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Germany: Unraveling an Enigma

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1877864759
ISBN-10: 1877864757
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Nees has a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Colorado and an MA in apploed linguistics from Johannes Gutenberg Universitat in Germany. His company, The German Connection, Inc., provides consultation and training to German and American businesses.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Intercultural Press (July 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877864757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877864759
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally - a well-researched and up-to-date book on Germany and the Germans. The author gives some historical background, an overview of German cultural themes, a comparison between typical German and American communication patterns, and an overview of the German business model and business beharviors. The last chapter is devoted to exploring the changes in German society at the turn of the 21st century. As one of them (yes, I am German), I have felt accurately portrayed, without the stereotypical mindlessnesses that tends to charactarize a lot of American authors writing about Germany. Two thumbs up! This book is a gem.
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Format: Paperback
Like Nees, I have also live in both the US and Germany, and this book was really informative. I learned to understand my German culture in a way I never had before. It explained all of those "German" things that I do. I think this book is an essential step for those who are learning about Germany and its culture.
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Format: Paperback
As an American living in Germany, I've become accustomed to asking "why?", this book has given me many of the answers. Now I understand the German social market economy, German communication styles, the importance of formality and work/non-work divisions, the importance that Germans give to "doing something right the first time", etc.
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The book overall is quite good. Also, as a German, I can speak to its incredible accuracy in terms of our custums/traditions and how they differ from those in America. I enjoyed chapter 4 the most and as I was reading it only for enjoyment purposes did not really benefit from the discussion of the differing business practices. However, if you are an American unfamiliar with us and will be doing business in Germany or with Germans it is a definite must read. It is well worth the price of the book.
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This book may be a little out dated here and there (thats why only 4 star) but it still serves the purpose nonetheless. I studied abroad in Germany for 6 months and this gave me an amazing insight into the culture of Germany. Put it on as your #1 on your reading list while in Germany or before going. It will help you cope very well. My other study abroad friends also found it very insightful.

It is also a nice quick well thought out book.
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Other than the fact that this book is somewhat dated (it was written in the late 1990's), I cannot complain about this book.

On to what I love about this wonderful gem of a book. I am an American, and have no idea when my ancestors came over from Germany, but I do know it was no earlier than the mid-1800's. Our German heritage has never really been discussed amongst my family. Not out of shame, but probably just out of disinterest- for everyone but me. I have always been proud to be a descendent of Germany, though until I read this book, I couldn't really articulate why exactly.

Reading this book, in some ways, felt like coming home. I was amazed at how much of the German ways are still in me and my family. It must be genetic, but it still astounded me.

I really learned a lot about both old Germany and modern Germany. I liked the decisiveness the author spoke of about the German people, and it was obvious that the author held the Germans in high regard.

He did not flinch from his talk about Nazism, nor did he dwell on it. It was a part of the book, but not a gigantic part. The Germans have done much to try and make up for what happened in WWII, some of which the author talks about. He makes no excuses, but also doesn't focus on placing blame. It was a refreshing and objective look at the whole subject.

Most of all, I was astounded at the difference between Americans and Germans in terms of the business world. As a long-time office worker, I was admittedly jealous of the organized ways and practicality the Germans seem to display in business, as well as the forthright manner in which they handle situations. I loved how the author stressed how thorough and deliberate the German people are (as a whole, of course, I don't mean to stereotype anyone).
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I am American and have a degree from a German university in translation and lived in Germany for over 8 years. I have to say that this book is simply brilliant and really explains what makes the Germans tick. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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I couldn't stop reading this book. It is done in an academic style much like a college text but I was still captivated over the detailed explanations of the cultural and behavioral differences. Keep an open mind when reading how others might perceive American culture. Enjoyable and informative!
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