Cover: From the Outer World in PAPERBACK

From the Outer World

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$50.00 • £40.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674326408

Publication Date: 03/25/1997

Short

512 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

In their thorough and lucid introduction to this collection of travel reports, the Handlins describe perceptions of and attitudes toward the United States in non-European countries. The visitors’ observations that constitute the body of the book vary widely in point of origin and point of view. A few are by well-known authors—Rabindranath Tagore, Octavio Paz. Most are by journalists or students or diplomats. These travelers observed racism, economic disparity, poor school systems, and a number of other regrettable but familiar deficiencies. They occasionally found something to admire. What holds a reader’s attention, providing occasional surprises and even amusement, is the way a particular writer views his material and the relationship of that view to his personal background. Travelers, whether they want to or not, carry their own countries with them, and some of the countries one encounters in this collection are decidedly engaging.—Phoebe-Lou Adams, The Atlantic

The ‘Outer World’ of the title is the world outside and apart from the Atlantic Civilization of Europe and the United States, but including Australia and Israel, which the editors define as ‘settler societies.’ Hitherto, though plenty of attention has been paid to European travellers who have visited the Americas, the impressions and opinions of Outer World travellers have not been much noted. By anthologizing a selection of ‘western voyages’ by modern travellers from Asia, Africa, Australia and Latin America, the Handlins set out, as they put it, to redress the balance somewhat. The [book’s] intention—to achieve a sort of defamiliarization by looking at one’s country through the eyes of visitors from cultures which do not share some of its basic assumptions—is an admirable one.—Brian R. Harding, American Studies

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