Well, reading the manual and checking through the civilopedia are good starts. There are various strategy posts, and the short tips one is good for beginners. Just be aware that not everything in the manual or the strategy section is the gospel truth.
One mistake new guys make, esp. Americans like you and me, is to choose the Americans for our civ. The yanks are weak in the game, IMO. Expansionist is a lame attribute IMO, and their UU is possibly the worst. My personal favorite civs are Babylon and Japan, both of which have the excellent religious attribute.
Many people differ on that call, I just really like the religious, scientific, and militaristic attributes. The special units are secondary in importance, but the samurai is a good one. Oh hells yes.
Dunno, bud, you tell me. What do you want to know? I won't be much help on Earth map strategies cos I haven't played them.