A friend got me to listen to the audio book by Michael Medved, Ten Big Lies about America
which puts some of the stories and commonly asserted perspectives into a different perspective and cites historical sources.
That said, I also recommend Bulk Food
* by Peter Watts when the matter of accepting/understanding other cultures becomes a topic of conversation. There is also a Philip K. Dick short story about finding a mythical missing world which predates much of the back and forth on the matter.
The theme here is that what we would like to imagine for ourselves, would like others to imagine and what we can believe from the evidence at hand may be quite distinct.
* not to the mods - the Peter Watts story was posted by the author on his website for the purpose of making his work accessible. I can recommend his other works and am looking forward to his forthcoming companion book to Blindsight.
PS - sidebar - to those who enjoyed Capenter's take on "The Thing" and are considering seeing the latest film on that topic - here's Peter Watts short story from its