Poul Houe


anti-Americanism, public discourse, foreign affairs, political cultures


In the spring of 2002, Granta, the distinguished "Magazine of New Writing," put out a special issue in which "twenty-four writers drawn from many countries" reflect on "What We Think of America." On the magazine's back cover, the occasion for their musings is presented as follows:

The September 11 attacks on the US provoked shock and pity in the rest of the world, but mingled with the sympathy was something harsher: anti-Americanism. It wasn't confined to the West Bank or Kabul. It could be heard in English country pubs, in the bars of Paris and Rome, the tea stalls of New Delhi. 'Hubris' was the general idea: in one opinion poll, two-thirds of the respondents outside the US agreed to the proposition that it was 'good that Americans now know what it's like to be vulnerable'. -- Is the US really so disliked? If so, why?