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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dave Menefee Gives Thumbs Up to Reference for Emigrants

Title: What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A to Z
Subtitle: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language, and more
Author: Lance Johnson
Available on Amazon and on Amazon sites worldwide
Available as an e-book.
Author's Web site:   
Reviewed by Dave Menefee, originally for Book and Amazon
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:

America’s 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.

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

America’s Language: how to talk and write correcting, slang, and tonality.

Back matter contains appendices for:
  •  Lincoln’s 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 the 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 America’s 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.

~Reviewer David W. Menefee is the author of
Can't Help Falling in Love
Secret Soldier Master of Disguise
Sweet Memories
Sarah Bernhardt, Her Films, Her Recordings (Foreword by Kevin Brownlow)Wally: The True Wallace Reid Story (Foreword by Robert Osborne)
The Rise and Fall of Lou-Tellegen
Richard Barthelmess: A Life in Pictures
The First Female Stars: Women of the Silent Era
The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era
Brothers of the Storm
"Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story (with William Thomas, Jr.)
Charlie O’Doone’s Second Chance
Margot Cranston The Voice in the Shadows
Margot Cranston The Secret of St. Laurent Lighthouse
Margot Cranston The Mystery at Loon Lake
Margot Cranston The Quest for the Jade DragonsFalling Stars 10 Who Tried to be a Movie Star
George O'Brien: A Man's Man in Hollywood
A Craving for Travel II  (with Jim Strong)
How to Write, Format, and Market a Kindlebook on a Shoestring Budget
Menefee's newly released book, Master of Disguise, is about secret soldier Isador Messing who lives up to the title of the book. Terror strikes when Hitler's SS troops arrest Messing's fiancé on the day they plan to escape Nazi occupied Berlin. Alone and stoic in the face of utter malevolence, he launches a bold, daring, and desperate plan to liberate her. Can the remarkable Mr. Messing's one-man army triumph against all odds and win in a war-torn world gone mad?This book is also available on Kindle.
Editor's Note: The separate sections of What Foreigners Need to Know are  also available for those who want to focus on one aspect of this reference, like accent reduction and grammar or culture.  

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