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Better understanding of the US?

Which books should we read to gain a better understanding of the US?

In his televised speech on the birthday anniversaries of the Holy Prophet of Islam and Imam Sadiq delivered on November 3, 2020, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to many books which have been written inside the US  and which speak of the US’s decline: “The American regime is truly and severely suffering from a political, civil and moral decline and this is not mere analysis. What I am saying here is not merely an analysis, rather this is being acknowledged by themselves. This is being said by their spokespeople, writers, and thinkers inside the US. It is they who are saying this. They have written several books, published with a large circulation, bringing certain truths to light. I have read one of these books translated into Farsi. The book is filled with proofs of this decline. If someone really reads the book, they see that from start to finish, the book speaks of the political decline of the US with the moves made by the current US President. Such an empire will not last long like this.” Khamenei.ir is publishing a discussion from Mr. Hamid-Reza Gholamzadeh Natanzi – an expert on the US and International Affairs – in the program “The 24th Picture” in order to introduce these books:

The historiographic tradition of US presidents is a long-standing tradition. In the US, there are writers and journalists who write books and articles about the behavior and history of and measures adopted by US presidents. Mr. Woodward is an outstanding and experienced researcher who has a 50-year of work experience and during this time, he has seen many presidents and has written about them. The Book “Fear: Trump in the White House” is significant because it presents a naked and transparent image of the President who holds power in the white house. Traditionally, when US presidents’ terms come to an end, they begin to write their memoirs because it is economically and politically beneficial for them as such memoirs highlight their experience as a US president.

The book was written when Mr. Trump held office in the White House and that is why it is attractive as it tells us the truths about him from the inside. As Mr. Woodward says in the beginning of the book, it contains detailed interviews with people who are deeply involved in the affairs and who therefore narrate first-hand accounts. Of course, it does not mention the names of these individuals. In the book, we can see what tensions and conflicts exist in the White House. Trump’s team works in a non-professional and poor way and they give priority to relationships rather than to rules and regulations. The conflicts and tensions do not seem normal and reasonable at all and the book depicts the White House chaos. The conflicts that Mr. Trump’s ministers, former advisors and deputies have with, in particular, his daughter and son-in-law are not normal at all. As an example, we could refer to taking letters from his desk or putting letters there outside the bureaucratic order so that he would sign them.

In the book, the author constantly points to the skirmishes, angry arguments and tumults inside the White House. It quotes Tillerson, former Secretary of State, or Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense, and many other individuals who use terms such as “lunatic, psycho, confused, etc” to refer to Trump. As for Trump’s decisions, it says that he changes his decision easily and that he makes decisions under the influence of the people around him. As an instance, in one encounter, he denies what he had said previously and when they insist, he changes his decision again.

In his televised speech on the occasion of the birthday anniversaries of the Holy Prophet (greetings be upon him and his household) and Imam Sadiq (greetings be upon him), the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution speaks of many books written about Trump, one of which is the book entitled “Fear, Trump in the White House”. The book indicates the US"s decline. Of course, there are many other good books which have been translated recently:

The book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power” has been written by Alfred W.McCoy. Mr. MacCoy is a renowned historiographer and professor of history. A few decades ago, he raised important points about drug trafficking in Eastern Asia by the CIA. He discussed these points in the US Congress and they aroused many controversies. The American Century is a term coined a few decades ago which represented the American blossoming and power. He discusses, however, that the American century is shrinking into a shadow and that the country is declining, in practice, in terms of the US century.

The book “America: The Farewell Tour” is another book written by Mr. Chris Hedges, a reputable researcher and journalist and a winner of the famed Pulitzer Prize in the area of the media. In the book, Mr. Hedges likens the Roman Empire to the American Empire and compares the former’s decline with the latter’s and it also attends to political, social and cultural affairs.

The Book “Decadent Society” is another book written by Mr. Ross Douthat, a writer working for the New York Times. The book was published in the winter of 2020 and it too discusses social and cultural matters in American society. For example, it says that culture has been undermined, that society is on the verge of decline, that politics has been crucified and that it is not efficient anymore. He examines plenty of domestic factors for these maladies.

The book “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism” co-authored by Mrs. Anne Casse and Angus Deaton, winner of a Nobel Prize, both of whom are economists. The book examines the impacts of capitalism on the change in the philosophy of life among white American laborers. It discusses the reasons behind their suicide and it tries to answer why suicide, addiction and alcohol overconsumption have increased. The book mentions that these problems exist because of the decadence and corruption that is leading to decline in that country.

In fact, if we understand the social conditions that these writers speak of, we might be able to better understand the imminent American elections, the American society’s conditions and the tensions witnessed in the electoral debates.


12:48 - 9/11/2020    /    Number : 759683    /    Show Count : 18



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