (which I hated for other reasons).