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Damn Yankees

American brands are sparking enduring trends abroad. So why do they hate us for it?

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You've heard it: Americans are boorish. We know little aboutworld history and want to make the globe one big Disneyland. Peopleworldwide are fighting the perceived threat of Americanism.

In 1999, a McDonald's in France was torn down by farmequipment. The windows of a McDonald's in Davos, Switzerland,were smashed at January 2000's World Economic Forum. Now Chinais condemning Starbucks for its presence in Beijing's ForbiddenCity, and the British press ridicules the chain, saying itcapitalizes on "the precious pickiness of American consumerismand offer[s] you more coffees than you need."

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