Intellectual Devotional, American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently About Our Nation's Past

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Overview

Modeled after those bedside books of prayer and contemplation that millions turn to for daily spiritual guidance and growth, the national bestseller The Intellectual Devotional—offering secular wisdom and cerebral nourishment—drew a year’s worth of readings from seven different fields of knowledge. In this follow-up volume, authors David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim have turned to the rich legacy of American history for their selections. From Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to Martin Luther King Jr., ...

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The Intellectual Devotional: American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently about Our Nation's Past

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Overview

Modeled after those bedside books of prayer and contemplation that millions turn to for daily spiritual guidance and growth, the national bestseller The Intellectual Devotional—offering secular wisdom and cerebral nourishment—drew a year’s worth of readings from seven different fields of knowledge. In this follow-up volume, authors David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim have turned to the rich legacy of American history for their selections. From Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin to Martin Luther King Jr., from the Federalist Papers to Watergate, the giant figures, cultural touchstones, and pivotal events in our national heritage provide a bountiful source of reflection and education that will refresh knowledge, revitalize the mind, and open new horizons of intellectual discovery.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Modeled on daily devotionals, this mind-enriching book provides daily nuggets of knowledge about seven fields of American history. The Intellectual Devotional American History is both an informal refresher course and a source of serious reflection. Its 365 brief lessons offer illuminating facts about the people, ideas, and events of our country's past.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594867446
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/16/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 400,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Kidder is an entrepreneur with a wide range of technology and marketing expertise. Kidder and his companies have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company. Kidder is a graduate of Rochester Institute of

Technology and was a recipient of ID magazine's International Design Award. He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife, Johanna, and son.

Noah D. Oppenheim, a senior producer of NBC's Today show, has extensive experience in television and print journalism. He has produced and reported for Scarborough Country and Hardball with Chris Matthews, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, Men's Health, and the Weekly Standard. He resides in New York City.

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Reading Group Guide

GENERAL AMERICAN QUIZ

Politics and Leadership:
1. Q. Where did John Smith establish the first permanent English settlement in the New World?
A. On a small, uninhabited island in Virginia off the coast of Chesapeake Bay, which would later be known as Jamestown.

2. Q. Who was “Deep Throat,” the secret source who tipped off the Washington Post to the Watergate Scandal?
A. Former FBI official W. Mark Felt, who revealed himself in 2005.

3. Q. Who is the last U.S. president NOT to graduate from college?
A. Harry S. Truman.

War and Peace:
1. Q. Which archipelago did the U.S. buy from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million as part of a new American effort at imperialism?
A. The Virgin Islands.

2. Q. Which CIA director was forced to resign after the embarrassing aftermath of the failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion during the Kennedy administration in April of 1961?
A. Allen Dulles.

3. Q. During World War II, what was the name of the U.S. battleship that the Japanese bombed and sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?
A. The USS Arizona.

Rights and Reform:
1. Q. What gay bar located in New York’s Greenwich Village was raided by police on June 28, 1969, sparking several days of protest that were considered the genesis of the gay rights movement?
A. The Stonewall Inn.

2. Q. Which “Cradle of the Confederacy” resident became the first woman to lay in honor at the U.S. Capitol building after her death in 2005?
A. Rosa Parks.

3. Q. Which island is known as the “Island of Tears”?
A. Ellis Island.

Business:
1. Q. What was the name of Jamestown’s first tobacco farmer, who also happened to be the husband of the legendary American Indian princess Pocahontas?
A. John Rolfe.

2. Q. As a result of the Enron accounting scandal, what was the name of the law President George W. Bush signed in 2002 to represent a renewed effort by the government to tighten regulations on corporate America?
A. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

3. Q. Between which two California universities was the first Internet connection established in 1969?
A. Stanford University and UCLA.

Building America:
1. Q. In 1978, which working-class section of Niagara Falls, New York, was evacuated after environmentalists connected its industrial past to the unusually high rates of birth defects, miscarriages and cancer?
A. Love Canal.

2. Q. Which American president signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, creating a domestic highway system which measured 42,793 miles, cost $114 billion over 35 years, and was the biggest public works project in the nation’s history?
A. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

3. Q. Which are the two oldest baseball fields in America? Which is the oldest?
A. Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park. Wrigley was built in 1914, Fenway in 1912.

Literature:
1. Q. Who is the last American writer to win the Nobel Prize? Which of this writer’s books was named the top American novel of the last 25 years according to a poll conducted by the New York Times Book Review?
A. Toni Morrison, and Beloved.

2. Q. What unorthodox journalistic style, characterized by drugs, alcohol and first-person narration did Hunter S. Thompson make famous?
A. “Gonzo” journalism.

3. Q. What was the name of the sequel to “Gone With the Wind,” authorized by Margaret Mitchell’s estate and written by Alexandra Ripley?
A. Scarlett.

Arts:
1. Q. What was the nickname of Andy Warhol’s New York studio, which was a notorious hangout for groupies, avante garde musicians, artistic wannabes, and the deranged fan who shot and nearly killed Warhol in 1968?
A. The Factory.

2. Q. What piece of music did American classical music conductor, Leonard Bernstein, conduct on Christmas Day in 1989 in Berlin to celebrate the demolition of the Berlin Wall?
A. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which features the “Ode To Joy.”

3. Q. With which American pop star did Michael Jackson co-write the charity single “We Are the World” to raise funds for famine relief in Africa?
A. Lionel Richie.

CITY SPECIFIC QUIZ
ATLANTA 1. Q. At which university did Toni Morisson, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, teach while she wrote The Bluest Eye?
A. Howard University

2. Q. What was the name of the sequel to “Gone with the Wind,” authorized by Margaret Mitchell’s estate and written by Alexandra Ripley?
A. Scarlett (1991).

3. Q. In 1886, which Confederate war veteran and patent medicine impresario invented Coca-Cola, hoping to market it as a “brain tonic and intellectual beverage?”
A. John S. Pemberton.
BOSTON 1. Q. Which are the two oldest baseball fields in America? Which is the oldest?
A. Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park. Wrigley was built in 1914, Fenway in 1912.

2. Q. Which two Bostonians lead the patriot cause and masterminded the Boston Tea Party of 1773?
A. John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

3. Q. Who native Bostonian is the only American to sign all three of the U.S.’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution, and the Constitution?
A. Ben Franklin.

CHICAGO 1. Q. Which are the two oldest baseball fields in America? Which is the oldest?
A. Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park. Wrigley was built in 1914, Fenway in 1912.

2. Q. In 1848, the construction of the railroad and a canal turned Chicago into the nation’s transportation hub. What did the canal connect?
A. The Mississippi River and Lake Michigan.

3. Q. Which journalist’s book written in 1906 drew attention to the dangerous working conditions and poor wages of slaughterhouse workers in Chicago?
A. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

FLORIDA 1. Q. One of the leading U.S. songwriters in the 19th Century wrote Swanee River, which is still the official state anthem of Florida today. What’s his name?
A. Stephen Foster.

2. Q. Walt Disney World, the Orlando-based amusement park was opened five years after Walt’s death. Who opened it?
A. Walt’s brother, Roy Disney.

LOS ANGELES 1. Q. Between which two California universities was the first Internet connection established in 1969?
A. Stanford University and UCLA.

2. Q. In 1940, Dick and Mac MacDonald opened the first McDonald’s in San Bernadino, a Los Angeles suburb, as a hotdog and barbecue stand. They eventually sold it to a franchisee who later transformed it into the global empire famous for it’s fast-food and golden arches. What was his name?
A. Ray Kroc.

3. Q. “The Simpsons,” which Fox first aired in 1989, is still going strong in 2007 and had its first feature-length movie out this summer. Along with cartoonist Matt Groening, which Hollywood screenwriter created Springfield’s first family?
A. James L. Brooks.

NEW YORK 1. Q. What was the nickname of Andy Warhol’s New York studio, which was a notorious hangout for groupies, avante-garde musicians, artistic wannabes, and the deranged fan who shot and nearly killed Warhol in 1968?
A. The Factory.

2. Q. What gay bar located in New York’s Greenwich Village was raided by police on June 28, 1969, sparking several days of protest that were considered the genesis of the gay rights movement?
A. The Stonewall Inn.

3. Q. Which island is known as the “Island of Tears”?
A. Ellis Island.

PHILADELPHIA 1. Q. Which revolutionary-leading journalist published Common Sense, a pamphlet which called on Americans to reject the notion that a faraway, hereditary king could govern thirteen colonies from a faraway island?
A. Thomas Paine.

2. Q. Which converted Quaker established the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 as a sanctuary for persecuted Quakers? Also, who founded the University of Pennsylvania?
A. William Penn, and Benjamin Franklin.

3. Q. Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, which two became future presidents?
A. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

SAN FRANCISCO 1. Q. Between which two California universities was the first Internet connection, established in 1969?
A. Stanford University and UCLA.

2. Q. What was the name of the mill where lumber foreman James Marshall first found flakes of gold that would later turn into the California Gold Rush of 1849?
A. Sutter’s Mill, after the owner, John Sutter.

3. Q. Until Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the San Francisco earthquake was the costliest disaster in America’s history, and remains the nation’s deadliest earthquake, with over 3,000 fatalities. On what date did this 7.7 Richter scale trembler take place?
A. April 18, 1906.

TEXAS 1. Q. As a result of the Enron accounting scandal, what was the name of the law President George W. Bush signed in 2002 to represent a renewed effort by the government to tighten regulations on corporate America?
A. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

2. Q. Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th President of the United States in 1963, taking over the Oval Office after President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Who did he defeat in the 1964 presidential race to stay elected?
A. Republican Barry Goldwater.

WASHINGTON D.C. 1. Q. Who was “Deep Throat,” the secret source who tipped off the Washington Post to the Watergate Scandal?
A. Former FBI official W. Mark Felt, who revealed himself in 2005.

2. Q. Which CIA director was forced to resign after the embarrassing aftermath of the failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion during the Kennedy administration in April of 1961?
A. Allen Dulles.

3. Q. Which “Cradle of the Confederacy” resident became the first woman to lay in honor at the U.S. Capitol building after her death in 2005?
A. Rosa Parks.

ENTERTAINMENT SPECIFIC QUIZ
1. Q. According to the American Film Institute, which song was recently voted “best-ever song” in the history of American cinema?
A. “Over the Rainbow,” which also won an Oscar for Best Song in 1940 for The Wizard of Oz.

2. Q. What piece of music did American classical music conductor, Leonard Bernstein, conduct on Christmas Day in 1989 in Berlin to celebrate the demolition of the Berlin Wall?
A. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which features the “Ode To Joy.”

3. Q. Paramount Studios signed Archibald Leach, an Englishman, to a movie contract in 1931. In order to improve his marketability and leading-man persona, what did they change his name to?
A. Cary Grant.

4. Q. With which American pop star did Michael Jackson co-write the charity single “We Are the World” to raise funds for famine relief in Africa?
A. Lionel Richie.

5. Q. What’s the name of the café where most of the movie, Casablanca, takes place?
A. Rick’s Café Americain.

6. Q. What unorthodox journalistic style, characterized by drugs, alcohol and first-person narration did Hunter S. Thompson make famous?
A. “Gonzo” journalism.

7. Q. “The Simpsons,” created in the late 1980s is still airing in 2007 on FOX and had its first feature-length film out this summer. Along with Matt Groening, which Hollywood screenwriter helped create Springfield’s first family?
A. James L. Brooks.

8. Q. Who is the only woman to win four Academy Awards for Best Actress?
A. Katherine Hepburn.

9. Q. Which writer coined the term “Jazz Age” in the title of his short-story collection, and to describe the popularity of jazz in the 1920s?
A. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

10. Q. Which German-born, American cartoonist created and popularized the elephant and the donkey as symbols of the two major American parties?
A. Thomas Nast.

11. Q. Walt Disney’s first animated cartoon, “Steamboat Willie,” was released in 1928 and starred an effeminate Mickey Mouse. What was its revolutionary breakthrough?
A. “Steamboat Willie” was the first cartoon to have a sound track.

12. Q. What is the highest domestic grossing movie (adjusted for inflation) in the history of American cinema?
A. Gone With the Wind.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Great Idea which would be even better if People and Events, Etc.

    Great Idea which would be even better if People and Events, Etc., were placed in chronological order and if there was more diversity, perspectives which on-going included Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian American voices. Sure hope it is reissued!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    Highly recommended

    This is a well organized, fascinating compilation of facts I've long forgotten. I've already ordered the first installment of this (what I hope will be a) series with high anticipation. I, like many readers, read several pages a day as it is hard to put down. I give this otherwise 5 star book 4 stars because of the ridiculously small font. A gem for any home library or nightstand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Just in time for the election!

    Focusing on American History, the Intellectual Devotional: American History, provides an interesting and thoughtful context to current events and is a great primer as we head into election season. A great follow-up to the first Intellectual Devotional!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    A Treat for Yourself

    This simply put is a fascinating and fun book. It's like a miniature index of intelligence. There are things in here that will interest you or perhaps intrigue you enough to buy his first book 'The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class'. I also highly recommend the book 'Understanding: Train of Thought', you won't be disappointed with any of these.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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