Simon Heffer

Patrolling The Globe

'A Problem From Hell': America and the Age of Genocide


Flamingo 620pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

THE WAVE OF anti-Americanism that has spread through this country and Europe since 11 September 2001 has been both distasteful and counter-productive. Originating with the feeling that America basically asked for what it got in the terrorist attacks on that day (because it was so prosperous and powerful), the phenomenon has spread out, taking on ever more appalling forms. Perhaps the Iraq war will have tempered these sentiments a little: not because America was doing something necessary that even the anti-Americans deemed right (for they manifestly did not), but because it has demonstrated America’s vulnerability. Just as in Vietnam thirty years ago, a guerrilla war is now under way that America and her allies seem unable to win. Those of us who are broadly sympathetic to the Americans can see that their belief in their own unlimited power, and the arrogance fostered by this belief, have been checked. If this means that the world’s only superpower behaves a little more tactfully than on occasions in the past, then that can only be to the good.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Jeremy Clarke on Red and White: An Unquenchable Thirst for Wine by ,
    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,