Their America is devoted to significant expressions (speeches, essays, political cartoons, fiction, news stories, etc.) about America by non-Americans. Our major objective is to create a global, synoptic site for Their America, an unpolemical, informative, and provocative resource not just for ‘American Studies’ scholars around the world, but for anyone interested in studying and debating the international reputation of the United States. We seek to explore a country no less strange and uncharted than America itself once was: their America, the nation and peoples of the United States as they exist in the hearts and minds of others.
(We’re looking, in particular, for suggestions about the most influential expressions about America by non-Americans — tell us what should be in our archives, and why, in the regional “Founders” sections of our forums.)
NEW TO THE ARCHIVES
When contemplating the onset of this four-yearly ritual, a basic question arises: does it really matter who is US president? Fashionable pundits of a conservative bent claim Barack Obama has presided over a sharp decline in American power and influence around the world. They point to his inability to halt the war in Syria and defeat Islamic State terrorism. Similarly, liberals and leftists profess disappointment that the first African American president failed to do more to promote social equality, combat climate change, resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict – and close Guantánamo Bay.
Delivering his State of the Union address, Obama was in no doubt that it still matters massively who occupies the White House, and not merely to Americans. But the way in which he defined US pre-eminence, in terms of guns and missiles rather than ideas and inspiration, was troubling. “The US is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world… When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead – they call us,” Obama declared. […]
THEIR AMERICA TIMELINE