100 books like Why are Americans like that?

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Here are 100 books that Why are Americans like that? fans have personally recommended if you like Why are Americans like that?. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator as the framework, this book offers deep insights into why we think, feel, and function the way we do.

I first read this book years ago and still find myself referring back to it on a regular basis when new issues come up in my life, such as a potential career change. This book truly does help me to understand myself better as well as to understand significant others in my life.

How I’m wired affects how I work, the work I’m drawn to, and how I interact with others. This insight, I have found, is crucial if I am to help make the world a better place. 

By David Keirsey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Please Understand Me II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rev. ed. of: Please understand me. 3rd ed. c1978.


Book cover of Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

If you want to understand the importance of cultural differences across countries and within our own communities, this is a phenomenal book!

I appreciate the tables and charts throughout the book that give me quick access to concrete ways in which people differ culturally. These differences affect our work environments, male/female relationships, and even our life goals, but we are too often oblivious because we don’t know to look for them. 

I’ve used this book for years, and I’m a strong believer that we can’t contribute to positive change around the world unless we understand more about the many ways that we all differ culturally. 

By Geert Hofstede,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Culture's Consequences as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An important, sophisticated and complex monograph . . . Both the theoretical analysis and the empirical findings constitute major contributions to cross-cultural value analysis and the cross-cultural study of work motivations and organizational dynamics. This book is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in a historical or anthropological approach to cross-cultural comparisons."
--PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY

--PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Second Edition of this classic work, first published in 1981 and an international best seller, explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. Geert Hofstede argues that people carry "mental programs" which…


Book cover of Social Impact Investing: New Agenda In Fighting Poverty

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

This short book explores the potential for individual and community empowerment through impact investing. It explores the drawbacks of foreign aid and offers a powerful alternative by providing numerous examples of the potential of social enterprise to truly make a difference in people’s lives.

I know the first author, Kim Tan, and have the utmost respect for his knowledge, his humility, and his passion to change the world for the better. I also value his perspective as Malaysian-born rather than Western-born. We, as Americans and Westerners, tend to be quite isolated from other perspectives about the problems in our world and how to solve them. 

By Kim Tan, Brian Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Impact Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In recent years, we have seen the growth of a new breed of social investors using a social impact investment approach to design innovative businesses that tackle poverty and its related social issues. The authors describe the growth of this new investment sector.


Book cover of The Road to Character

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

David Brooks thinks deeply and writes thoughtfully. He challenges me through this book to be a better person and to live a more courageous, authentic life. 

As I conducted interviews with scores of social entrepreneurs and development leaders for my book, several commented on the toxic hero culture that exists in this space. 

People want to change the world for a variety of reasons–and some of these reasons have more to do with what success would do for them rather than for the people they are trying to serve. This book shines a light on this problem, and I appreciate David’s courage in writing what he did. 

By David Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road to Character as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Number-one New York Times best seller

David Brooks challenges us to rebalance the scales between the focus on external success - “résumé virtues” - and our core principles.

Named one of the best books of the year by The Economist 

With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous best sellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to…


Book cover of Teenagers: An American History

Janet Golden Author Of Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America Into the Twentieth Century

From my list on American children and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing, speaking, blogging, and tweeting about the history of American children and their childhoods for many decades. When I went to school—a long time ago—the subject did not come up, nor did I learn much in college or graduate school. I went out and dug up the story as did many of the authors I list here. I read many novels and autobiographies featuring childhood, and I looked at family portraits in museums with new eyes. Childhood history is fascinating and it is a lot of fun. And too, it is a great subject for book groups.

Janet's book list on American children and history

Janet Golden Why did Janet love this book?

This is a book about my life—growing up in the middle of the twentieth century. Bobby Soxers, juvenile delinquents, popular music, MTV, Freedom Riders, Anti-War protestors…it’s all here, along with much more. It isn’t about the good old days; this book takes us to the heart of the culture created decades ago and still influencing us today. We knew teenage life was complex and this book reveals just why that is the case. You’ll wish it came with a playlist.

By Grace Palladino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Teenagers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nobody worried about teenagers" prior to the 1940s. In fact, as a culturally or economically defined entity they did not exist. But in the 50 years since the last world war, when the term was first coined, teenagers have had an enormous impact on American culture. They have reshaped our language, our music, our clothes. They have changed forever the way we respond to authority. They have become a 200 billion consumer group avidly courted by marketers. And they have changed our culture, which will never again treat their demographic group merely as young adults. Teenagers ranges widely across American…


Book cover of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Claudia Keenan Author Of Waking Dreamers, Unexpected American Lives: 1880-1980

From my list on on American culture that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Claudia Keenan is a historian of education whose interest in American culture was awakened during her doctoral studies, when she researched the lives of mid-twentieth-century educators. Growing up in Mount Vernon, N.Y., she developed a strong affinity with place and time among the beautiful old homes and avenues lined with elms, set against a backdrop of racial strife and ethnic politics. She continues to reconstruct and interpret American lives on her blog, and has recently finished a book about Henry Collins Brown, founder of the Museum of the City of New York. Claudia received a BA from the University of Chicago and a PhD from New York University.

Claudia's book list on on American culture that will surprise you

Claudia Keenan Why did Claudia love this book?

“A ghost story, a haunting unto itself”—thus, music journalist Nick Tosches opens his tough tale of the boxer Sonny Liston, two-time heavyweight champion of the world. Born in 1932 into a family of tenant farmers that lived on the border of Arkansas and Mississippi, Liston grew up with violence, reinforced by an early stint in prison. Deftly, Tosches conjures the grim, ruthless culture of professional boxing during the 1950s and 60s. Most poignantly, he shows that Liston never possessed his own life—not in the fields from which he fled as a youth and not as a winner in the ring. He was always owned by white men who operated a fundamentally racist business. For readers interested in Black cultural history, this is a timely book. 

By Nick Tosches,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil and Sonny Liston as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A biography of the controversial fighter follows Liston from the mean streets, where he was a petty criminal, to the heavyweight championship and his life as a pawn of organized crime. By the author of Power on Earth. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.


Book cover of My Year of Meats

J.M. Donellan Author Of Killing Adonis

From my list on reminding us why we should eat the rich.

Why am I passionate about this?

We live in a bizarre era of Elon Musk stans who seem certain that if you work hard you’ll be rewarded not only with ‘fuck you’ money, but ‘fuck everyone’ money. I think any writer worth their salt should at some point tackle the issues of their age in their writing. In our era racism, sexism, climate change, and a range of other social justice issues are all exacerbated through the improper distribution of wealth. You could give a man a fish, and he might eat for a day. Or you could eviscerate the rich, share their wealth, and throw the whole world a parade! 

J.M.'s book list on reminding us why we should eat the rich

J.M. Donellan Why did J.M. love this book?

While I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, it was only after I’d digested it (pun intended) that I really came to appreciate its value. I think one of the real measures of an artwork is how much it sits with you in the months and years after the initial read/watch/listen, and this is one I think about often. The story follows a documentarian attempting to serve the corporate hierarchy and produce an asinine show about American wives and the meat-filled dinners they serve their husbands, but the novel gradually unfolds as a complex critique of misogyny, corporate control, Japanese and American culture, and the brutal nature of the modern livestock industry. 

By Ruth Ozeki,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Year of Meats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*PRE-ORDER RUTH OZEKI'S NEW NOVEL, THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS, TODAY*

In a single eye-opening year, two women, worlds apart, experience parallel awakenings.

In New York, Jane Takagi-Little has landed a job producing Japanese docu-soap My American Wife! But as she researches the consumption of meat in the American home, she begins to realize that her ruthless search for a story is deeply compromising her morals.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, housewife Akiko Ueno diligently prepares the recipes from Jane's programme. Struggling to please her husband, she increasingly doubts her commitment to the life she has fallen into.

As Jane and…


Book cover of Babbitt

David Kruh Author Of Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure

From my list on the 1920s with healthy skepticism of American values.

Why am I passionate about this?

I studied history in college and, after a few misspent years in broadcasting, worked in marketing and public relations for several companies. In my free time I wrote articles and books on historical events and people. A dozen years ago, on a trip to San Francisco and Alcatraz, I conceived of an idea for a novel. True to my background, it was based on a real historical event – the 1962 escape of three men in a raft from the prison. It wasn't until my mid-sixties when I felt ready to step out of my non-fiction comfort zone and write my first novel. Can't wait to start the next one.

David's book list on the 1920s with healthy skepticism of American values

David Kruh Why did David love this book?

I could easily have all five of my picks be novels by Sinclair Lewis. I'll stop at two.

In George Babbitt, Lewis's titular lead, we have a character whose very name became synonymous with conformity. What I absolutely love about this book has a lot to do with the bold plot choices Lewis takes with Babbitt. I write this knowing that many critics did not like the book because, they complained, there really wasn't a plot! (Cripes, what book were they reading?)

These plot turns include his dalliances with socialism (which runs counter to his position as the city of Zenith's most successful realtor) and a socialist woman.

By Sinclair Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Babbitt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Prosperous and socially prominent, George Babbitt appears to have everything a man could wish: good health, a fine family, and a profitable business in a booming Midwestern city. But the middle-aged real estate agent is shaken from his self-satisfaction by a growing restlessness with the limitations of his life. When a personal crisis forces a reexamination of his values, Babbitt mounts a rebellion against social expectations — jeopardizing his reputation and business standing as well as his marriage.
Widely considered Sinclair Lewis's greatest novel, this satire of the American social landscape created a sensation upon its 1922 publication. Babbitt's name…


Book cover of The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: Poems

Ellis Elliott Author Of A Break in the Field

From my list on poetry to feed your distracted self.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a dance teacher all of my adult life, and a poetry and word-lover even longer. I love the economy of language, immediacy, and the promise of surprise in poetry. In middle age, I returned to writing just as my body began its slow rebellion, with the added shifts of remarriage and step-parenting a severely disabled son. I went back to grad school and wrote my first book, drawing on the experience of confronting change, just as these recommended poets have done. Each of these poets has a very different story, but what they have in common outweighs their differences, and because of that we are able to see ourselves in their writing.

Ellis' book list on poetry to feed your distracted self

Ellis Elliott Why did Ellis love this book?

I like poetry that teaches me something, and I like how Harjo can teach me about Native American myth and culture (as a member of the Muscogee Nation)in a poem set within the context of something as mundane as an airport.

She expertly threads together the modern with the historical, and the sacred within the ordinary. “Once a woman fell from the sky. The woman who fell from the sky was neither murderer nor saint. She was rather ordinary…”

I am also struck with how Harjo unifies her own unique culture with the shared experiences of all of us, as in: “Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last/ sweet bite”.

By Joy Harjo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Woman Who Fell from the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She draws from the Native American tradition of praising the land and the spirit, the realities of American culture, and the concept of feminine individuality.


Book cover of The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

David’s book came out while I was still searching for the truth about Uncle Lev, and it provided a useful and entertaining overview of the effort to censor comic books—catching Lev directly in its cross-hairs—and the industry code that was implemented as a result. Ultimately, David argues, “the generation of comic-book creators whose work died with the Comics Code helped give birth to the popular culture of the postwar era.”

By David Hajdu,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ten-Cent Plague as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the years between the end of World War II and the mid-1950s, American popular culture was first created in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. But no sooner had comics emerged than they were beaten down by mass bonfires, congressional hearings, and a McCarthyish panic over their unmonitored and uncensored content. Esteemed critic David Hajdu vividly evokes the rise, fall, and rise again of comics, in this engrossing history.


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