Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History

Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History

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by Richard Shenkman
     
 

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The truth and nothing but the truth—Richard Shenkman sheds light on America's most believed legends.

The story of Columbus discovering the world was round was invented by Washington Irving.

The pilgrims never lived in log cabins.

In Concord, Massachusetts, a third of all babies born in the twenty years before the Revolution were

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Overview

The truth and nothing but the truth—Richard Shenkman sheds light on America's most believed legends.

The story of Columbus discovering the world was round was invented by Washington Irving.

The pilgrims never lived in log cabins.

In Concord, Massachusetts, a third of all babies born in the twenty years before the Revolution were conceived out of wedlock.

Washington may have never told a lie, but he loved to drink and dance, and he fell in love with his best friend's wife.

Independence wasn't declared on July 4th.

There's no evidence that anyone died in a frontier shootout at high noon.

After World War II, the U.S. government concluded that Japan would have surrendered within months, even if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This entertaining look at the myths Americans live by debunks everything from the sanctity of the Founding Fathers to the notion that concern for defendants' rights is a recent development. Shenkman, coauthor of One Night Stands with American History , begins with our presidents and disabuses readers of the idea that poor boys can grow up to occupy the White House (there have been few). He goes on to a multitude of subjects, including sex, war, the frontier, education, art, pointing out along the way that prostitution flourished in the Victorian era, that the defenders of the Alamo did not all perish in the battle and that in the antebellum South not all whites backed slavery. The book is occasionally eye-opening and always fun. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062098870
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
497,029
File size:
704 KB

Meet the Author

Richard Shenkman is an associate professor of history at George Mason University and the New York Times bestselling author of six history books, including Presidential Ambition; Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of World History; and Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter. The editor and founder of George Mason University's History News Network website, he can be seen regularly on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

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Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the anecdotes contained in this book are factual, Shenkman is very selective and bias in what he presents. Were this all the history you were to read, you be left with the impression that Warren Harding wasn¿t such a bad president and John Kennedy did nothing more than jump into bed during his administration. I think the idea of debunking myths is a great one. However, it can¿t be done if only part of the story is told. Better to read serious biographers and historians like David McCullough, Edmund Morris, Richard Reeves, Robert Dallek and Joseph Ellis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book isn't written to and was never intended to give full biographies of the people it talks about. Rather, it sets out to and succeeds in debunking the most common (and even some uncommon) myths about the most important figures in U.S. history. Some of the myths it debunks are ones that are still frequent today, in our books, and even in our schools. If you're looking for biographies of people like President Kennedy, then go buy a biography of his life. But this book makes a great companion piece to any biography of any historically important figure in U.S. history, as well as a great companion to any late-high school or college level history course.