Self-criticism is valuable and should encourage change as you point out, However, too many people read this novel to condemn the US and to perpetuate the myth that Americans are clods lacking in knowledge and respect for other nations and cultures. When I reviewed the book after it was written, it spoke to me about how we can change and make a difference. Soon thereafter, the Peace Corp was established and many Americans attempted to dispel the notion that we are unsophisticated and provincial people concerned only with money and consumerism. However, for many, the novel justified their hatred and disdain for the US. This negative view continues to this day and I am afraid Obama still harbors resentment over what the US did to other nation.