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Publisher's Summary

In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the US-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East and West, and with a naïve sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures and histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country - and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline. It would take leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world.

©2017 Suzy Hansen (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A MUST-READ for all Truth-Seeking American wh

Like the author of this book I too was brainwashed and misled about our country's past and even the present. I actually came to the U.S. with my family in 1971 from India when I was 7 and have been here since. I am also a female, moderate Muslim on a journey to seek the truth about the role America played in Muslim countries. There HAD to be a valid reason why so many Muslims abroad are so ANGRY and even violent towards The West.

Suzy's book not only helped me pull out of my amnesia but it also opened Pandora's box on America's ugly doings all around the world that history books don't share. I had an educational awakening. I liked it when Suzy was asked, "why is it that we know your history (because of America's involvement in their country) but you do not know ours?" In today's dirty political climate it's our responsibility to educate ourselves about the wrong that's being done especially to the countries with little resources (perhaps because we stripped them of theirs!).

I'm recommending this book to most of my friends and family. And will probably look at the books Suzy quotes from. I appreciate her bravery to travel as she has and to become better informed about the country we love and call home. But there is work to be done. Big time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Timely read on Muslim perception of the U.S .

This book I think is written primarily for Americans seeking a better understanding of the role of the US in the Middle East. She does this in a most effective way by writing about her own transformation and understanding of the Muslim world and why we have failed to understand it. Much of this is gleaned from the relationships she formed during her years living as a journalist in Istanbul as well as her travels in the region. This book challenged my own thinking and I feel gave me a better understanding of the history in this region and the US's role in complicating it. This has been one of my favorite books this year. Frankly I am at a loss to find other books on this region that are as moving as this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the most transformative books I have ever read!

This is an an amazing, eye-opening book. I will never think the same again about America's role in the world again.

5 Stars. Highly recommended!
--The Rev. Stephen York

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Perspectives on how the world sees us

and how we see ourselves as Americans We are no longer a superpower in the world

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Insightful, interesting and eye-opening - must read for all Americans

What an insightful journey this book has been. I wish everyone in America read it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Hard but Must read for ALL Americans

I should probably be giving thus book 5 stars based on content & if I Audible allowed. I would give it 4.5 stars.

This book was a hard read for me, not because of the writing but because it busted my fantasy of the USA. I still love my country (the USA) however after this read I look at it differently. I must say I don't believe everything she said about the USA & some of the other countries' events (maybe & probably naively so) but wow the things I did learned & look at differently (because i read this book) are significant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Necessary reading

Truth and perspectives at times difficult to take, but this is so well written and researched it makes a compelling case. Necessary reading for understanding America ‘s role in the world and finding a just path forward.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I did not know any of this!

What did you love best about Notes on a Foreign Country?

There was so much to learn from this book - I loved it all!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Being able to pull all the different "strands" of MY memory of the US abroad together, discarding those that were now valueless, and making stronger those that had begun, in this year, to coalesce into a more realistic mindset of America's impact abroad.

If you could give Notes on a Foreign Country a new subtitle, what would it be?

No - the subtitle is exactly what drew me to the book, in the first place. No change needed, in my humble opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great insight a little too one sided

Yes we Americans enjoy innocence and wealth through exploitation of others. Yes we should be more empathetic and do less harm. Yes we should recognize our sordid past in more truthful manner. Still I think she needs to acknowledge some strengths in our systems and governance that slow us to correct and be less abusive than other empires
The book itself is very well written with great information on her subject

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • Lincoln, NE USA
  • 09-15-17

A View from Outside

An interesting and necessary take on America that should be required reading for a!l of us. Whether you agree or not with the outsider view of our country, you should ,at least, grow to understand why many foreigners feel the way they do about the United States and much of our mythic ' history'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful