Francis Fukuyama used to be one of the leading Neocons who promoted regime change in Iraq as early as 1998. Now the Johns Hopkins professor distances himself from other Neocons in his latest book: America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. To better sell his book in Germany, the publisher decided to use a more gloomy title: Scheitert Amerika? Supermacht am Scheideweg, which means "Is America Failing? Superpower at the Crossroads." While the US cover has a plain black background, the German cover depicts U.S. soldiers covered in dust and protecting themselves, primarily their ears. Thus for the German audience the book is advertised as being not about power, democracy and the neoconservative legacy, but whether America fails. Neoconservatism had a strong and negative influence on U.S. policy, but America obviously is much more than Neoconservatism or even the Iraq war.
Jeffrey Gedmin, director of the Aspen Institute Berlin, reviewed Fukuyama's book in the German Tagesspiegel and made similar arguments on the different titles and covers. He is concerned that talkshow pundits will use Fukuyama's book to argue their cases, without having read his book past the first page.
Our related post: Conservative experts critical of Democratic Peace Theory.
Likewise, Newsweek appealed differently to the U.S. and the international audience. After President Bush's second inaugural address, Newsweek's international edition included a good essay critical of U.S. foreign policy by Princeton's Andrew Moravcsik, which was excluded from the domestic edition although the real audience was not the readership abroad, but Americans at home: Dream On America.
UPDATE: Our reader David, who blogs at Dialog International, asked Professor Fukuyama to comment on the German title of his book and received this response from him:
I was taken by surprise by this title--they gave me a copy of the translation, but not that. I agree that they're trying to play to current German anti-Americanism but it's unfortunately too late for me to do anything about it.