The American Scapegoat

My interest in anti-Americanism has been a by-product, so to speak, of my interest in the political attitudes of western intellectuals. From my earliest days in the western world (following my arrival from Hungary after the defeated Revolution of 1956) I lived exclusively in academic settings; briefly in England and for the rest of my life the United States. Under these circumstances it was impossible not to take note of these attitudes. My interest found its first tangible expression in my 1981 book, Political Pilgrims, an examination of the susceptibility of many of these intellectuals to misperceive and idealise communist states ranging from the Soviet Union under Stalin to Mao’s China and Castro’s Cuba. It did not take long to realise that their propensity to wishful thinking and receptivity to the deceptions of their hosts (while visiting these countries) originated in a deeply felt disenchantment with their ow...

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