Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History But Never Learned

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Overview

From the arrival of Columbus through the bizarre election of 2000 and beyond, Davis carries readers on a rollicking ride through more than 500 years of American history. In this updated edition of the classic anti-textbook, he debunks, recounts, and serves up the real story behind the myths and fallacies of American history.
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Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned

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Overview

From the arrival of Columbus through the bizarre election of 2000 and beyond, Davis carries readers on a rollicking ride through more than 500 years of American history. In this updated edition of the classic anti-textbook, he debunks, recounts, and serves up the real story behind the myths and fallacies of American history.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Kenneth C. Davis uses wit, candor, and fascinating facts to reveal the very human side of history the textbooks neglect.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739303955
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Series: Don't Know Much About Series
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 cassettes, 3 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 4.35 (w) x 7.01 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the author of the Don't Know Much About® series, which has grown to include a new series of children's books. He frequently appears on national television and radio and is a contributing editor at USA Weekend. He lives in New York City and Vermont with his wife and two children.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition xiii
Introduction xv
Author's Note xxvii
Chapter 1 Brave New World 1
Chapter 2 Say You Want a Revolution 47
Chapter 3 Growth of a Nation: From the Creation of the Constitution to Manifest Destiny 107
Chapter 4 Apocalyse Then: To Civil War and Reconstruction 183
Chapter 5 When Monopoly Wasn't a Game: The Growing Empire from Wild West to World War I 253
Chapter 6 Boom to Bust to Big Boom: From the Jazz Age and the Great Depression to Hiroshima 319
Chapter 7 Commies, Containment, and Cold War: America in the Fifties 397
Chapter 8 The Torch Is Passed: From Camelot to Hollywood on the Potomac 437
Chapter 9 From the Evil Empire to the Axis of Evil 533
Afterword 589
Appendix 1 The Bill of Rights and Other Constitutional Amendments 595
Appendix 2 Is the Electoral College a Party School? A Presidential Election Primer 618
Appendix 3 U.S. Presidents and Their Administrations 624
Selected Readings 631
Acknowledgments 657
Index 659
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Once a liberal always a liberal

    The books first starts of by the author stating he will be as partial to both the democratic and republican parties. However thru out the book he favors the democrates and takes stabs at the current administration. Overall a good historical book with many facts but is very one-sided on issues of abortion, rebublicans and GOD. After reading this book i belive the author is an atheist. Overall, good history book for the uninformed american...

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2006

    Great structure

    My favorite thing about the book was how it broke everything down unlike many high school textbooks used to do for me. This guy loses a star though because even he said himself that people thinks his work sometimes leans to the left. I found a lot of parts where he blatantly took a specific side, and it was obvious. You would think he would leave those out if he wanted more credibility.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not a very balanced look at events

    This book contains some if not factual mistakes at the very least he draws conclusions of a very "liberal" sort, and I don't mean liberal in the classical sense but in the Jimmy Carter sense. Thats the thing about history I think is particularly when coverning such a broad time frame your political lean can be shown by what you leave out as well as what you put into the book. That said the style and the information was great, and may inspire people to look further into some of the events of history all in all I think thats a good thing.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    For those who 'don't know much' this is a perfect introduction

    Many years ago, my AP U.S. history teacher recommended I read this book as I prepare for the AP exam. It keeps information basic, but interesting. It provides facts my students need to understand while making people and events easy to understand. It is not a detailed account of American history, but an excellent, easy, and fun-to-read introduction for those wanting to learn more. And for those who are no longer students, it keeps the reader interested and is great for short reading periods as it is divided into many sections.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2011

    A must have for every US history student

    An engaging read . I always kept 5 to 10 copies in my classroom as additional resource for my students. I

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Amazingly boring!

    We bought this for a road trip and came home too late to return it. We could not stand to listen to it even though we love non-fiction, and history. The whole first cd was an endless and boring and repetitive intro. The author is fond of himself, but we did not share that enthusiasm.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    dont know much about history

    this is an incredible audio book for a truck driver, traveling sales person or anyone who spends a lot of time on the road. So amazing what I did not know about American history.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Mixed Review

    While the book does offer some interesting and unusual facts, its over- all presentation is rather dry. It is well constucted and the flow of history - how events built on each other and led to big events - is interesting. I enjoyed parts, but not enough to recommend it to anyone else.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Biased

    Unfortunately very one sided. I prefer authors who explore issues from all angles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    A good revisionist history

    A good read and very informative, however, in the attempt to be ballanced the book leans too far to the negative. Sure, it's true that America was a racest, sexist, bunch of Pruitans commiting genocide, but how did that compair with other nations at the time? The answer (that isn't in the book) is that the United States was, for all its' faults, still a "shining city on the hill".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2009

    Absolutely captivating!

    Now expanded to 16 CDs, I find myself looking for excuses to take a road trip. The format provides just the right amount of information to enlighten but not overwhelm. Incredibly entertaining, informative and highly recommended.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2009

    Great reference book - also a lot of fun

    As a history buff I found this book a lot of fun to read. The writing is first rate and the information inside was such that I learned a few things for the first time. I would consider this a first rate reference book. I would also love to see him come out with an updated version. That would certainly be on my list of books to read!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    Okay

    Though the book had many facts, it never came out and said the answers to many of the questions outlined in the beginning of each chapter. I found it to be fairly dull and felt that even the truth could have been livened up a bit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    What a Textbook Should Be

    This is the book that they should be using for high school history class. The author covers the entire history of our nation and does it in a way that makes it entertaining to read. He also gives you the straight dope about what famous figures were really like and what really happened. If you've got a teenager,get them this book. I would also highly recommend this book for history buffs,or just anybody who would like to know the real deal about the history of the US.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2000

    The Official Hisory Handbook

    This book is great! I just finished my first semester of college and this book has been a livesaver. I 'borrowed' this book from my grandmother when I was in the 8th grade, but she still hasn't gotten it back. I've used this book all throughout high school, and now that I'm in college, it has helped a lot. If there was something I didn't understand or I needed more details, I just opened the book and it broke everything down to where it's easy to understand and grasp, unlike the boring history text book. This book is easy and fun to read. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Pop star

    Lol math #gril. Pop out

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Everything you always needed to know about US history but were too bored to learn!

    Ken has written a most readable and straightforward US history, in chronological order, quite apart from the 'traditional' history. He explores events and activities that led to things with which we are familiar, putting them into a cohesive scenario that flows as smooth as a river. Reminds me of the old "Connections" PBS tv series. A worthwhile read. Hope he does another update soon, to encompass our current situation!

    - TwinCam

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

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    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    Great reference

    This is a wonderful book to have on hand. I find myself picking it up quite a bit when the kids have history questions and I'm not quite sure of the answers. Lots of information I never learned in school.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining

    It is amazing how much history a person forgets as they get older. This book will help fill in the blanks.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews

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