The Ugly American Analysis

Great Essays
The Ugly American
The Ugly American was a political novel written by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, depicted through different vignettes, how our inability to understand our operational environment, failing to assimilate into another culture along with an inflated sense of superiority can be disastrous to diplomacy abroad. The book really showed how an individual can impact the impression of a culture and a nation on to another country by their ability or inability to integrate themselves to the local culture, language and customs. We are able to get a glimpse of these through the vignettes in the Ugly American shows how the different characters where successful and failed themselves…… positively and negatively which took a host of
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Our Personal Security Details (PSD) teams would travel the same route in order to conduct seismic surveys along a predesignated route which always produced the same turbulent result from the local villager. Each time the team would go up they would be met with protesting villagers with automatic weapons. Each time we would have to evacuate our clients and shut down production that led to millions of dollars’ worth of production delays. While working as the FRA our Country Manager briefed me that I was to safe guarding our clients and ensuring that production would not be delayed any further. When I was assigned with this task, my local counterpart and I sat down and assessed why this are of land always caused an up roar amongst the villagers. We were dumb founded as to why we were constantly being harassed by the locals. Although my time in Atrush was in a non-combat capacity. I reverted back to my training as a Special Forces soldier and went spoke with the village elders in order to get a better understanding of the situation. In doing so we discovered that the locals had a very negative view of expatriates because our routes would go through portions of their land that was considered sacred to the village. With this information I advised the Country Manager to adjust all routes in that area. Taking our seismic teams around the …show more content…
He not only studied their motivations he embraced their culture holistically. Colonel Hillandale genuinely enjoyed being with people and culture becoming Manilas own private character (Ugly American, pg. 110). By interacting with locals at a personal level he was able to understand how the Filipinos, through communists’ propaganda, viewed Americans in the Philippines. He identified this through his interactions with the locals on the streets and in doing so he was able to change how the Filipinos viewed Americans. This was shown perfectly when the Colonel played his favorite tunes on his harmonica. By playing traditional music he was able to create commonality in which to engage the common people on the streets. Also, by speaking the local language and understanding the cultural customs, he created a familiarity amongst those in the province. The locals did not expect that from an American. These actions caused the locals to doubt the communist narratives about the American people in their country. Also, when he showed them his empty wallet he put the wealth of Americans into a perspective the locals could understand. Breaking down the stereotype further and demonstrated commonality amongst the people. These interactions with the locals ended up having lasting effects amongst the citizens which caused a ninety-five percent vote for President Magsaysay and his pro American

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