Blogs to love: The Transatlantics

While studying at Free University Berlin, me and a couple friends founded a blog called tapmag. The “tap” stands for trans-atlantic perspective – we blogged about U.S.-European politics, the 2008 Presidential election and social trends from across the Atlantic.

One of the many great things that came from running this blog was tapping (haha) into a network of fellow bloggers interested in these topics. (Our editor Kolja compiled a series of interviews with fellow bloggers into the Transatlantic Blog Review series.)

Here are some tips for your European-American cultural studies.

And Good Is – A hilarious look at German cultural sensitivities and the misunderstandings that ensue when you live in another country. The site’s author also created Nothing For Ungood (it’s now dormant, but go through the archive. Or buy the book.) The new site doesn’t fall short of the old one – dry humor and a matter-of-factly look at German and American particularities. The post on the “American bedding system” almost made me laugh out loud during a lecture.

Atlantic Review – This site fulfills the helpful task of compiling news coverage of Germany and the U.S., with a focus on security issues. While they write in English and often refer to English-language media sources, the authors also present a European perspective. Started by three Fulbright alumni, the blog currently has three authors based in Berlin, California and New York.

Sample post: Terrorism: Should Europe and the US Go to Red Alert?

A Fistful of Euros – This site’s 15 authors come from nine European countries, and their backgrounds and perspectives are as diverse. Topics covered include economic policy, the EU, and vampires. Most posts are fairly dense, backing up their conclusions with facts and charts. Their extensive blogroll lets you discover other European blogs.

Zugabe: USA Erklärt

“I try to explain the United States to Germans, as far as it can be explained,” says Scott Stevenson, author of USA Erklärt. “So I’ll do a little piece about Halloween, about what the President can or cannot do, why root beer isn’t beer, who the Lone Ranger is, or why you should never, ever put sugar on your popcorn.”

His site is in German, which is why it’s the “encore” post here, but I can’t leave it off the list. Scott’s posts are thorough, yet funny. He explicitly avoids opinion – “Dies ist kein Meinungsblog,” schreibt er. Von seiner Seite kann man viel über die USA lernen und fühlt sich dabei nie belehrt.

Scott nimmt mir freundlicherweise die Arbeit ab, den besten Eintrag auf seinem Blog auszuwählen, da er seine fünf wichtigsten Einträge breits selbst zusammen gestellt hat. Ich kann dem nur zustimmen – den Aufbau der US- Polizei habe ich noch nie so klar erklärt gesehen. Sehr lesenswert.

Scott was a guest lecturer at the seminar on international journalism tapmag organized in 2009. Watch video of it here.

5 thoughts on “Blogs to love: The Transatlantics

  1. On “And good is,” there’s a post about the garbage disposal, present in every American kitchen and no German one. Strange things exist… ;)

  2. Thank you for explaining this! After I moved in to my apartment, I kicked myself for not checking to see if there was a garbage disposal. Turns out, there is no garbage disposal in all of Germany :(

  3. Personally I’m impressed by the quality of this. Generally when I come across these sort of things I like to post them on Digg. This article probably won’t do well with that crowd. I will be sure to submit something else though.

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