America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism by Anatol Lieven Harper Perennial, $144 'Most American values are not bad in and of themselves,' says British scholar Anatol Lieven in a new preface for this paperback edition. The problem is the 'frightening self-righteousness' of their nationalism, fed by an inability to understand, or even recognise, others' interests. America Right or Wrong is a well-written, well-researched analysis of the factors driving the US towards disaster in the Middle East and elsewhere. America's ideological nationalism is generally tempered by realism, as can be seen in its abandonment of confrontation and containment towards China in the early Bush years. Mideast realism, however, is hobbled by its blank cheque with Israel, and the influence within the Republican Party of fundamentalists who believe that only when Israel has all the Old Testament lands can Christ return. Lieven likes the model of civic nationalism that pervades America, but it's not something that can be bombed into existence, as some in the Bush camp seem to believe.