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What Foreigners Need to Know About America From A to Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More, Vol. 1 Paperback – July 3, 2012
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About the Author
Born and raised in America, Lance Johnson has long been fascinated with the history and culture of America and foreign countries and how they differ. Having visited 49 of the 50 U.S. states and traveled in 81 countries, he’s learned among other things that the Black Sea, Red Sea, and the Blue Danube do not reflect those colors, and that Iceland might better be called Greenland and vice versa. He’s also learned how America and its people are perceived abroad both correctly and incorrectly. And how America’s perception of the rest of the world can vary, too. A student of cultural differences, his travels also allow him to explore the difficulties foreigners face understanding American ways and language, and how that affects their success in dealing with us. He consults, teaches, and conducts seminars about the subjects in this book. He has an Ivy League graduate business degree and has studied at Oxford University in England. The author and lecturer was a manager with an international management consulting firm and a corporate president for 26 years before taking up acting and writing. He now volunteers his services to nonprofit organizations and immigrants. He has appeared in movies, stage plays, national commercials, and TV dramas, including a lead American role in a 28-part China TV production. As a second-generation American, he shares his love of history and culture with visitors at a leading museum of history where he is a docent. He also golfs and skis, adores his grandchildren, and plays with Malibu Barbie, his third Great Dane, and Max, his Bulldog-Pug mix. He has also mentored underprivileged youth. His American heroes include American visionary presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, and inventor Thomas Edison, all of whom had significant roles in the development of America and its culture as we know it today. Equally important on his list are those foreigners who came to America and despite overwhelming discrimination, sacrifice, and deprivation contributed to the rich history of the early settlement of America. The legacy of all these immigrants resides throughout America today. Equation of life: Knowledge + Understanding + Acceptance = A Better World for All. - Lance Johnson
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll also add that the nature of a book like this is to become outdated fairly quickly. I hope the publisher plans to do another reprinting of this book, preferably with an extensive review to the text.
Here are some real quotes from this book:
"Customs are those behaviors we have had in the past and will most likely continue to have in the future."
"So, for these and other reasons, it is in our best interest to learn more about the culture of other nations with which we deal, be it for personal or business matters."
"We also react negatively towards foreigners with annoying habits, like those who noisily suck mucus down their throat and then spit it out or those who pick their noses in public."
"Try to remember the equality word if you are dating an America." [sic]
"As you have learned, Americans believe in fairness."
"we have three levels of grammar: formal, general, and informal."
On the plus side, the book includes a lot of data from national polls, and the anecdotes from the author's travels abroad are interesting. The book does include some useful tips such as the following:
"If you arrive late, be sure to apologize, but not profusely, as is done in Japan where a late arriver must give a deep, ingratiating apology."
"we routinely address one another by their first (given) name even if we have just been introduced."
"If you are invited to an American's home and are comfortable with animals, make a big fuss over their pets (and their children)."
"Half of all Americans are convinced that UFOs (unidentified flying objects) have visited earth in some form"
The chapters are short and tells the most essential things to know: from the history to the units of measure;
from the customs to the structure of White House.
You may find any subject of your interest in this book. Though there are some parts that are so obvious even to foreigners, there's no doubt that this book is very much helpful.
If you are already quite knowledgeable about English language and America in general, don't read from cover to cover. Nevertheless, this is something definitely worth reading.