The Ugly American

The Ugly American

Paperback - 1960
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Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1960, c1958.
ISBN: 9780449207321
0449207323
Characteristics: 240 pages ;,18 cm.

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FAIL-SAFE made a better film, starring Henry Fonda. This novel teaches quite a lot from the point of view of our diplomatic corp, of why we were stuck in that morass called Southeast Asia.

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lukasevansherman
Aug 24, 2014

If nothing else, Lederer and Burdick's "The Ugly American" was the rare book title that entered the lexicon. This book was something of a sensation when it was released in the Cold War atmosphere of the 50s and, as such, has to be read in context. Set in a fictional Southeast Asian country, it is critical of American foreign policy, especially the way it was combating communism in Asia. It is interesting (and a little depressing) as a look at Vietnam before we became involved militarily. Graham Greene's "The Quiet American" is a similar, if more cynical book. Turned into a film with Marlon Brando and followed by a sorta sequel called "The Deceptive American." Co-writer Burdick also wrote "Fail-Safe."

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