How Europe Sees America

Monday, October 4, AD 2010

Click on the above map to be able to read it.  The original of the map is here.  Tito had a post yesterday here with a map depicting how America views Europe.  Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce in the 19th Century said that war was God’s way of teaching Americans geography.  Unfortunately, the lessons do not appear to stick.  However, the Europeans are often not that better informed about us.

For example, I have always enjoyed reading the English historian Paul Johnson, and have read almost every book he has written.  Therefore, I was dismayed when reading his history of the US to encounter quite a few factual errors, including his inability to distinguish between Albert Sydney Johnston and Joseph Johnston in the Civil War, and his apparent belief that it was the Texas Rangers and not Army Rangers who landed at Utah Beach on Normandy.

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10 Responses to How Europe Sees America

  • That map has way too much detail in it.

  • Agree with Mr. Blackadder.

    Either they are red states or they’re in various states of ruin.

    I’m emigrating to America when I retire. My new motto: “Red state or bust!”

  • I have to jump on the band wagon about there being much to much detail for a European. That’s more a Map of how American’s see our own country, allowing for everyone to have more knowledge of their own state of course.

  • Some of these are a bit puzzling: “Same last names” in Illinois? Ohio is all bars and drugs (I would think “Burning Rivers” is more evocative)? 2012 starts in Montana?

    My freshman dorm roommate came from Maryland to northern California for college. I still remember the hand-drawn “bon voyage” poster someone had drawn him, with the outline of California filled with endless palm trees. Oh boy, I thought, Someone’s never been to San Francisco before.

  • The “Same last names” tag is applied to SOUTHERN Illinois, which is culturally far more “Southern” than the rest of the state — physically it’s closer to Kentucky or Tennessee than Chicago. Of course this map might also lead one to believe that pizza was invented in the Peoria area 🙂

  • Also, try telling the residents of Nashville that everyone in Tennessee “plays jazz and is black.”

  • Pizza was not invented in Chicago, Illinois…just perfected there.

    Wow, I can’t wait to leave Afghanistan and return to the USA!

  • I believe the Salem witch trials were in Salem, Massachusetts, not Salem, Oregon

  • Apparently Nashville was confused with New Orleans… just kidding… sort of.

  • When I was in the UK in the early ’80’s, I found that just about every person I met thought of the Midwest as a massive corn field with Chicago plopped down in the middle of it. (And more than a few people mimicked the “rat-tat-tat” of a tommy gun when they said Chicago.) The few exceptions I met said “Harley-Davidson!” when I mentioned my hometown. Certainly not beer or cheese – given the excellence of native Brit brews and cheeses, they do not automatically think of America when they think of those products.

    Bawer is right. Euros flatter themselves that they “know” America, but what they know are Hollywood stereotypes. Most Euros visit NYC, LA and Disney World if they visit the States and ignore “flyover country” entirely. A trip spent in Manhattan and Magic Kingdom really doesn’t make you an authority on the States, anymore than a few days spent visiting the Louvre and Notre Dame gives you any great insight into modern-day French folk.