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

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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
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AEI Participants


  • Christopher DeMuth was president of AEI from December 1986 through December 2008. Previously, he was administrator for information and regulatory affairs in the Office of Management and Budget and executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief in the Reagan administration; taught economics, law, and regulatory policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; practiced regulatory, antitrust, and general corporate law; and worked on urban and environmental policy in the Nixon White House.


  • Phone: 2028625895
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Keriann Hopkins
    Phone: 2028625897
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