What makes the Americans AMERICAN: A witty guide to the views and values that constitute the American dream.
‘Brutally funny and very accurate. This is a great gift to give to someone coming to American or to a foreigner living in the US. It irreverently captures what is unique about American life. I have read two other books in this series – The Swiss and The Germans – and they are just as accurate and entertaining.’
Reviewer from Georgia, USA
‘Absolutely brilliant. Written by an American, about Americans, this allows you to observe the personality traits of our (very) distant cousins without having to risk talking to any real Americans. Marvellous examples include Gun Culture, Feeling Good, Cars and the average American’s view of the world beyond America.’
Reviewer from the UK
‘I teach a course at a local business school on the environment for doing business in the United States. All 23 of my students are citizens of other countries and they are hungry for insights and guidance not found in standard text. The Xenophobe’s Guide is a classic!’ Reviewer from the USA
‘The guide makes stunning observations about American culture that not even most Americans would realize are true, until reading them. While hilarious, it is in no way derogatory, and decribes American quirkiness in accurate detail. Highly recommended for anyone with a sense of humor about America. A fun quick read.’
Reviewed by a student from upstate New York
‘I read this book as a precursor to reading a book on the Dutch in the same series. In order to understand how accurately the series would portray the Dutch, I read this one to see how accurately it reflected American culture and values. **Spot on!**’
Reviewed by Elizabeth from Ohio
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Links to make you laugh
Ever wondered what the map of the United States would look like if the physical size of every state was matched with its population? Click on the map to see a bigger version and then look for familiar states like New York and Florida.
About the author
A true product of American hybrid vigour, Stephanie Faul is half Czech immigrant, half Connecticut Yankee, with a German-speaking grandmother and cousins in Canada, England and Switzerland, and a penchant for African music, Vietnamese food, Italian footwear, Siamese cats, and English novels.
She is a freelance writer, editor and journalist and lives in Washington, D.C. Growing up in the nation’s capital has given her a unique perspective on the foibles and quirks of her compatriots and taught her rather more than she wanted to know about politics, cocktail parties and hyperbole. It has also confirmed her belief in Bismarck’s remark that ‘Laws are like sausages; it’s better not to see them being made.’
In many ways she feels typically American – curious, outspoken and practical – but atypical attributes include a distaste for shopping and television and a marked preference for walking instead of driving, which in her neighbourhood is usually faster anyway.
Her current ambition is to visit all 50 states. She has only ten left to go, but at a walking pace this could take some time.