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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans Paperback – January 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Xenophobe's Guides which give a wickedly satirical look at the foreigners we love to hate... "
--"Cambridge Evening News"
"An enlightened new series, good natured, witty and useful. The Xenophobe's Guides to different nations deserves a real cheer. "
--"The European "

From the Back Cover

'Virtually all Germans have health problems, and if they don't, there must be something wrong with them.
Most of what ails them is stress related. No nation was ever more stressed, but this is understandable. After all, running Europe can take it out of you.'
Xenophobia is an irrational fear of foreigners, probably justified, always understandable.
Xenophobe's Guides - an irreverent look at the beliefs and foibles of nations, almost guaranteed to cure Xenophobia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Xenophobe's Guide
  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Oval Books (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906042330
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906042332
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I lived in Germany for over 3 years, and was a tour guide part-time, explaining aspects of German society to Americans. I saw first-hand a lot of the material in this book, written by transplanted Germans. While one may think the book generalizes too much, I can say my experience was the passion for Ordnung, Bildung, and Kultur are exactly as this book describes, and there is really is no concept of "small-talk" in German. Excellent for anyone who lives there or plans to visit.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a few of the Xenophobe's Guides, and this so far is the best and the funniest. Maybe because I have lived here for the last two years, and experienced all the wonderful quirks and traits of the locals that I could relate to this book, but really, it is for everyone who plans to visit or live here, and of cause for the Germans themselves.
Natually, I didn't agree with all of it, especially the working atmosphere... It's really not as formal as written in the book, at least not these days, but much of the rest runs true.
A bit expensive for only 64 pages, but worth it for the laugh.
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By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm a German working from time to time abroad (often in the UK). The book is written by two Germans working now for decades in the UK and explains the culture difference from a british point of view. I think it is a great insight on the attitudes, implicit policies and main motivations of Germans. Furthermore, it is very funny (I had to read it in one session and was laughing out loud most of the time). A must read if you plan to go to Germany!
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By A Customer on December 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
I am an American who has lived 22 years in Germany and can testify: this book may be funny, but it is TRUTH! It is an excellent cross-cultural guide. Enjoy a chuckle as you focus on the endearing foibles and frustrating traits of one of the most interesting peoples in the world! Must reading for any >>Anglo-Saxons<< contemplating studying, living or working in Deutschland!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amusing enough entry into the "Xenophobes' Guide" series, but has -- as another reviewer notes -- a negative undertone that can get wearing. It's not that I think that everything should be sweetness and light. But this book does seem to emphasize the negative aspects of current-day Germanness at the expense of more endearing traits. Since the authors are German, they know whereof they speak and can do so without grating. Still, their view of Germanness seems to me more reminiscent of the Germany of thirty or forty years ago than of Germany today.
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Format: Paperback
If only this book were longer. When it arrived I was rather taken aback - just 60 pages? Surely not! What can I learn about the Germans in 60 pages?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. This book launches straight in with a very amusing look at the Germans, giving a brief discussion of their history and how the German nation came to be and then detailing many of the quirks and habits of this fascinating nation. The authors give a few ideas how the Germans have been so successful, particularly in terms of literature and music (Goethe, Bach, Kant) but also show some of the angst and problems that the German nature can cause for the people.

The authors are both German although I wouldn't know that from their writing which is excellent, funny and seems to understand the Brits very well. They are also very able to poke fun at their own country (although they say this isn't something at which Germans are very adept).

With such a short book you can only really get a very brief introduction to German people but it's a very amusing overview and certainly made me think a number of times. We tend to think of the Germans as probably the closest to Brits in terms of personality and nature than other Europeans - this book shows that we might well be wrong in that opinion and it might just help us to understand them more when we visit.

Oh, and if you want a view of the Brits (and a much larger book) I can heartily recommend Kate Fox's "Watching the English".
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Format: Paperback
The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans is a small and concise paperback that I've read more than once. It talks about many aspects of German society. It's been written by two authors: Stefan Zeidenitz and Ben Barkow. This useful, gratifying guide is 64 pages long and covers a total of 17 topics--examples of some of these are beliefs and values, leisure and pleasure, culture, conversation and gestures, custom and tradition, health and hygiene, government and bureaucracy, and business. Subjects discussed that I especially find to be engaging are the ones dealing with Christmas, television, and eating. Anyone who's interested in learning about Germany, or planning a trip, should find this book to be worthwhile and helpful. The Xenophobe's Guide to the Germans is a good reference publication that I'm glad to have; it's one that I plan on reading again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former resident of West Germany for almost six years, I found this little book very interesting, especially since it addresses the culture since the reunification. Some information was completely new to me, so I found that very helpful. I like this series of books. They give very insightful comments about the uniqueness of the different cultures in a humorous manner that makes the information stick in your mind. Enjoy!!
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