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Books for insight into American Soceity

 
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Hi All
I am planning a holiday to the US in November. Prior to that , I would like to start reading abt life , in general, there. Abt the soceity and the people. Am not looking for a travelbook or a History lesson , though.
Someone recommended The Catcher in the Rye and I am reading it and thats the kind of books I am looking for. Nice story which is based somewhere in the US and gives an insight into the life of the common people.
Any Recommendations ?
Thanks in Advance
Shaz
 
mister krabs
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"The Catcher in the Rye" was written more than 50 years ago. Do you intend on visiting America using a time machine?
 
Badriprasad Bumbabol
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U sound like u have never seen one. Which age do you live in , mate ?
Back to the Original Question , I dont mind reading something which was written 50 years ago as long as its well-written and has something to do with the American way of life. Now dont give me links to your History book on The Civil War or something similar.
 
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Now the fun thing is where are you planning on going in the US??
Now a person that lives in a larger city like NewYork would be a lot different then a person that lives in Everglades of Florida. The US is a large place that one book will never show you how a common person acts. You would need 1000's of them to get a picture of US life.
Just my 2 cents
Eric
 
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Watch a movie :
I recommend - Bad Boys 2, S.W.A.T, Terminator, American Pie (1, 2 & 3)
Thats more like the real life. I also recommend you watch "Bold and The Beautiful", "The Young and The Restless", "Who's my Daddy?"
 
Badriprasad Bumbabol
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Originally posted by Eric Pascarello:
The US is a large place that one book will never show you how a common person acts.


Yep, Am not looking for One Book. The more the merrier.Have a few months to go , so I guess I can finish off quite a few. Am planning to cover a bit of the East Coast. One week each in NY , Washington , Virginia and Florida.
Ciao
Shaz
 
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Tintin,
seems you are a rich person{ visting us, buying books)..hmmm....
if u can tell us which country u frm, ranchers will provide u diff between the common people in us and in ur country.
i know one Tintin ( comic character). I presume you are not that Tintin.
Anyways oct-nov is a good time to visit Florida bcoz hurricane season will be at the peak.
 
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PJ O'Rouke, Bill Bryson for just plain humour.
 
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There are no common people in New York or Washington.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by <sunitha>:
if u can tell us which country u frm, ranchers will provide u diff between the common people in us and in ur country.


Hmmmm.... North Carolina?
 
Thomas Paul
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Actually, Tintin flew easyJet to Oslo last year which means he must be in Europe.
https://coderanch.com/t/37585/md/Scandinavian-Travel
Hmmm... looks like easyJet doesn't fly to Oslo anymore!
http://www.easyjet.com/en/where/
Plus he just went to Prague 2 weeks ago for a four day visit:
https://coderanch.com/t/39021/md/Prague-Information
In fact, Tintin seems to talk more about his vacations than anything else!
[ August 18, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
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U sound like u have never seen one. Which age do you live in , mate ?


I thought he was aussie :roll:
 
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I recommend - Bad Boys 2, S.W.A.T, Terminator, American Pie (1, 2 & 3)
My recommendations are "Once Upon A Time In America", "Apocalypse Now", "Pulp Fiction", and "American Beauty".
 
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
In fact, Tintin seems to talk more about his vacations than anything else!


Life styles of rich and famous....
 
sunitha reghu
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How was ur first visit Tintin?

 
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
I recommend - Bad Boys 2, S.W.A.T, Terminator, American Pie (1, 2 & 3)
My recommendations are "Once Upon A Time In America", "Apocalypse Now", "Pulp Fiction", and "American Beauty".


I would have to add that if one is travelling to New York City, the films The Warriors and Escape from New York are culturally relevant.
 
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AFAIK, Tintin (in question here) is from India and he works in UK (London?), and he had a tough time coping up with the stress after surviving couple of round of restructuring at his workplace, having to work with none of his colleagues around him.
Yeah, he is just back from Prague and already planning his next trip. Are you that mysterious super lotto winner, Tintin?
 
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hahahahahha
this Google ads are superb ..
right now ad at the top of this page is ..
Tintin Comics - www.navrang.com
Full selection of Tintin comics. .....

[ August 19, 2003: Message edited by: Ravish Kumar ]
 
Badriprasad Bumbabol
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Looks like we have a pen-profile of me here. JavaRanchers never cease to surprise me.
Andres, I have a few Aussies in my team and so I have learnt to say "mate" from them. As Ashok pointed out , I am Indian and live in London.
Sunitha , I am a big fan of Tintin and thanks for that pic. Will have to go home to find and read that one again.Hopefully they wont tie me like that in America
And Yep, I wish I was rich and famous but am not. Have got a few friends whom I like to travel with and so thought lets make the best use of the given resources. All the Lay-offs and uncertainity that we have faced in the past 3 years has showed me a new way of life. Dont postpone stuff. If you want to do/have something today , go for it. U never know whats gonna happen tomorrow.
Thanks Again for the advices.
Although I dont use Java anymore , this board still seems like home.
Ciao
Shaz
 
sunitha reghu
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Originally posted by Tintin Herge:

Sunitha , I am a big fan of Tintin and thanks for that pic. Will have to go home to find and read that one again.Hopefully they wont tie me like that in America
And Yep, I wish I was rich and famous but am not. Have got a few friends whom I like to travel with and so thought lets make the best use of the given resources. All the Lay-offs and uncertainity that we have faced in the past 3 years has showed me a new way of life. Dont postpone stuff. If you want to do/have something today , go for it. U never know whats gonna happen tomorrow.


kool...i had couple of tintin comics when i was young but lost all those..
have a nice vacation..and if u have time visit NH also. very beautiful during fall time. if u r planning to visit NH and need any help im happy to help u.
 
sunitha reghu
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Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:
hahahahahha
this Google ads are superb ..
right now ad at the top of this page is ..
Tintin Comics - www.navrang.com
Full selection of Tintin comics. .....

[ August 19, 2003: Message edited by: Ravish Kumar ]


wats wrong with u (ex)
 
Badriprasad Bumbabol
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Originally posted by sunitha raghu:

and if u have time visit NH also. very beautiful during fall time. if u r planning to visit NH and need any help im happy to help u.


Thanks Sunitha. Do excuse my ignorance. Whats NH ?
Shaz
 
sunitha reghu
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New Hampshire
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by sunitha raghu:

wats wrong with u (ex)


cold, cough, slight fever and home sickness.
Missing you my ex.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I would have to add that if one is travelling to New York City, the films The Warriors and Escape from New York are culturally relevant.


Dont forget Ghostbusters.
 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Dont forget Ghostbusters.


and Friends...
 
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

...Escape from New York are culturally relevant.


Good one! I mean Gooooooooooood one! Snake Plissken sounds more like 'Snake Pis*taking' even before they finish showing the opening titles! Absolute murder!
 
HS Thomas
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The Terrorist Trap: America�s Experience with Terrorism
2nd edition post 9/11 by Jeffrey D. Simon.
[ August 19, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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Getting back to books - how accurate is American Psycho on your common NY yuppie? (not the psycho bits btw). Its set about 10 years ago though.
 
Badriprasad Bumbabol
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Guess, this is the Curse of the Meaningless Drivel Board. Even though you get a few Interesting answers and get introduced to nice people, you never get the answer to your basic question. Out of the 26 replies above ,maybe 1 reply actually answers my question.
Am not complaining , though. Its fun and I love this board.
Keep it Coming.
Shaz
 
sunitha reghu
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TintinOut of the 26 replies above ,maybe 1 reply actually answers my question
Which one???...
Tintin
Nice story which is based somewhere in the US .
So will u recommend Harry Potter if somebody wants to visit UK???
Just curious why u wanna read stories to visit america
 
HS Thomas
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Out of the 26 replies above ,maybe 1 reply actually answers my question.


Would you care /dare to say which one book ?
If you really want to do US properly get
AA Touring - on the road USA
AA Touring - on the road New England
The Rough Guide - Pacific Northwest including Western Canada and Alaska
Reise Know-How - Durch Den Westen Der USA
OK, skip the last. Long story.
And eat dust. That's the only way worth doing!
Otherwise, planes , trains and automobiles and you could be anywhere!
regards
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Getting back to books - how accurate is American Psycho on your common NY yuppie? (not the psycho bits btw). Its set about 10 years ago though.


The NY yuppie is gone. Now we have a whole new set of urban stereotypes!
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by sunitha raghu:
So will u recommend Harry Potter if somebody wants to visit UK???


Actually, I was thinking Oliver Twist would be a good choice.
 
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These are culturally significant
Uncle Tom's Cabin
and
The Grapes of Wrath
 
Jason Menard
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I'm sure that they exist, but I personally don't know of any novels that give a good glimpse into modern American society. There are however several American novels that give an accurate look at American society during different periods in its history.
 
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TH: Guess, this is the Curse of the Meaningless Drivel Board. Even though you get a few Interesting answers and get introduced to nice people, you never get the answer to your basic question. Out of the 26 replies above ,maybe 1 reply actually answers my question.
I was tempted to answer, but was afraid to sound obnoxious or too pessimistic. But if you insist...
I've been here for 4 years, and still far from understanding American Society or American People. Books can only slow down this process if you read them with specific purpose to gain an insight into American Life. Books already filtered the flow of life according to authors' personal ideas, abilities, preferences etc., and when you read them, you add your own filters. As a result you have (in the best case) a set of stereotypes, and now you have to squeeze what you will observe into these stereotypes.
Salinger is my favorite writer, but his books are more about Salinger, than about "American people", I believe.
The best you can do is to unlearn all you already learnt about "American life" , to clear your mind from all assumptions you have (this is impossible, but you should try) and to listen to real people trying to postpone judgment (you'll be wrong anyway) and to be as sympathetic as you can. Remember yourself when you was a child, when you had only curiosity and did not have any presupposed set of categories to sort things into. At least, this is my experience, your can be different, of course...
--------------------
""Have you seen my new sig?" - Map" - Tom
 
Thomas Paul
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Whatever you think you know about Americans is wrong. And right. Whatever you learn about America by reading novels is wrong. And right. America is a big country full of contradictions. If you think you understand America then you are wrong. I don't understand America and I was born here.
 
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I didn't know if I could really contribute to this conversation, and I'm still a little skeptical. I get the feeling that Shaz wants a sort of "tourist guide" to current American society, and that's nearly impossible. Go to any major urban center and you can easily go through five different societal structures in as many miles. How can you possibly encapsulate Manhattan, Boise, a Navajo reservation, Las Vegas, a midwestern trailer park, the south side of Chicago and West Hollywood?
However, I do have a book that take a shot at it - a really good shot. The book is not a quick read, and it's more than a little fantastic, in that it attempts to categorize American society as moving in cycles, and moreover it even goes so far as to predict what those cycles will bring in the future.
Interestingly enough, the book, written 12 years ago, seems to be pretty on target with it's assessment of the last decade. I won't go into a ton of detail; I suggest you read the book. If nothing else, it serves as a wonderful recap of American society from it's earliest days in the 16th century to now and beyond.
The book is Generations - The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, by William Strauss and Neil Howe, and it's really a remarkable piece of work. If you'd like a review of American society over the last 400 or so years, this book is as completely researched as you'll get, and it uses that research to define a very plausible model of where this society is headed.
Joe
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
The book is Generations - The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, by William Strauss and Neil Howe, and it's really a remarkable piece of work. If you'd like a review of American society over the last 400 or so years, this book is as completely researched as you'll get, and it uses that research to define a very plausible model of where this society is headed.
Joe


A very interesting book with a very controversial theory about cycles in history.
The authors have a web site:
http://www.fourthturning.com/
 
That is a really big piece of pie for such a tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
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