The verdict seems to be that America is currently a hard sell: there is widespread hostility to America and its obtrusively "made in the USA" products. In part, this hostility is caused by a hard-sell, in-your-face, marketing-style, clumsy public diplomacy. History offers ample proof of America's twin handicap of pride and prejudice; as a nation, Americans seem not to have the patience to communicate and interact effectively with the world beyond their borders.
In her latest book, Why America is Such a Hard Sell: Beyond Pride and Prejudice, Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, research professor of politics and culture and Earhart Fellow at The Institute of World Politics, offers an explanation. Using literature, political science, philosophy, history, and humor, she explores some of the reasons for America's current predicament. At the same time, she describes some ongoing initiatives, especially in the private sector, whose results are definitely encouraging. The book ends on a hopeful note of confidence in the sustaining power of the American Dream, defined as the irrepressible human bond of dignity and hope.
Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, writes that, "Why America is Such a Hard Sell is a thoughtful analysis of the world situation and why America's world reputation is tarnished. Juliana Pilon offers hopeful and practical ways of combating this image problem. This book is important because Pilon stays above the political fray, giving her solutions an air of legitimacy rarely seen in contemporary analysis. Pilon's compassion is like a beacon of hope for everyone in this divided world. I strongly encourage everybody to read this book."
Dr. Pilon will be available to sign her book on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 from 5-6:30 PM at The Institute of World Politics. Copies of the book will be on sale at the signing for $15 (cash or check). RSVPs are strongly encouraged.