What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language and more Reviewed By David W. Menefee of
David W. Menefee

Reviewer David W. Menefee: David is a Pulitzer nominated American author, ghost writer, screenwriter, book editor, and film historian. David’s career began as a writer and marketing representative for the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News. His books have appeared under various imprints and in a variety of categories, such as biography, travel, historical fiction, mysteries, and romance. Two books by David were named among the 2011 Top 10 Silent Film Books of the Year: Wally: The True Wallace Reid Story, and The Rise and Fall of Lou-Tellegen. His most recent releases include Sweet Memories and the 1950s romance trilogy, Can't Help Falling in Love, Come Away to Paradise, and Catch a Falling Star (with co-author Carol Dunitz). David lives in Dallas, Texas, USA.

By David W. Menefee
Published on November 22, 2012

Author: Lance Johnson.

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-10: 1468172360

ISBN-13: 978-1468172362


Author: Lance Johnson.

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-10: 1468172360

ISBN-13: 978-1468172362


Every person living in America should be required to study this book.

The divides separating ages, cultures, religions, and races could largely be eliminated and a utopian civilization could be finally achieved if we simply understood each other, but we’re not all working off the same page. Lance Johnson has produced the ultimate guide for bringing about a universal understanding between the millions of people living, working, and loving inside the United States.

Nothing could be worse than nudging a naïve neophyte into the magnificent melting pot known as America. This book could be their salvation, but beware of the misleading title. You might think that What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z contains nothing but factoids for foreigners, but you need look no further than yourself and those within your intimate circle of friends to realize that our entire population today woefully lacks a perception of etiquette, knowledge of this country’s heritage, awareness of culture, know-how about business, and comprehension of language. We need alertness to TLC: Tradition, Legacy, and Custom. This monumental book holds the missing key to collective comprehension.       

The 566-page book weighs as much as a big city telephone book, and you cannot absorb the whole in one reading (I tried), but thankfully, Johnson has divided the digest into four sections:

Americas Heritage: the dreams that immigrants brought from the four winds, and the government, geography, history, law, religions, and measurements that resulted. 

America’s Culture: our customs and etiquette, education, relationships, literature, films, art, sports, food and dining, dress and appearance, media, holidays and traditions, and attitudes.

Americas Business: models, unions, banking, customs and conduct, owning a business, how to get a job, and paying taxes.

Americas Language: how to talk and write correcting, slang, and tonality.

Back matter contains appendices for:

Lincolns Gettysburg Address

Colleges with Largest Percentage of International Students

Sample Income Tax Form 1040

Pulitzer Prize-winning books

Academy Awards for Best Picture

The Famous 1897 New York Sun article “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Clause”

A list of the current 50 United States

A comprehensive 100-question Quiz on US Government

You might wonder what the above topics have to do with understanding Americans, but these subjects fuse together the follies, foibles, and fundamentals that formed this country. The author profusely illustrates his text with more than 650 photos, maps, charts, and illustrations. His writing style embraces excellent grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. Each of the four main sections is also available as a separate paperback edition. Those Volumes 1-4 allow a reader to hone in on areas they may feel that they most need to study, but the huge multi-volume edition can be found in both paperback and Kindle book editions. Study remains the keyword here, because the author outlays everything everyone needs to learn about living, working, socializing, and doing business in America. A comprehensive Index makes referring back to some detail a snap. Throughout the book, the author interjects "hints" that offer his personal pointers about how to further understand a given topic, not unlike having your best friend nudge you and whisper a tip that completely clarifies your understanding.

 The book should be last course all high school students must pass before graduating, compulsory for earning a college diploma, mandatory for every management trainee, and a required refresher for all senior citizens before beginning to collect Social Security. Our nation would be vastly improved if all adults were following the same guiding principles.

What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z pulls together between two covers a richly researched, all-inclusive panorama of Americas heritage, culture, business, and language. If this country ever ceases to exist, I hope this book survives as a testament to the truth that there was once a land where life’s leading lights shown at their brightest on a candelabra forged from the iron of the ages. Until that dark day, Lance Johnson has provided us with a workbook for winning that has been struck from those same elements and should be on your gift list for friends setting up in America for the first time, any student emerging from the classroom into the jungle of life, and all the rest of us who have forgotten the beauty of the forest because of the tangle of trees.

Lance Johnson has an Ivy League graduate business degree and has studied at Oxford University in England. He has traveled through 81 countries, served as manager of an international consulting firm, and appeared in many movies, stage plays, and commercials.

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