Jane Walmsley shares George Bernard Shaw's belief that America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language. In this title she looks beyond this shared facade to see the great gulfs that separate us in such areas as tastes in food, dress, home decoration, the way we conduct business, vacation, engage in sex and even die. Her prototype American is an eternal optimist who believes it is only a matter of correct technique and will power to become beautiful, clever, skinny, successful and healthy. A Brit, on the other hand, seems to expect disaster at any moment, so lives with a certain detachment, content to muddle through as best he or she can. Walmsley pokes gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) fun at both cultures and in the process offers a portrait of our cultural differences.