Title

Postings on the Rise of the Rest: Tracking Online Reception to the Post-American World

Publication Date

2013

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article analyzes customer reviews of Fareed Zakaria’s best-selling book, The Post-American World posted on Amazon.com. Zakaria’s book explores the emergence of a new world order in which the “rise of the rest,” particularly China and India, threatens the geopolitical dominance of the United States. Drawing on reception studies of print culture, debates over the virtual public sphere, and sponsorship of literacy, our article’s textual analysis of 281 customer reviews offers a window into audience reactions to this public intellectual’s deliberations on the beginning of a possible decentering of America in certain realms of globalization. Our analysis of consumer citizenship in Amazon.com’s reviewer space identifies three dominant frameworks or “horizons of expectations” that structured interpretations of The Post-American World: readers’ framing of the book as a tool to foster enlightened citizenship, reviewers’ affective rhetoric of nation building, and the impact of Zakaria’s status as an immigrant intellectual on readers’ responses.

Original Citation

Birthisel, J. & Parameswaran, R. (2013). Postings on the Rise of the Rest: Tracking Online Reception to the Post-American World. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 37(3), 217-232. https://doi.org/10.1177/0196859913489571