Discussions about the U.S. tend to be heated, both in France and within America itself. To see this issue clearly, it is necessary to move away from a stereotypical vision, created by prejudice. What we notice immediately is the image of success and power, but also continuing tensions, unresolved dilemmas, and a problem in cooperating with the rest of the world. Politics, economy, religion, relations between individuals and communities, the law and the role of the judiciary, social and racial fragmentation : these are all themes dealt with in this book, with a view to ending misconceptions and to take us beyond the old Franco-American misunderstandings. Jacques Andréani was Frances ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1995.