CDN$ 9.49
  • List Price: CDN$ 9.99
  • You Save: CDN$ 0.50 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Don't Know Much About American History Paperback – Mar 27 2003


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 9.49
CDN$ 1.47 CDN$ 0.01

Best Canadian Books of 2014
Stone Mattress is our #1 Canadian pick for 2014. See all

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Programs and Genres; 1 edition (March 27 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064408361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060840563
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,059,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-American history comes alive in this witty, yet informative account. Kenneth Davis (HarperCollins, 2003) explains complex issues like the controversy over slavery that led to the Civil War, the reasons for the Great Depression, and why terrorists would want to attack the United States on 9/11 in language that is easy for young people to understand. The narration by actor Oliver Wyman is broken up by the voices of three other actors who ask questions like: "How did Theodore Roosevelt get rid of 7,400 miles?" and "Were the Little Rock Nine a rock-and-roll band?" The narrative is also broken up by "American Voices," which include first-person accounts; American Portraits-brief biographies of noteworthy people, ranging from Harriet Tubman to Harry Houdini; Great American Pastimes, ranging from baseball to jazz; and American English, discussing how words became part of our language. Davis doesn't gloss over controversial parts of history, such as why not all Americans consider Columbus Day a holiday. and why the U.S. didn't do more to help prevent the Holocaust. He also addresses what our founding fathers meant when they said, "All men are created equal." As lively as this history book is, though, it's unlikely that young people will want to listen to it just for fun.
David Bilmes, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“[Davis] steers an intelligent, non-partisan course through the thorny issues of the past.” (USA Today)

“Put the zest back in history” (Washington Post Book World)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The answer is letter e. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
This is a concise history of the United States, told from a decidedly liberal point of view. Davis begins his story with the various discoveries of America, informing us of Columbus� motivations, Erickson�s settlements, and the Native American migrations of 35,000 years ago. He continues with stories of the French and Indian Wars, the founding of the United States, the Civil War, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Twentieth Century events through the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Each chapter begins with a list of questions on a given period of history. Then Davis begins describing what happened during this period, taking up and answering each question in turn. Starting with Teddy Roosevelt, Davis� own political persuasion starts to come through more and more clearly. While I myself agree with Davis� comments about FDR and Ronald Reagan, I think conservative readers might find some of them a bit objectionable. In general, I found this a very readable concise history of the United States, but it�s not for everyone.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 184 reviews
109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
Davis' Book Makes Stale History Digestible and Delicious May 16 2003
By Anthony G Pizza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Like a great baker, a great writer can turn even what might have been stale into something not just digestible, but delicious. Clever turns of phrase and crisp, engaging writing style (in an easily referenced question and answer format) allow historian Kenneth Davis to chart American history and debunk many of its myths in this exceptional update of his 1990 best-seller.
Drawing on reports of the period and on revisionist histories, Davis concisely shows the humanity in American icons known only by one name: Lincoln's views on race relations, Washington's at times bawdy sense of humor, Franklin Roosevelt's thirst for power and gift for political (and apparently, personal) compromise, Ford and Lindbergh's disquieting bigotry and animosity. (Robert E. Lee's quote on slavery's positive effects show him, despite honors afforded him in the Civil War's losing cause, very much a man of his time.) Davis also provides short biographies of historic's outstanding black voices, from Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois' passion to the Mohammad Ali's athletic urban poetry.
Davis also shows a refreshing desire not to be objective, a rarity in books like this. He attacks the nation's great shames (treatment of Native and African Americans, Japanese-American internment during World War II), targeting history's cynics and opportunists whose names still ring of American royalty: Vanderbilt, JP Morgan, Rockefeller, even the Kennedys. (Davis' coverage of the reasons and results of 1898's Spanish-American War will disturb those always thinking Americans fought defensively and for the right causes.) Davis also explains the interlocking events which started WWI, which (should you choose to read the book cover to cover) pour into every other tragic conflict which followed up to and including September 11.
Davis misses some steps covering the last 30 years. He covers Watergate in depth, including an events timeline, which he does for every war covered in the book. But he glosses over Richard Nixon's historic trip to China and for that matter, much of the Ford-Carter years. He again retells Monica Lewinsky's affair with President Bill Clinton but fails to capture (in fact, hardly mentions) the Whitewater and Travelgate scandals inspiring Ken Starr's investigation and staining Clinton's administration and legacy.
Davis` summary of American tragedies tying into September 11's horror is heartfelt but forced. But he also explains Electoral College and US Constitution, charts the US presidents, and provides an exhaustive list of referred readings to complete an exceptionally exciting retelling of history. "Don't Know Much About History" is a title only true until the book is completed; it is exceptionally helpful as a primer and essential as a supplementary history book.
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Setting the story straight March 16 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a concise history of the United States, told from a decidedly liberal point of view. Davis begins his story with the various discoveries of America, informing us of Columbus� motivations, Erickson�s settlements, and the Native American migrations of 35,000 years ago. He continues with stories of the French and Indian Wars, the founding of the United States, the Civil War, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Twentieth Century events through the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
Each chapter begins with a list of questions on a given period of history. Then Davis begins describing what happened during this period, taking up and answering each question in turn. Starting with Teddy Roosevelt, Davis� own political persuasion starts to come through more and more clearly. While I myself agree with Davis� comments about FDR and Ronald Reagan, I think conservative readers might find some of them a bit objectionable. In general, I found this a very readable concise history of the United States, but it�s not for everyone.
151 of 163 people found the following review helpful
Opinionated but a fine book nonthe less July 18 2000
By David E. Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Davis is very opinionated in his writing of history and furthermore, I happen to be politically conservative and he is very liberal. However, I nontheless really liked the book. Opinons are OK if the author does not let them detract from the presentaion of the facts. I have read several good histories of the United States and I am satisfied that Davis presents the essentials and then some. I think that if a high school student were to use this as a review book before the final examination, he/she would get the essential information and do well on the exam. Obviously, this book is not as comprehensive as, say, Paul Johnson's "History of the American People," however, it does what it sets out to do. That is to provide a reasonably comprehensive history of the United States for people who are not well versed in the subject. The facts are presented in a well organized and easy to follow question and answer format. The opinions drove me crazy at times but, then again, perhaps they kept me interested. All in all, a good book.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Overview of American History (warts and all) Jan. 29 2001
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although I'm an avid non-fiction reader, my tastes run more towards the sciences. While I do read a lot about Arizona history ( I live there) I must admit that I haven't read much on general American history since I left school. I decided to download the unabridged audio version of this book from AUDIBLE.COM.
In the book, Davis gives a fairly complete overview of the most significant people and events in American history. His writing style is casual, almost folksy. I particularly appreciated the fact that the author discusses both the good and the bad of American history. While I am proud to be part of this great nation, there are many events in our history that we should not be proud of - things that were not discussed in your high school history class. As other reviewers have pointed out, the author occasionally injects his own biases into the text. But, when he does, he backs up these beliefs with facts that are hard to dispute. Whether you're a history buff or someone that just wants to learn more about this country, this is a great text. I plan to read the other "Don't know Much..." books by this author.
Comments specific to the audible.com version: The reader is Dick Estell (of Radio Reader fame). He does an excellent job. His voice is clear and has a lively tone to it - perfect for those long commutes
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and accessible April 4 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this book several years to help me prepare for the State Department's Foreign Service written exam. I was pretty confident in my knowledge of foreign affairs and European history, but less so about the events that had occurred right here in my own backyard for the past 200+ years. Well, it really helped! I particularly remember questions on the exam about the Monroe Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise, and Marbury v. Madison that I could not have answered had I not read this book. I passed the exam, which is one of the most draining tests I have ever taken. It's like a super-SAT for adults.
Recently, I picked up this book again and thumbed through it. My one criticism is Davis's "anti-Manifest Destiny" rhetoric, which is true, I suppose, of most modern historians, with the exception, perhaps, of the incomparable Stephen E. Ambrose. General George A. Custer described as "probably deranged" is pure revisionism! Straight out of "Little Big Man," the 1968 movie with Dustin Hoffman. Anyhow, that's my one beef in an otherwise fun and engaging read.


Feedback