'Anti-Americanism' is an unusual expression; although stereotypes and hostility exist toward every nation, we do not hear of 'anti-Italianism' or 'anti-Brazilianism'. Only Americans have elevated such sentiment to the level of a world view, an explanatory factor so significant as to merit a name – an 'ism' – usually reserved for comprehensive ideological systems or ingrained prejudice. This book challenges the scholarly consensus that blames criticism of the United States on foreigners' irrational resistance to democracy and modernity. Tracing 200 years of the concept of anti-Americanism, this book argues that it has constricted political discourse about social reform and US foreign policy, from the War of 1812 and the Mexican War to the Cold War, from Guatemala and Vietnam to Iraq. Research in nine countries in five languages, with attention to diplomacy, culture, migration and the circulation of ideas, shows that the myth of anti-Americanism has often damaged the national interest.