Looking for a satire of American international policy
September 9, 2021 7:12 PM   Subscribe

There's a book called "The ______ American." I can't remember the middle word. It's a not-at-all veiled satire about a US diplomat who travels abroad.

Without the middle word, my Google hands are tied. I think it's something like "The Good American" or "The Kind American," a word that describes how the American wants to think of himself, and how the US itself wants to view itself. It's a biting critique of the US. I think the plot involved a mop or a broom? I read it around 2003, so it would have been written in the 1990s or earlier.
posted by rockyraccoon to Education (4 answers total)
Best answer: Ugly?

More likely:

The Quiet American
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:15 PM on September 9, 2021 [9 favorites]

Best answer: The Ugly American does have a sub-plot about making brooms out of local plants, but I wouldn't say it was about that.
posted by LadyOscar at 7:33 PM on September 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: It's The Ugly American! Thank you!
posted by rockyraccoon at 10:24 PM on September 9, 2021

It’s from the 1950s — what the US does wrong in developing countries contrasted with what the USSR did right, with advice for how the US could do better (the Ugly American is the culturally sensitive good guy, not the butt of the satire). I believe it was an inspiration for the founding of the Peace Corps.
posted by LizardBreath at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

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