This book is a detailed analysis of anti-Americanism in Europe, a subject that few people have analysed in any depth. The most we have had until now are passing references in books on radical Islam in Europe. This book is a detailed, scholastic analysis by an American academic.
The book essentially examines three things. Firstly, that the US is being used a bogey man by the EU elites, with any and all possible vices attached to it. Indeed, any negative development in European society is often blamed on the US or on "globalisation", which is often code for the USA. This attitude is particularly pronounced in the European media. The author even suggests that the anti-American card is often played by the EU elites as a means of uniting Europeans in their hatred of America, and thus creating a pan-European identity based around anti-American stereotypes.
Secondly, the book examines how America is "damned if you do, damned if you don't" when it comes to the European public, a recurrent theme in the book. If America does something good, it is dismissed as a cynical gesture aimed at ingratiating people before a demand. If America does not do something nice, it is scolded for not acting. It is therefore clear that America cannot win as far as winning approval from the European's is concerned.
Finally, the book examines the link between anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in Europe, a connection few would initially make, but one that the author clearly illustrates. He notes that particularly on the European left, Israel and the US are seen as two sides of the same coin, and thus they are often abused continuously and interchangeably. The author makes the controversial statement that much of the anti-Israel criticism in Europe is little more than the continent's latent anti-Semitism re-emerging in camouflaged form.
The book does have one or two weaknesses. Firstly, the author seems to feel he has to apologise for his views on certain topics, and this occasional timidness is a little disappointing, albeit not a major weakness. Secondly, the book is a little long, largely because of far too many examples of anti-Americanism being quoted. The author could be more concise and conclude that we "get the picture", but nevertheless we see examples of the same point he is trying to make stated again and again.
All in all, the book is an excellent analysis of contemporary anti-Americanism, and is a must read for anyone interested in the relationship between Europe and America.