What the British really think of America

The nation's true feelings in the words of our greatest writers and thinkers

This week, America has made headlines across the world. And, as Donald Trump gears up to collect the keys to the White House, many Britons are incredulous – and can’t comprehend how our cousins across the pond came to this decision.

But, where the public is lost for words, some of our foremost thinkers and writers of the past have had a little more to say about the land of opportunity…

What the British really think of America

“The first thing that struck me on landing in America was that if the Americans are not the most well-dressed people in the world, they are the most comfortably dressed.” – Oscar Wilde

What the British really think of America

“Their demeanour is invariably morose, sullen, clownish and repulsive. I should think there is not, on the face of the earth, a people so entirely destitute of humour, vivacity, or the capacity of enjoyment.” – Charles Dickens

What the British really think of America

“The British and Americans are two people separated by a common language.” ― George Bernard Shaw

What the British really think of America

“There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.” ― G.K. Chesterton

What the British really think of America

“In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.” – Oscar Wilde

What the British really think of America

“It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self- conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations are in a conspiracy to under-value them.” ― Henry James

What the British really think of America

“The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have carried phrase-making to such a height of perfection and have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

What the British really think of America

“America is not a country, it is a world.” – Oscar Wilde

Further Reading