The Ugly American Essay

William J. Lederer
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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth century literature. In this essay, he discusses the novel in the context of the cold war, the Vietnam war, and the nature of the U.S. national identity and character.

Central to The Ugly American is the historical reality of the cold war. Behind all the individual stories lies the larger picture of a global struggle between two superpowers who embrace competing ideologies and compete ruthlessly for influence and control over smaller countries not only in Southeast Asia but all over the world. Given the fact that both superpowers have the capacity to destroy each other several times over through the use of nuclear weapons, the future of human civilization may depend on the outcome of the struggle.

Since the novel is so rooted in a particular period of history, it is impossible for...

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This section contains 1,869 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Ugly American Study Guide
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