The Culture Code is a sweeping survey of historical culture types, marketing, sociology and modern cultural analysis. This is an excellent but wildly mislabeled book. It's audio introduction said something about self-improvement (which it relates to in a huge stretch). What it really is is a psychological view of 'the Other' in the sense of viewing other cultures, groups, and national populations.
Rapaille spends a little time reviewing his successful consulting career to large corporations looking to define themselves and their products. This explains his background and provides the data for his series of case studies in how the code was developed and used. He uses archetypes, psychology, and language differences to explain why Germans buy the same vehicles as the French and Americans but for vastly different reasons. Yes, this does lead to generalizations and overstatements, but they are arguable points with interesting tangents.
Listening to this book before listening to "Nudge" or "The Wisdom of Crowds" or after "Predictably Irrational" or "Microtrends" will amplify and clarify many of the general conclusions.
This book is a serious review of a great deal of recent historical work (mostly US Colonial and Revolutionary history). It's well written and argued, laying out broad trends and covering a lot of topics outside of the time periods covered. The books reviewed here don't have to be read before listening to this book-- the reviews fully cover the topics and ideas. This is a wonderful way to cover the period and hear about recent trends in history writing without buying dozens of titles.
You won't be lost with this guide. The presentation is also well done and very clear. If you are at all interested in early American history, and curious about how it's being written, this is a great book.
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