||The economic power of US corporations and the virus-like power of American popular culture affect the lives and infect the indigenous cultures of millions around the world. The foreign policy of the US government, backed by its military strength, has unprecedented global influence now that the USA is the world's only superpower - its first 'hyperpower'.
America also exports its value systems, defining what it means to be civilised, rational, developed and democratic - indeed, what it is to be human. Meanwhile, the US itself is impervious to outside influence, and if most Americans think of the rest of the world at all, it is in terms of deeply ingrained cultural stereotypes.
Many people do hate America, in the Middle East and the developing countries as well as in Europe. Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies explore the global impact of America's foreign policy and its corporate and cultural power, placing this unprecedented dominance in the context of America's own perception of itself. In doing so, they consider TV and the Hollywood machine as a mirror which reflects both the American Dream and the American Nightmare. Their analysis provides an important contribution to a debate which needs to be addressed by people of all nations, cultures, religions and political persuasions.
Ziauddin Sardar is a widely-respected writer and Visiting Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the City University, London. He is a regular contributor to the New Statesman.
Merryl Wyn Davies, writer and anthropologist, is a former television producer who worked for BBC religious programmes for several years. She is the author of Knowing One Another: Shaping An Islamic Anthropology.
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