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Country-Specific Books on Culture and Customs

Whether you're planning a mission trip, getting to know your foreign-born neighbors, or doing business overseas, it is important to learn about the culture and customs of the people. The books on this page were written to help business travelers build relationships and work effectively in other cultures. Like all generalizations, they can help you understand basic principles as long as you remember that individuals and situations always are unique.

Scroll down to find great books to help you understand the people and cultures of
  • Africa
  • Arabs
  • China
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • South America
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Vietnam
  • USA
  • Africa
    Into Africa:
    Intercultural Insights (Interact Series)

    by Yale Richmond, Phyllis Gestrin
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1998

    Arabs
    Understanding Arabs:
    A Guide for Modern Times

    by Margaret K. Nydell
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2005

    China
    Encountering the Chinese: A Guide for Americans
    by Hu Wenzhong, Cornelius Lee Grove
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1998

    Finland
    Finland, Cultural Lone Wolf
    by Richard D. Lewis
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2004

    France
    Au Contraire! Figuring Out The French
    by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2001
    Understanding Cultural Differences:
    Germans, French, and Americans

    by Edward Twitchell Hall, Mildred Reed Hall
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1990

    This book is a bit dated, but still extremely helpful if you are any one of the three cultures mentioned and are going to be doing business with either or both of the other two.

    Germany
    Germany: Unraveling an Enigma
    by Greg Nees
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2000
    Understanding Cultural Differences:
    Germans, French, and Americans

    by Edward Twitchell Hall, Mildred Reed Hall
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1990

    India
    Multinationals in India: Managing the Interface of Cultures
    by Jai B P Sinha
    Published by SAGE Publications, 2004

    Israel
    Border Crossings:
    American Interactions With Israelis (Interact Series)

    by Lucy Shahar, David Kurz
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1995

    Japan
    With Respect to the Japanese:
    A Guide for Americans

    by John C. Condon
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1983
    The New Japan:
    Debunking Seven Cultural Stereotypes

    by David Ricky Matsumoto
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2002

    Korea
    Learning to Think Korean:
    A Guide to Living and Working in Korea

    by L. Robert Kohls
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2001
    Korea Calling:
    The Essential Handbook for Teaching English and Living in South Korea

    by Jay W. Freeborne, Allegra J. Specht
    Published by Woodpecker Press, 1996

    Mexico
    Mexicans & Americans:
    Cracking the Cultural Code

    by Ned Crouch
    Published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2004
    Good Neighbors:
    Communicating With the Mexicans (Interact Series)

    by John C. Condon
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1997

    Russia
    From Nyet to Da:
    Understanding the Russians

    by Yale Richmond
    Published by SAGE Publications, 2003

    South America
    The Hispanic Way
    by Judith Noble, Jaime Lacasa
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2003
    Understanding Spanish-Speaking South Americans:
    Bridging Hemispheres

    by Skye Stephenson
    Published by McGraw-Hill, 1998

    This books examines the history and cultures of the nine Spanish-speaking nations of South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

    Spain
    Spain Is Different (Interact Series)
    by Helen Wattley Ames
    Published by Intercultural Press, 1999

    Sweden
    Modern-Day Vikings:
    A Practical Guide to Interacting With the Swedes

    by Christina Johansson Robinowitz, Lisa Werner Carr
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2001

    Vietnam
    Vietnam Today:
    A Guide To A Nation At A Crossroads

    by Mark A. Ashwill, Thai Ngoc Diep
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2004

    United States of America
    Living in the U.S.A.
    by Alison Raymond Lanier, Jef C. Davis
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2004
    101 American Customs : Understanding Language and Culture Through Common Practices
    by Harry Collis, Joe Kohl
    Published by McGraw-Hill, 1999
    The American Ways:
    An Introduction to American Culture

    by Maryanne Kearny Datesman, Jo Ann Crandall, Edward N. Kearny
    Published by Prentice Hall, 1996
    Americans at Work:
    A Cultural Guide to the Can-Do People

    by Craig Storti
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2004
    The Yin and Yang of American Culture: A Paradox
    by Eun Y. Kim
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2001

    More great books to understand cultures

    Our page on Customs and Etiquette has books for Christian workers, like this example:
    Cross-Cultural Connections:
    Stepping Out and Fitting in Around the World

    by Duane Elmer
    Published by InterVarsity Press, 2002

    Our page on Customs and Etiquette also has secular books on working cross-culturally in business, like this example:
    Cultural Intelligence:
    A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures

    by Brooks Peterson
    Published by Intercultural Press, 2004

    For more great book links:

    For great children's resources, visit:


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