Why Europeans see the world differently to Americans

Tony Judt in The New York Review of Books:

After all, the twentieth century turned out well for the US and the habit of supposing that what worked in the past will continue to work in the future is deeply ingrained in American thinking. Conversely it is no accident that our European allies – for whom the twentieth century was a traumatic catastrophe – are predisposed to accept that cooperation, not combat, is the necessary condition of survival – even at the expense of some formal sovereign autonomy. British military casualties at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 alone exceed all US losses in World Wars I and II combined. The French army lost twice the total number of US Vietnam casualties in the course of just six weeks’ fighting in 1940. Italy, Poland, Germany, and Russia all lost more soldiers and civilians in World War I – and again in World War II – than the US has lost in all its foreign wars put together (in the Russian case by a factor of ten on both occasions). Such contrasts make quite a difference in how you see the world.

2 thoughts on “Why Europeans see the world differently to Americans

  1. Pingback: American and European world views « The Toynbee convector

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