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America: Promised Land or Wasteland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2009

Extract

Hamilton Fish Armstrong, retiring editor of the influential quarterly, Foreign Affairs, writes in its fiftieth anniversary issue: “Not since we withdrew into comfortable isolation in 1920 has the prestige of the United States stood so low.” Lest his judgment be construed as political rhetoric, it should be noted that Armstrong has been an advisor to both major political parties. And if anyone doubts that there is cause for this critique, he need only consider the following: the United States, which in the 1940's and 1950's had an “automatic majority” in votes at the United Nations, has learned in the 1960's what it means to be outvoted in this same assembly. Americans, who during and after World War II trumpeted the cause of anticolonialism and the end of aggression, are today condemned as imperialists and aggressors. And while we have been heralded since 1946 as the most powerful nation in the history of the world, a tiny and divided nation among the less developed of Southeast Asia has fought us to a standstill. Is it any wonder Armstrong can write of the decline of America and point to the loss of our prestige in the world? Or that Hans Morgenthau can say: “America no longer sets an example for other nations to emulate; in many respects it sets an example of what to avoid”

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Notre Dame 1973

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References

* Morgenthau, Hans J., “Nixon and the World,” The New Republic, 01 6 and 13, 1973, p. 20.Google Scholar

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