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New Book Reveals America As It Is


The book we would like to bring to your attention is DISCOVERING AMERICA AS IT IS by Valdas Anelauskas, a monumental study of the devastating effect American-style ultra-capitalism is having on the American people -- something that people in other countries, and Europeans in particular, need to know, as the American Way is going global. This book raises serious questions concerning America's role as a leading model for development, and even as to its future capacity to compete due to the deterioration of its "human capital" -- the American people -- resulting from its anti-social domestic policies.

Valdas Anelauskas is a Lithuanian journalist and former anti-Soviet dissident who was expelled from the USSR for his human rights activities. He was received in the U.S. as a high profile political dissident, and initially even addressed American audiences alongside powerful right-wing American politicians like Newt Gingrich. While many anti-Soviet human rights activists turned to the United States to champion their cause, and many even emigrated to the USA, few have publicly exposed their view of human rights as practiced in the United States. That fact, in itself, would make DISCOVERING AMERICA AS IT IS an important book, coming as it does from someone of this background.

Ten years of observation of American reality has led Anelauskas to conclude that the U.S. extreme capitalist system represents an even greater threat than Soviet mock-communism to the well-being of the world. He paints an extraordinary portrait of the America he discovered -- the true America, as it exists in actuality, for most Americans. His book explores with shock and indignation the lot of vast millions of ordinary people in the richest country in the world, which surely could treat its citizens at least as well as other industrialized nations do, but refuses to. Thirteen highly documented chapters -- on poverty, crime, health, education, homelessness, income inequities and the replacement of welfare by "workfare" (which appears to be reintroducing slavery to America) -- detail the public disarray which results from an unfettered system of great wealth where the rich determine the social priorities. This is hardly the America of the movies and the slick magazines which bedazzle the world with images of American prosperity.

This blistering reality is not "one man's opinion," but rather has been scrupulously culled -- in nearly 600 pages with literally thousands of citations -- from the very latest researches by international organizations, domestic and international NGOs, independent U.S. think tanks and experts, and even from American government and business sources. While most critiques focus on one social sector or another, Anelauskas' multidimensional study brings them all together, and the impact is staggering. What this book enables us to grasp -- both intellectually and emotionally -- is the predatory and wasteful operation of unbridled capitalism as practiced in America, and the needless, preventable injury it is wreaking upon millions.

Anelauskas' study makes detailed comparisons between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, and also, even more tellingly, with the capitalist countries of Western Europe. What people need to consider is: Does capitalism have to weigh upon people so mercilessly -- or is the American version more extreme, more pitiless than that of other industrialized nations? Anelauskas found the U.S. shockingly deficient in the areas of economic and social human rights, and extensively documented the extent to which citizens of all other industrialized countries generally fare far better than, actually, most Americans.

So... how long will the relative prosperity of the citizens of other industrial nations be able to continue, in face of the extension of the American model? Truly, should the countries of the world be rushing to follow the American example -- or rather, moving strenuously to protect their social structures from the future that America seeks to impose, as forewarned in Anelauskas' final chapter, "The New World Order Takes Shape." This culminating chapter provides a clearer understanding of the true source of America's "know-how" as it relates to accumulating wealth and to maintaining it. From the expropriation of Indian lands, and the exploitation of African slave labor, to a taste for empire which spread to the continental rim, then jumped across many waters in a hundred-year history of invasions all around the globe, culminating at last in the hegemonic military-economic grip on the world by what many in the world view as a Rogue Superpower -- from the loot of domestic colonialism to that of colonialism, then neocolonialism abroad -- this is America as it is.

Perhaps the popular vision of America has been wrong for a very long time, as the book's Foreword by international legal specialist, Y.N. Kly, suggests?

Famous American historian Howard Zinn (Professor Emeritus, Boston University and author of A People's History of the United States) wrote about this book as follows: "This is an extraordinary book, especially startling not because it is a diligently researched and scathing critique of contemporary America, but because it is written by a Soviet dissident who arrived here with great expectations and discovered a sobering reality. The scope of the book is breathtaking, a sweeping survey, factually precise and philosophically provocative, which deserves to be compared to de Tocqueville's 19th century classic. I hope it will be widely read."

According to David Gil, Director of the Center for Policy Change at Brandeis University, Anelauskas' book is "a veritable tour de force... a rich source for understanding the forces which shape the quality of all our lives."

Well-known American Indian author and activist, Ward Churchill, writes: "If just one-in-ten lifelong Americans had ever bothered themselves to learn as much about their country as has this recent Lithuanian immigrant, the horrors he writes about would never have existed. This is must reading for the entire population."

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