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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 (English Edition)
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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 (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Lance Johnson

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This unique book paints a revealing picture of America and its people for those foreigners who will benefit from a better understanding of America. It will also inform Americans who want to learn more about the U.S. and how it compares to other countries around the world. World traveler and teacher Lance Johnson studies cultural differences and the difficulties foreigners have understanding crazy America, as some call it. Foreigners might come to the U.S. to work for American employers, to open branch offices or factories for their homeland employers, to start their own businesses, or go to school. Others might work for American organizations in their homelands or have American teachers there. An understanding of American culture and language will contribute to their success. As the title suggests, this book is for “foreigners.” Dictionaries say they are people who are not citizens of a country. For this book they are defined as anyone who is not sufficiently familiar with American culture to achieve success. This includes the multitudes of foreign-born, naturalized citizens who have lived in the U.S. for years and still struggle with the ways and the language. A foreigner could also be a first-generation American whose immigrant parents did not fully expose their children to American culture and they now pay the price in mainstream U.S. There are lots of other examples, too. FORMAT Each of the 26 chapters’ brush strokes contributes to the final painting of what America is all about. For ease of understanding, the chapters are grouped into four sections. (The sections are available as individual books as well.) •Section I – America's Heritage. This defines the historical background of why America and its people became who and what they are today. •Section II – America's Culture. This section describes everyday life in America, ranging from customs and etiquette, to what’s on the minds of Americans, to education. Practical advice is provided for the one million foreign applicants who seek and gain admission to U.S. colleges and universities each year. Pointers are provided on the cultural differences students should expect, and how to get the most from their education. •Section III – America's Business. This explains the complex business environment, operations, and people-related customs and why the U.S. is an economic juggernaut. Information is provided for starting a business of your own in the U.S. as well as how to increase the chances of your getting hired by an American firm in the U.S. or abroad. •Section IV – America's Language. These chapters discuss practical ways to improve English grammar, speech, writing, communication skills, and reducing accents. Common English grammar and speech errors made by foreigners are identified and simple tips are provided for overcoming them. ENDORSEMENTS “I congratulate you on writing this timely work. This will promote better mutual understanding between America and Asia." - Tommy Koh, Singapore Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. “Your book covers a broad range of topics that I am sure many…will find very useful.” - Clark T. Randt, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China. “I greatly appreciate your efforts in sharing with other people your opinion and experience on the exchanges between different peoples and cultures. It is so important for us to better understand each other while striving to build a better world for all.” - Zhou Wenzhong, China Ambassador to U.S. “ I found this book refreshingly different from the general run of books in this genre.” - Mohammad Vazeeruddin, India journalist. “The A to Z chapters are nicely written and...the language is simple and lucid.” - Jay Gajjar, India language professor. “I love this book’s generous use of helpful hints. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about America like I did." - Sarah Kim, Korean American business owner.

Biographie de l'auteur

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

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 9602 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 617 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1468172360
  • Editeur : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (10 novembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00A5B8SSU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Long overdue handbook 19 juillet 2012
Par Susan Stauffer - Publié sur
This is a great book that captures the American history, background, language and way of life to assist foreign visitors, businessmen and new Americans assimilate to our country. We are often impatient with foreigners who don't understand our customs, language and etiquette. This book is designed to assist them in more easily adapting to the American ways. It is written by a very conscientious observer of typical American customs in a way that is understandable and nonthreatening. It will prove very helpful to both foreign guests, new Americans and our population in general and hopefully help to bridge the gaps for better understanding and communication. Good job on a long overdue handbook. Sue S.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 indispensible guide to America for foreigners 23 août 2012
Par Anonymous - Publié sur
As the daughter of a foreign-born mother who had to struggle to assimilate into American culture, reading Lance Johnson's book was an occasion for me to rejoice. Literate but accessible and un-didatic, it defines American icons and expressions while at the same time providing brass tacks definitions and down-to earth suggestions. It's sometimes hard for Americans to realize that our culture needs to be demystified and made available to others without stress and/or giving them a feeling of remaining a perpetual outsider. Lance Johnson invites everyone to enjoy and penetrate some of the unique American mysteries we take for granted. A spectacular, important book and a toolbox full of relevant and useful tools for all.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent book about America for EVERYONE! 16 juillet 2012
Par Mindy Lawrence - Publié sur
What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z by Lance Johnson, a second generation United States citizen, has so much information in its 614 pages that anyone coming to our shores should find what they need to prevent cultural gaffs and language boo boos. They can discover ways to find jobs, open businesses and make friends in their new country, America.

Johnson is a world traveler. He knows what it's like to get along in other cultures. It was his travel, and the comments from those wanting to move to the United States, which made him notice what an important resource What Foreigners Need to Know could be. He has done the world a great service by the wonderful compilation of information he has gathered in this book to help others find their way around.

The paperback is divided into four sections:

* Section One: America's Heritage: the historical background of why America became what it is today - government, the American Dream, standard of living, etc.

* Section Two: America's Culture: How we conduct our live - etiquette, literature, movies and much more.

* Section Three: America's Business: Our business environment, customs and operations.

* Section Four: America's Language: Practical ways to improve English grammar, usage, writing, speech and communications skills. How not to embarrass yourself using an incorrect word.

Each one of these sections may be read individually or as the need arises. However, the entire book is so well thought out that I can't see why anyone would want to skip over anything Johnson has put together.

People moving to America have needed a book like this for many years. Thankfully, it has arrived.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What Foreigners AND Americans Need to Know... 2 janvier 2013
Par Kristin J. Johnson - Publié sur
As an American traveler, I have often been asked questions I found difficult to answer. Luckily, there is a resource, for me and for the people I have met in different countries.

This guide, What Foreigners Need to Know About America From A to Z, answers questions such as: what would you do if... were from another culture and had to negotiate a business deal but you found your American counterpart direct and rude (especially if you are from Japan)? were a student at a university baffled by American students who talked back to professors? disliked a particular food or could not eat it but didn't want to offend your American host? were courting and dating an American?

...your friends from your culture living in the US criticized your attempts to dress like an American? were invited to an American's home for dinner in Hawaii* or in the Midwest?

Our world may be global, communication instant, but this only ramps up (increases) cultural misunderstandings among cultures. As a businessperson, actor, author, teacher, and world traveler, Lance Johnson realizes that making sense of our "crazy" American ways can be a challenge for immigrants, tourists, and businesses from other countries doing business with their American counterparts. What he has done in his book America From A to Z is take the equivalent of several university courses' worth of information on America and present his information in an informal, conversational one-on-one manner, as if he were talking to a friend, such as a Vietnamese guide Lance met during an eye-opening *enlightening) trip to Vietnam.

Each of the book's four major sections stands on its own (if you are wondering about the construction of this sentence, check page 477), and depending on what aspects of American culture you want to learn, you can look at the particular section you would like to study. Each section is available as its own separate book, but to get the most out of Lance Johnson's lessons, having the complete book is ideal.

Section I: America's Heritage

Useful for: Understanding US History, US Law, US Government (baffling to all), where the Bible Belt is versus Dixie, the American Dream, contributions of/history of immigrants as well as Americans of foreign descent (such as Governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal of Louisiana), national parks, religion (baffling) and measurements (an even more baffling subject made simple here).

Section II: America's Culture

Useful for: Understanding American painters, writers, sports, film (easily one of our biggest exports), how to get along in American social situations, greetings, navigating high school and college, dating/marriage guides, formal to fast food dining tips, dressing tips, Americans' views on themselves and other cultures, and foreigners' experience of America.

Section III: America's Business

Useful for: giving you all the information to understand how Americans do business (straightforward), negotiate, hire, fire, do finance, start a business, and so on.

Section IV: America's Language

Useful for: Foreigners AND Americans who want to speak better English by avoiding common errors, learning the alphabet, grammar and vocabulary, learning from famous sayings, understanding slang and abbreviations, recognizing most commonly used words, and getting speaking tips (my favorite: "Do not be afraid to try").

--Lincoln's Gettysburg Address ("Four score and seven years ago our founding fathers...")
--Top 50 Liberal Arts Colleges in America (#1 Williams College)
--Top 50 Universities in America (#1 Harvard University)
--Colleges With Largest Percentages of Foreign Students (New School, NY)
--Sample Income Tax Form
--The Pulitzer Prize for Literature (1937-2011)
--Academy Awards for Best Picture (1927-2011)
--Newspaper Column: "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus"
--The 50 US States
--US History Government Quiz (Hint: You might ask that your American friends take this, too!)


This book has "a ton of" (many) lists and tables (I counted 278). The lists, tables and charts make the text easily readable. Another equally helpful feature are the numerous hints and tips, as well as "Here's an assignment for you" exercises sprinkled like gems throughout the text.

Some of my favorite hints...

Hint: As another example of our crazy language that we discuss in Section IV on America's language, coins are minted (made) at the U.S. Mint. Something is in mint condition if it appears to be brand new. We have a green aromatic plant called mint that is used in teas and to flavor foods. And we have candy after-dinner mints made with chocolate and the flavoring from mint plants.

Hint: It is also fine to bring unwrapped gifts with only a small gift card attached, especially for items like flowers, candy, and wine.

Hint: Just as women like men who are confident, most American men like women who are confident. If a woman is shy and unable to express her opinions and wishes, as some foreigners can appear to be, she will not impress most American men. On the other hand, if she is controlling and domineering, she won't either. Try to strike a good balance.

Hint: You will learn in Chapter Y on using better English grammar that we have three levels of grammar: formal, general, and informal. I suppose you could say we have the same levels for table etiquette based on who you are eating with. I must admit I do not practice all of the good manners, especially when I am with close friends or in a fast food restaurant. Just be aware that the more of our rules you practice the more favorable you will appear. Over time you will note the manners used by your counterpart and will see which ones are most important to him or her.


Surveys on American morals and values reveal our character. Personal stories humanize the American experience, whether from the point of view of a Frenchman, foreign exchange students and Muslim-Americans, an Englishman (the delightful Alistair cooke), or a Vietnamese immigrant as well as a Chinese teacher of English. The message: We all can learn from each other. This is the most enduring message of the book, and Lance Johnson's commitment to his vision shines.

This book should be a staple in: US embassies, foreign embassies in the US, high schools and colleges, corporate libraries, travel agencies...the surface has barely been scratched (meaning there's much more to share).

* In Hawaii, if you are invited to someone's home for a potluck or party it is a huge gesture of respect and inclusion. In Hawaii social activity typically revolves around the family (ohana). Ask the host/hostess what you should bring in terms of food. Take your shoes off before entering someone's home.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Perfect Text 2 octobre 2013
Par Kitsy Dixon - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
I used Lance Johnson's text "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A to Z" in my Summer Cultural Program, a program dedicated to advanced studies for international students traveling from South Korea and China. The text was perfect in the sense that it was accommodating as an easy read for students who were being introduced to English reading and writing. The information was useful for starting discussions with students about their transition as international students in American society. I've undergone a number of different texts to bring out important facts and figures about American culture, but Johnson's text was most helpful in assessing readily available information that was both informative and important for international students. I highly recommend this book to other teachers/professors who teach in similar programs.
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