Anti-Americanism as a concept is confused, often used in contradictory fashion and invariably driven by emotion rather than intellect. Nevertheless, it casts a long policy shadow with adverse (both real and potential) consequences for actors, including those who may not espouse the concept. It is the overall aim of this book to put anti-Americanism into a contemporary (twenty-fi rst century) context and to analyse some of its political consequences. The argument of the book is that ideas matter. Ideas shape actions and have policy consequences. Ideas, even superfi cial ones, can also refl ect often deeper-seated emotions than might at fi rst sight appear to be the case. This is certainly so with anti-Americanism. It can range from the rhetorical fl ourish and smart comment occasioned by a presidential gaucherie through to a deeply embedded, visceral hatred of all things American. This book will examine the difference between these two ends of the anti-American spectrum (see Quinn and Cox chapter) and assess the varying degrees of ‘political consequence’ attendant on the depth of feeling that has clearly grown in the early years of the twenty-fi rst century.