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Customer Review

on October 23, 2005
This is a funny book. I laughed aloud several times, and partly because I saw myself in these quirky habits Anderson attributes to German Americans.

I believe I do have some German heritage, but I'm not sure. I haven't done a genealogical study.

But I'm a Californian, where all German ancestry, if it ever existed, is amalgamated (pureed) with every other ethnicity.

Mr. Anderson (the author), on the other hand, is from New Ulm, Minnesota, a strange place I've never been to. His grandmother was from Germany, as he reports in the appendix.

One chapter is entitled, "Don't Throw That Away": Economy at any Length. Anderson writes: "German/Americans believe in the saving ethic...we save things so we can suffer."

There's a funny chapter on Catholics and Lutherans "meeting head on."

How about this one: "100 Years of Rectitude: Propriety as a Chief Virtue"?

Or the chapter on German language, "Sprechen sie? American damage to the mother tongue."

He writes: "German Americans don't think of German as a foreign language. They think of it as a guilt trip."

Anderson has sojourned in Germany, and his description of his attempts to use German, or to revert to English instead, are hilarious.

How about the section, "Hoarding and Counting as a Hobby." I saw myself here: I hoard books, although I haven't counted them yet (my wife has, and guess what...there's too many books!).

You will get a big kick out of this book, and you will appreciate Germans and German Americans more than if you had not read this funny book. Americans think of Germans, today, as Nazis and former Nazis. There's another side to Germans, and you find it here.

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