The Ugly American Criticism

William J. Lederer
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The Ugly American was an immediate success with the American public. It was on the bestseller list for seventy-eight weeks and went on to sell four million copies. The message of the novel seemed to strike a ready chord amongst Americans who feared that their country was not pursuing the wisest policies abroad and that the Soviet Union might be winning a decisive advantage in the cold war.

Critical reaction, however, was mixed. Robert Trumbull, in the New York Times Book Review, praised the “sharp characterizations, frequently humorous incident and perceptive descriptions” in the book. He offered the opinion that it may act as a “source of insight into the actual, day-by-day by-play of [the] present titanic political struggle for Asia that will engage future historians—unless, of course, the Communists win, and suppress all such books.” In contrast to Trumbull, Robert Hatch in The Nation, commented sharply...

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This section contains 540 words
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