Hating America while loving all things American is the twenty-first century paradox. Despite the hostility the country has borne since the Iraq war, the universal consumption of American popular culture continues unabated: we still call in at Starbucks for our 8am caffeine kick-start; we still grab a Big Mac ‘to go’ when there’s no time to stop for lunch; and we still crave the next special-effects-packed Hollywood blockbuster to hit the big screen. Sure, we like to criticise White House policies, but there’s no reason why that should hinder our enjoyment of everything else the US has to offer, is there?
In Why Do People Love America? media critic Louis Chunovic delves into the world of American film, fashion, music, sport and advertising in an effort to trace their path of international influence. Considering everything from Bill Gates to Bugsy Siegel, and Levis to Lauren, Chunovic shows how the universal appeal of these quintessentially American phenomena may well appear to be the result of clever marketing and fat-cat commerciality. But, upon further examination, he reveals American influence as not just a case of ‘sale-on-demand,’ putting forward an altogether more personal reason as to why we keep going back for more. Bold, erudite and funny, Why Do People Love America? provides a voice of reason in a confusing cross-cultural shouting match.