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

A book released September 7, 1999 by Kenneth C. Davis

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Rethinking American History

  • Jun 8, 2010
"Don't Know Much About History" by Kenneth Davis is a book that makes you want to rethink your knowledge base. All the things you learned in high school are fodder for dispute after reading just the first few chapters.

The profound sayings reported of our founding fathers turn into something like the honest "Move your Arse:" George Washington's actual words when preparing to cross the Delaware. The romantic, but completely erroneous, tale of Pocahontas told in schools and repeated by Walt Disney makes you want to cringe with embarrassment that you actually allowed yourself to believe even one piece of the story.

This book is a very important start for anyone who wants a competent knowledge base about the history of America. It's written in an engaging voice with fun revelations throughout. I only wish it was available when I was in high school, then I wouldn't have to "unlearn" so many things.

Davis is not only a historian, he loves history. And he has an ability to transfer that love of history to his readers in a way that is easy to comprehend and fun to follow. A 9-year-old would enjoy reading (or listening) to this as much as a 90-year-old.

The book begins with facts about explorers to America and ends at the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in New York: The attack on the Twin Towers. No answers are given for the attack (it had just occurred while Davis was finishing this edition), only a reflection of where it appears to fit in the history of this country.

A lot happened throughout those hundreds of years and all of it cannot be contained in a single book. But I highly recommend reading this if you want to get a gist of the world as it related to America throughout those years and to understand some of the major players on the world stage and what they were about. 

This book is a very important addition to every American's library.  

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June 08, 2010
I have the old edition of this book. We read it for my AP American history class. I'll have to pick up a newer copy. Great review!
More Don't Know Much About History:... reviews
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
Read this book on a flight or during a long road trip! it has so much good stuff in it that it will make a long journey much more fun...
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Very good though most of it I had already learned from another book. I would prefer if there was even more information.
Quick Tip by . June 11, 2010
Interesting book about little known facts.
About the reviewer

Ranked #571
I've always loved to read, mostly histories and biographies, but I've read lots of Hemingway and Austen. I like to read biographies of past giants in the publishing world, and, though it's … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 0380712520
ISBN-13: 978-0380712526
Author: Kenneth C. Davis
Publisher: Avon Books
Date Published: September 7, 1999
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