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Granta 77: What We Think of America

The September 11 attacks on the US provoked shock and pity in the rest of the world, but mingled with the sympathy was something harsher: anti-Americanism. It wasn't confined to the West Bank or Kabul. It could be heard in English country pubs, in the bars of Paris and Rome, the tea stalls of New Delhi. ‘Hubris’ was the general idea: in one opinion poll, two-thirds of the respondents outside the US agreed to the proposition that it was ‘good that Americans now know what it’s like to be vulnerable’.

Is the US really so disliked? If so, why? In this issue twenty-four writers drawn from many countries describe the part America has played in their lives – for better or worse – and deliver their estimates of the good and the bad it has done as the world's supreme political, military, economic and cultural power.

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In this issue

Pankaj Mishra: Jihadis
J. M. Coetzee: Youth
Francis Spufford: The Habit
Thomas Dworzak: Autumn in Afghanistan
Blake Morrison: Have You Decided to Love Me Yet?
Ziauddin Sardar: Mecca

Plus: Episodes and Opinions from Twenty-Four Writers
Hanan al-Shaykh, Ian Baruma, Amit Chaudhuri, Haim Chertok, Aleksa Djilas, Ariel Dorfman, Benoît Duteurtre, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, John Gray, Ramachandra Guha, Lu Gusum, James Hamilton-Paterson, Michael Ignatieff, Ivan Klíma, Doris Lessing, Yang Lian, David Malouf, Fintan O’Toole, Orhan Pamuk, Harold Pinter, Karim Raslan, Raja Shehadeh, Tara Bray Smith and Ahdaf Soueif. (To read these pieces, click on the contributor's name.)