Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Lance Johnson
Publisher: A to Z Publishing
“In 1970, one in twenty Americans was from a foreign country; today, one in nine,” world-traveled author Lance Johnson writes in the beginning of his book, What Foreigners Need to Know About America From A to Z – How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.
This volume expands five hundred and ninety-two pages in its paperback format that is available through Amazon.com in eight countries besides the United States. Several small but clear photographs are among its many chapters, along with charts, bullet points, hints and forms. In addition to four main sections that have chapter titles based on the alphabet but confusingly do not correlate with the letter, there is a fifteen page appendix which includes a one hundred question U.S. history government quiz and a twenty-three page extensive index.
Before the start of the
sections, author Johnson touts the manual was written after visiting
forty-nine states in America and eighty-one countries which he
describes in the ten pages, complete with photographs of him at
different destinations. The four sections are divided into America’s
heritage, culture, business and language with each section expounding
on subtitles and then further topic breakdowns.
For example, the
section on culture uses the letter H through T, covering almost two
hundred and fifty pages with sub-topics listed as customs and
etiquette, education, relationships, literature, film, art, sports,
food and dining, dress and appearance, media, holidays and
traditions, what Americans think and what foreigners think about
America. Under the detailed breakdown of a sub-topic such as dress
and appearance are dressing tips for foreigners, dressing styles,
magazines, clothing sizes and foreign heritage designers.
With that minutiae stated, one can read about the white or blue collar worker, our factory outlet malls, what loafers are, GQ being the ultimate men’s magazine, the comparison sizes of men and women’s clothing between America verses Asia, Europe and the U.K. or what our First Lady, Michelle Obama, prefers to wear and the clothing’s designer.
Thus, a foreigner or even
an American citizen can learn a brief synopsis about anything from
Rhode Island having thirty-eight senators and seventy-five state
representatives with no term limits, Southerners placing less
emphasis on the clock or Georgia O’Keefe’s Shell painting, to
Toyota’s organizational problem in the U.S., twenty five of the
most frequently used adjectives or sixteen good speaking tips.
Johnson must have taken decades to compile such intricacies and details as he accumulated data and information during his numerous adventures around the globe. With this easy to read but way too much information given at a time, this simple yet plethora of material boggles the mind. Flip nonchalantly through the pages and one will be amazed what is gleaned and hopefully retained for any foreigner or ourselves to better understand America’s country, culture, people and language.