Item description for New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World by William Russell Melton...
The number of non-military Americans currently living overseas is estimated at 8 million---with the number increasing every year as more countries open their economies to Western companies At a time when more and more American employees overseas feel unwelcome and bewildered---or worse yet, unsafe---The New American Expat is designed provide essential guidance as to "how to be a good American" during the course of an overseas assignment.
The New American Expat is a complete, up-to-date and highly practical guide on how to be a successful American expatriate---how to find foreign jobs, prepare for life as an expat, move to a foreign country, adjust to other cultures, find success in an overseas assignment and successfully repatriate upon one's return. What further distinguishes the book from other expat titles is that The New American Expat will be the first book on the subject to address two new and important issues:
* How to be an American while living and working overseas, a controversial topic given the increasingly critical view of the US held by many throughout the world, and the consequent damage to America's global image. The book addresses current attitudes and stereotypes toward Americans as well as expectations of them while overseas.
* How to live and work in foreign countries safely and securely in light of the new risks facing Americans in the post-9/11 world. A full chapter on safety and security---vetted by an international security firm---advises expats on how to conduct themselves in at times less than friendly environs.
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Reviews - What do customers think about New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World?
Laundry list of moving tips - reads like a stack of pompously written post-it notes. Jan 19, 2006
I am moving to Europe, and having been given 4 weeks from initial contact to the first day of work, I am ravenously devouring information about relocating as an expat. First of all, I would highly recommend these two books Expert Expatriate and GenXpat. I would not recommend Melton's book.
Excited to read this book, as supported by promising reviews, I ordered it 2nd day delivery, and tore into it tonight, when it arrived. I was met by a style of writing reminiscent of a college paper hastily written the night before its due date. Broad generalizations, cliches, and laundry lists of tips are the fabric of this work.
I normally don't write reviews of books, especially now as I am in the middle of moving, but I am so disappointed in this, that I feel compelled to say something for the sake of other inquisitive minds. Perhaps the other reviewers are friends of the author, or have different standards of literature; some of the reviews (in praise) were more articulate than William Melton could ever be! I will give specific quotes, in the hopes that the writing may speak for itself.
Introduction xvi: Speaking on globalism, "Our new world neighborhood presents us with two divergent paths from which to choose: one based on mutual understanding and tolerance of our differences and a contrary path characterized by cultural, religious, and ethnic intolerance and the enmity that invariably follows. It is up to us which path we choose....These tensions were heightened by the events of September 11, 2001, a day that shattered our assumptions...and sent us hurtling down a path of uncertainty."
Wow, thanks Yoda. I'll try not to pick the "dark path" of "enmity." I didn't realize that a study of globalism, or the current anthropological worldview could be so easily reduced to two paths: good and bad. Personally, I think it is better not to make grandiose statements about subjects one knows little about. It might send one "hurtling down a path" of bad writing.
P. 15 "...I have developed the following attitudes ...when I am living in another country: - It is their country, not mine. - They have the right to run it the way the want to. - Things aren't *always* better in the U.S. (* denotes italics) - Most people in the world don't actually want to be just like Americans - If I try their approach, I might like it."
Wow again. This would be great for an 5 y.o. ex-pat who's moving kindergarten classes. As an adult, I was hoping for something a little more... sophisticated? "It is their country, not mine." Is this the name of a new movement in international relations? Well, a certain president would do well to study that line, but...
Two pages worth of material are devoted to "Spouse and Partner Issues." I am moving without immediate family, but I would assume that anyone with a family will want more than two pages devoted to such considerations. May I refer you again to Expert Expatriate.
P. 113 "... as long as a good faith effort is being made to apply for and receive the required work authorization as expeditiously as possible."
The book is rife with cumbersome language, symptomatic of gratuitous use of the thesaurus. "Expeditiously?" How about "quickly"? Again, old tricks to fatten up a limp college paper.
P. 118 "Be cognizant of the restrictions and prohibitions on what can be legally brought into the country..."
Cognizant? What he really means is "aware." Cognizant implies something else. This sloppy writing is pervasive. At the risk of seeming nit-picky, I offer these as a few examples of a larger deficiency of his writing.
To be fair, there are some nuggets of information in the book that I found helpful. And in the process of moving overseas, one must piece together the planning of the journey through the kaleidoscope of opinions that one inevitably solicits. So it is helpful in that way. But The New American Expat is just that, an avuncular recount of journeys taken across the globe. A collection of tips in a quasi stream of consciousness catalog, i.e. "And don't forget to do this, and don't forget to think about that, remember to be open minded!" But it is not constructed in a way to stimulate the planning process for your own trip, and it does not aspire to organize the seemingly overwhelming mass of details associated with relocation - which is what I expect a $25 book on the subject to do.
I strongly urge you to thumb through the book in person if you still want to buy it. I bought it online because neither Barnes and Nobles nor Borders carried it. The bright side to this story is the ease with which I returned this book to this site.
Packed with Knowledge! Oct 3, 2005
This book offers a refreshing voice of common sense, balance and experience. Books on this subject walk a tightrope between being too politically correct to address relevant stereotypes or, conversely, too fixated on stereotypes to transcend them. Author William Russell Melton manages the task effortlessly, thanks to his experience working in more than 20 countries. Relevant for those merely contemplating work abroad, as well as for those who just sat on their suitcases in order to zip them shut, this volume should prove to be a tremendous asset to any Yankee relocating to King Arthur's Court (or anywhere else). Melton advises Americans to be themselves, but to use common sense and show a little deference. For instance, listen more and speak less (and not so loudly, please). The author's goal is to develop confident world citizens who can interact adroitly on the world scene while staying true to their American values. The 23 pages he devotes to post-9/11 security abroad are frankly insufficient given the book's subtitle - but the quality of the information is top drawer. Melton even adds advice on how to make the transition when you return back to the U.S. We very strongly recommend that any American thinking of overseas employment should study this book - otherwise, things could get ugly.
Going overseas to work?--MUST READ Aug 30, 2005
As a librarian, I see a lot of books. Having lived and worked overseas, I know what it's like. Melton has captured an up-to-date and thorough view of a working life overseas. He has presented a wealth of sources that will help anyone preparing to look for a job, or who has found one and is preparing to leave. I like the fact that he included the issue of reentry into American life. The book is not only informative, it is beautifully written. Although he has kept his own style, the skill and heart of his reknowned author wife, Victoria Moran, shows through. If you're thinking about working overseas, or if you are headed there, this book is a must. If you know someone who is planning to go, this is the perfect gift.
Relevant for All Expat Situations Jun 13, 2005
Having become an Expat before 911, I delayed purchasing "The New American Expat" initially. However, I can truly say that whether you are contemplating an expat assignment opportunity or already on one, this is the BEST expat book I have ever read. I wish I had it 7 years ago when I was first confronted with the expat decision. Thanks Melton for the suggestions and references that have already saved me much more than the few dollars that this great book cost me. Even with 7 years of experience, it has helped me improve my situation. Besides the excellent information, it's a surprisingly great read as well, which is tough to do with these kind of books.
Excellent read for those considering the expat life... Jun 7, 2005
An excellent source of information, written in a very readable prose. WRM has a sense of the exact information one will need when venturing to the expat life for the first time - his experience shines through... I only wish that he had written this 9 years earlier, so I could have taken advantage of the wealth of knowledge he shares... The contract areas of the book are especially insightful...