I've recently enrolled in an Introduction to Computer Science II course in which the professor allowed me to skip the prerequisites.The problem is, I don't have the textbook from the previous course, Java How to Program 10th Edition Late Objects - Deitel & Deitel. The course and the one before it both encompass the same book, so I would like to catch up before the course starts.

While browsing on online stores, this led me to two different books, the 'Global Edition', and the US edition. Seeing that the Global Edition was half the price of the US version and I was on a budget, I thought it was a steal. There are many choices online with international editions at around $60 and the US at $150.

Why would the global textbook be lower than half the price than the US edition? What's the difference? I've read around that there is not much of a difference except for the cover, but why would that call for such a lowered price? The US book comes with access codes and other features, will the Global also come with those exact features?

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    I've always thought that the reason for such price discrepancies is just that publishers think Americans are richer than everyone else and therefore ought to pay more for the same book. I admit, though, that I have no direct evidence to support my admittedly cynical belief, so I'd be interested in seeing other explanations. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:45
  • Have you asked the professor's advice? Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:45
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    As to your last sentence: No, you can't assume the Global version will come with all the same features. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:46
  • @NateEldredge Thanks! If I were to buy the books would I expect the same content?
    – Andrew Li
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:47
  • @AndrewL: See first answer to the duplicate I linked :-) Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:53

3 Answers 3


Often if not almost always, "International Editions" (the monicker I know them under) are copies of expensive text books printed in emerging market countries (often India), whose legality I question...at least they are not licensed by the publisher for all I know. Someone here might have more substantial comments on the legal aspect - in fact, StrongBad does in his answer to an earlier question.

From the one I bought before understanding this, I would, in the future, stay away from them for their quality alone. I kept noticing that there were seeming errors where the text diverged in most cases from a supporting graphic; and there were graphics on almost every page. I carefully made a list of errata for the first 100 pages, and submitted them to the author. He was kind enough to reply fast, expressing that he was puzzled: none seemed to be true. I eventually figured out that the graphics and text of my book were from different editions of the original book...my version is essentially useless.

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    Nice to know someone's experience! I'll keep that in mind!
    – Andrew Li
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:51
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    The legal/ethical aspects were addressed in academia.stackexchange.com/questions/34407/… Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 15:51
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    Notice that, at least in the past, international editions were not that bad, and were printed by the publishers themselves. I have international editions of several books (from McGraw-Hill and Wiley), because they were the only editions sold in my country when Amazon had not yet appeared on the market, and they are good, just with a paperback cover. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:15
  • @Massimo: mine is Addison-Wesley - maybe it depends on the publisher? Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:17
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    @gnometorule Or maybe on the age: I checked now that some of the good international editions that I have were bought around thirty years ago... when publishers were publishers :-) I should have somewhere a few more recent international editions, but I have too many books to check... Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:24

The back cover of the Global Edition says (from here):

[...] This Global Edition preserves the cutting-edge approach and pedagogy of the original, but also features alterations, customization and adaptation from the North American version.

Thus, it is not exactly the same book. Notice however, that this book cannot be sold in the US or Canada, as the back cover recalls in the bottom left corner (according to this answer, though, it appears that it could be sold in the US too).

  • Interesting! Amazon delivered (to NYC) my clearly not authorized version fine though. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:02
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    @gnometorule Well, actually, I happened to receive editions of books which were meant to be sold in the US only. I've noticed now that this answer from StrongBad says that it is actually legal in the US to sell international editions, notwithstanding the disclaimer. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:08

I suggest consulting the professor who is allowing you to skip the prerequisites. There may even be an entirely different book that the professor would consider a better preparation for the course you are taking, especially for independent study.

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