Worlds Apart? The United States, Europe, and the Cultural Ties that Bind Them

Rob Kroes

in Just Another Major Crisis?

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552030
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720291 | DOI:
Worlds Apart? The United States, Europe, and the Cultural Ties that Bind Them

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This chapter takes two quips as its points of departure. The first is that “the only culture the Europeans have in common is American popular culture”; the second that “the only culture shared on both sides of the Atlantic is European culture.” America was to a large extent founded on European culture, and only when it had defined itself as separate from Europe could America begin to export its own mass culture. This mass culture was then adopted by groups in Europe for their own purposes. While there is a broad mass culture unifying the two sides of the Atlantic, this culture is always complex and often contradictory. Thus, the chapter concludes by arguing that, “if anti-Americanism has risen steeply all over the world, surely in Europe as well, it may have to do cruciallywith what many see as the betrayal by Americans of something distinctly American, of ‘truths held to be self-evident.’”

Keywords: culture; mass culture; anti-Americanism; America; Europe; unify; contradictory

Chapter.  10088 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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