America-bashing predates America: French Enlightenment philosophies claimed that the colony was doomed and one critic reported that the colony's population was astonishingly idiotic [and] enervated . As the United States became a superpower after the Second World War, a more virulent, politically charged form of declinism emerged amid hysteria that the Russians are coming . It was followed by the European miracle, Japan's Rising Sun and w the looming Chinese behemoth. While declinism may delight the media and gloating Europeans eager to play up America's has-been status, the facts do t corroborate the contentions, as Josef Joffe demonstrates in this history of American declinism. He offers a highly provocative examination of how the US, for all its failings, continues to be a force of rejuvenation today.
Publisher-editor of Die Zeit and the author of Uberpower, Josef Joffe was educated at Swarthmore College and Harvard University. A frequent contributor to Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, he is a founding board member of the American Interest. He is a Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies.