"The Ugly American" features a candid look into to America's international politics during the 1950s. It follows the story of multiple men abroad in Asia, showing the reader what life really looked like in the midst of international affairs. While all characters were created by the authors, they truly come to represent the real people and events of the time, and trust me when I say it really was ugly. From racist regards to painfully ignorant remarks, most of the American men did anything but make a good impression. This book was widely recognized to be controversial for it's time because of how openly it addressed it's topic and content.
While the actions of some characters may be extremely frustrating, this story paints a historically accurate picture of what these events really looked like. The writing is great, but accompanied by the creative way the story follows each person, you get a really amazing book. The reader is constantly made to question the values of American culture. This book is eye opening and overall very entertaining. I would absolutely recommend this book to any historical fiction fan or even someone with an interest in politics. Especially in the political climate of today, I would call this book a must read!
Reviewed by Isabella Robles, Grade 9