The Ugly Americans: How Not to Lose the Global Culture War
About This Event

Martha Bayles of Boston College and The Weekly Standard delivered the December Bradley Lecture.

“Americans have no culture.” In most of the world, this statement raises neither eyebrows nor objections: people simply assume that violent, vulgar, vitriolic entertainment is a true expression of life in the United States. It was Listen to Audio

Download Audio as MP3
not always this way, so how did this come to pass? Drawing on the research for her new book
The Ugly Americans: How Not to Lose the Global Culture War (forthcoming, Yale University Press), Martha Bayles will look at both sides of the story: not just the downsizing of U.S. cultural diplomacy, but also the skyrocketing export of an increasingly debased popular culture. She will argue that in the war of ideas against radical jihad, culture is no frill. On the contrary, it is mainly through culture that one group of people judges the humanity of another.

Martha Bayles writes for The Weekly Standard, New York Sun, Wilson Quarterly, Wall Street Journal, Claremont Review of Books, and many other publications. Her blog, “Serious Popcorn,” can be found at She is the author of two books: Hole In Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music and Ain’t It a Shame? Censorship and the Culture of Transgression. She is currently on the faculty of the Honors Program at Boston College and a visiting fellow at the Aspen Institute Berlin.

5:15 p.m.
Christopher DeMuth, AEI
Martha Bayles, Boston College and The Weekly Standard
Adjournment and Wine and Cheese Reception
Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI Participants


AEI on Facebook