The USA is the world¹s newest, greatest, and only empire. Some would say it is the world¹s most insular state as well as the most powerful, never troubling to correct its ignorance of the people and places beyond its borders. Is it a slander? In this issue of Granta, American writers describe their encounters abroad and how they were affected by them. In reportage and fiction, outsiders to America come upon the strangeness of the place itself. Included are James Buchan in America's Hometown, Edmund White meeting his first European, Paul Theroux as a sexual prisoner in Africa, Nell Freudenberger making a mistake in Laos, Luc Sante getting that old-time religion, and James Kelman in trouble with the natives. There are also recollections and forecasts from Eric Schlosser, A. M. Homes, Chris Hedges, Paula Fox, Gary Shteyngart, Paul Fussell, Adam Hochschild, J. Robert Lennon, Studs Terkel, Jacki Lyden, Chalmers Johnson and many more. Surprising new maps of America by Martin Rowson, a photographic essay by Anthony Suau, and new stories by Judith Hermann and Julian Barnes are also featured.