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Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  277 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
When it comes to understanding the great cultural ocean that divides Brits and Yanks, it's not just our vocabulary but also our attitudes that differ. This irreverent guide surveys a whole gamut of British-American divergences, from sex to food, from pets to religion, from sports to money, and from war to-most divergent of all-humor. Entertaining and invaluable, Brit-Think ...more
Paperback, Revised, 160 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1986)
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Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone traveling between the UK and the US
Recommended to Keri by: Brits
Brit-Think, Ameri-think by Jane Walmsley was recommended to me by the British bookstore in my local town which we visited before our trip to the UK (where we currently are!). The book doesn't focus so much on the differences in language, but rather on the differences in culture between the UK and the US. This book was really funny. Even though though some of her references were pretty outdated (like Brad and Jen), a lot of her commentary was spot on for both British and American behavior. I woul ...more
So Cal
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone into fiction
The author and I have two things in common...

We are both American women married to British men.

We both live in the UK.

After reading the book I can only come to the conclusion that Jane Walmsley lives in a very different world from the average Brit and American! I seriously doubt that Ms. Walmsley has ever mixed extensively with the average, estate dwelling British citizen, which has led her to write a very unhelpful and inaccurate book. She spends far too much time trying to sanitize life in the
Annie Harrison
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Technology is making the world a smaller place. This is an amusing book, but global communication and social networking have erased, to a certain extent, some of our differences. The differences today are more subtle, and references to things that happened over a decade ago make the book seem very out-of-date. Nevertheless, it is a fun read and revealing insight into the ways American's think. I think the British bits might benefit from being written entirely by a Brit, rather than an American w ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Rosey by: Rob Holmes
Shelves: read-in-2009
This was mostly funny, but sometimes a little off in the analysis. I would have liked it more, but it was obviously outdated (why refer to couples like Brad and Jen or Madonna and Guy) which took away from some of the points. The chapter on Brit-cool vs Ameri-cool reminded me of when I was 10 or 12 and my uncle tried to pretend like he understood how Bad was Good - you just want to cringe and say "By talking about it, you've ruined it."
Joel Simon
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: American expats living in the UK
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of the funniest, most accurate books there is on the subject of the cultural connections and misconnections between the US and the UK. It is entertaining but also spot-on in its comparisons. I read the original, which is probably a little dated now that London has changed so much. The revised version probably is better. In any case, it is a good, tongue-in-cheek look at the two nations, separated by a common language.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! Or shall I say "brilliant"! I laughed myself silly with this book. Of course, it helped that we have friends and colleagues who are British. The comparisons are great and the observations about American culture are very amusing. If you don't know someone who is British it might not be as funny.
Sheila Beaumont
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny, nonfiction
Written by an American who is married to a Brit, this is a fun, informative guide to the differences in British and American attitudes, covering cuteness and coziness, aspirations, Oprah, food, what's cool and hot, humor, religion, pets, and more. This revised edition is copyright 2003, so many of the pop-culture references are, of course, outdated. Time for a new edition, perhaps?
Lyssrose Farver
Sep 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Altogether a very interesting read - I can't, obviously, comment on the accuracy of the Brit descriptions, but for the American ones, the majority were spot on. Granted, the book is dealing with broad generalizations, but taken with a hefty dose of reality, it was quite amusing.
Angel Mar
Nov 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Great book, not only educational but as well entertaining, I rarely read book in a few days or a few hours, I did read this one in a few train rides...Two thumbs up
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mildly amusing book. Picked this book up on a whim since it was a bargain book. I've seen this book around and thought it would be a "cute" and different read but it's probably only for a very niche group of people. Supposedly author Walmsley wrote a whimsical, irreverent guide to the differences between how people in the US think and how British people think.
Everything from language to customs to pop culture are all covered. There are moments that are quite amusing and worth a giggle but it's
Hugh Mason
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This book creases me up. As an angry young man growing up in England, it was fashionable to rage against the cultural imperialism of the folks with whom we share something of a common language but actually surprisingly little culture across the water. Now I thoroughly enjoy visiting the US and doing most of my business with Americans - and I put some of the fun and success I've had doing that down to this book. It was bought for me by an all-american gal with the words 'Hugh, read this if you wa ...more
Jane Williams
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm only upset that I didn't get the updated version as it's obviously outdated but makes for some interesting popular culture observations. This is a really funny read and one that kept me entertained for the day and half I spent devouring it. This book is deliciously insulting and easy to digest.
Kristen Spangler
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Regardless which side of the pond one is/you're on (See the trans-Atlanticism there?), Walmsley's short work is enjoyable to read, especially if read with an open mind. Sure, well-travelled readers will scoff at some of the tongue-in-cheek references or explanations that one's culture be checked at the airport door, but that's as many comparative culture books should be. Not everyone leads a NY-LON life, so some things ought to be detailed a little more thoroughly. As for those who say she doesn ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was quite the flash back to the 80s. Some of the broad stereotypes could possibly be said to be true, but I don't think the author can be said to have any knowledge of any except the upper classes in either country. I was amazed that an American could have such little apparent knowledge about Americans - I got the impression that she had never ventured outside of New York when she lived here (even when taking into account the cultural differences that the last few decades have made).

Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: region-research
Its hard to give a rating since I'll need to test the knowledge against other sources and such. I did not realize how old this was originally, noting the revised date of 2003 rather than the original date of 1986. This explains some of the dated feel of the more familiar American material, and lack of impact of recent events and technology. A few references are inserted but seem to break with the flow.

The information is broken into nice small sections making it easier to remember and reference.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Some interesting observations of the differences between the way Americans and British people view the world and interact with it, but as other commenters have noted, not always spot on. As a British-American who grew up in America, it had me reflecting on my own way of looking at the world and laughing at many of the memories it brought back of my British grandparents. But take this book with a grain of salt. While I found some things to be keen observations, I felt like other parts of the book ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes that this book would be something I could recommend to my students (I work in the study abroad office of a university), but it failed to meet that need. At this point, the cultural references and insights are out of date, and the author is unable to accurately summarize the experiences if anyone outside if her own age group. If you are in your forties or fifties and did all of your travel to the UK before 2004, you will love this book. Otherwise, you will probably find many of h ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Written in the 80s, revised in 2003, and still needs a major update. 80s references are everywhere and distracting (Americans love their aerobics!) and (the UK is one of the places where the gay population hasn't been decimated by AIDS)..whhaaat??
There's a whole chapter about how Americans think Oprah is God :/
However somewhat amusing and insightful at times even if it's just lumping every American and every Brit into certain stereotypes.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is designed for someone looking at living and / or doing extensive business in the UK. I don't think it will be very helpful for my one week visit as a tourist. While I think the book tried to be funny it wasn't to me. I do appreciate learning that no all countries think like we Americans think.
Sara Lewkowicz
Oct 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
The worst book I've read in a hot minute. Dated and stale and trying too hard to be witty. I bought this on impulse when buying Watching the English. Don't fall into the same trap. Or better yet just pay the shipping and I will mail it to you myself, if for no other reason than to get it out of my sight. Oh and her attempt to explain coolness made me want to kill myself.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Funny, but out of date. Gemeralizations about Americans are unfounded; not everybody wants to be famous and everybody does not worship at the church of Oprah. We like more things than ice cream, too. I enjoyed the language and more direct comparisons, though! I'm anxious to see how true the generalizations about the British are...
Corrie Aw.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
You know what to expect when the author starts the book with "In writing this book, I've tried to be evenhanded, and fair to both sides. If there's someone I haven't insulted ... I'm sorry." It's funny, though a bit outdated.
Being neither British nor American, I am in no position to judge the accuracy of contents, but much of it rang true.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
A cheeky insight into British and American differences. I disagreed with a lot of what the author said but some things were true. (I'm American and lived in the UK for the past eight years. A lot has changed since she wrote this edition.) After awhile the author's writing style got on my nerves. I don't think I would recommend this book.
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am a member of a support line for Britist people who have fibromylagia. This book has helped me a lot with saying the wrong things! Will take it with me when I finally go to the U.K. to search for my roots.
Sasha Strader
Interesting insight to the behaviours of ourselves and our neighbours across the pond. Personally I felt the American portion was more thought provoking, but I'm an American, so I guess I would. (We're terribly self-centered you know)
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the differences between the British and the Americans, focusing especially on language.
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
A super handy book to read before traveling to the UK or visa-versa.
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Short and FUNNY!
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
A bit dated but funny, this book is better written than 'Rules, Britannia' (which is also amusing), but my favourite book about the English is still 'Watching the English' by Kate Fox.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
At times very outdated, but still funny and insightful enough to make it a worthwhile read if you've experienced both cultures.
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