This article, focusing on America (1986), analyses the way in which Baudrillard uses aphoristic statements in order to propose a response, in the form of parody both of America and of its mediatization, to the proliferation of signs and loss of referentiality which characterize hyperreality. The text in question might be among the most controversial by its author due partly to its non-discursive style and the way in which it offers a punchy critique of America. It raises the question of legitimacy that the aphorism bears at its heart as a self-sufficient authoritative statement, as well as the use of irony. This article analyses the way in which Baudrillard's use of the name ‘America’ both refers to a place and functions as the title of a book. This allows us to question the notion of identity both in terms of identification and of sharing, thereby enabling us to reconsider the notion of contemporaneity.