The Ugly American Summary

2378 Words 10 Pages
Between 1954 and 1975, the United States interfered with Russia’s spread of Communism in Vietnam. The book, The Ugly American, became a synonym with everything wrong with American foreign policy by telling the story of two very different American Ambassadors’ interactions with people in Southeast Asia and their styles of handling particular episodes. While Ambassador Louis Sears is unfocused, easily manipulated, and oblivious, his successor, Ambassador Gilbert MacWhite, is determined, a strategist, and has good judgement, making him a more successful ambassador.
After eighteen years as a successful senator, Sears loses his fourth election and is ready for a change. Confidently, he asks the DNC for a Federal judgeship, in which they respond
…show more content…
Hillandale is an American who becomes Magsaysay, the Minister of Defense’s, unofficial advisor, while he runs for President. Everyone loves him except for the people of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. In Manila, the Communists persuade people that Americans are, “Rich, bloated snobs, and that anyone who associated with them—as did Magsaysay– couldn’t possibly understand the problems and the troubles of the Filipino” (Pg 111). Col. Hillandale dances, drinks, and plays his harmonica all night and is considered to be, “one of those happy, uninhibited people,” who is still able to be professional. One day, he decides to ride his motorcycle into Manila and waves to everyone who passes him on the street. Eventually, he begins playing his harmonica and the Filipinos begin to surround him with looks of amazement etched on their faces. They had never seen a redheaded American ride into town like this. After he encourages them, in their native tongue of Tagalog, they all join in until about three hundred Filipinos are “singing their heads off.” He asks if someone will invite him for lunch because he is hungry and broke, but no one does. He explains that not all Americans are rich because their expenses are far greater than that of the people of Manila. They were all shocked to learn how expensive everything costs, and after Hillandale says, “Never before have I met Filipinos who would turn down a hungry man,” three men offer to give him lunch (Pg 113). Other join them and they have such a good time, Hillandale comes back every Saturday because of their persistent requests. As time went on, people in Manila stop believing all Americans are rich bloated snobs because one people-loving, harmonica-playing American rode into town and broke the stereotype. Subsequently, Magsaysay with his pro-American platform is elected because “95 percent of the inhabitants of that province” vote for him. Without Hillandale, the most populous city in the country could

Related Documents