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One-Night Stands with American History: Odd, Amusing, and Little-Known Incidents

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  208 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Respect yourself in the morning -- read One-Night Stands with American History!

This collection of little-known facts and anecdotes is American history with the boring parts left out. Richard Shenkman and Kurt Reiger have uncovered numerous stories about hoaxes, inventions, secrets, and rare incidents -- many involving the most famous and powerful people in America.


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ebook, 336 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 481)
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Melki
Jan 04, 2016 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, trivia
Oh, I am SO longing to regale you with little known facts and fascinating bits of trivia, like HOLY MOLEY - chastity belts made of cacti - OUCH! But, since this is a site for booklovers, I pulled out all the little tidbits I could find about books, writers and publishing.

- The rhymes of Mother Goose, a real person, were first published in 1719 under the title Songs for the Nursery; or, Mother Goose's Melodies for Children. Her son-in-law, a printer, who was annoyed by the rhymes Mother Goose san
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Andrew
Jan 29, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the beginning author Richard Shenkman warns the reader that many of the stories contained within are apocryphal, and a lot are probably untrue to begin with. Why then is this book worth reading? Shenkman manages to answer this question with one of the book's own passages.

To paraphrase: two Confederate veterans were reminiscing about the battle of Paducah Kentucky, when one of them bragged, "We pushed those damn Yankees all the way back to Illinois!"

But then the other man interrupted. "I was
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Jacqueline
Jan 25, 2011 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any history lover that likes a flavor of uniqueness!
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Impulse buy
This book was a nerd's paradise! It was amazingly enlightening, providing information that I didn't know beforehand, or expounding upon such I already knew. It was absolutely hilarious, for some of the insights related to comical incidents or moments of irony that were so enjoyable to adsorb. Then, of course, there were my favorites...

Quotes: “There they are, cutting each other’s throats, because one half of them prefer hiring their servants for life, and the other by the hour.” – Thomas Carlyle
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bup
Jun 22, 2009 bup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2009
I love trivia, and this had some pretty interesting stuff. I can't give it five stars because it has the caveat that some of the anecdotes are of questionable origin (but it doesn't say which ones), and because after the first hundred and some pages, I was about ready for something new, and because it contains my biggest personal history-related pet peeve - the claim that Ben Franklin wanted the turkey as the national bird, citing the one letter to his daughter everyone cites when they make this ...more
Johnp
Dec 31, 2013 Johnp rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013, history
There must be over a thousand bizarre facts, stories and odd information ranging from the days of the Colonies until 2002. This is a good book to have on a coffee table or nightstand, where you can pick it up, read a few pages and then go on to something else.

I liked the fact that almost every fact had a source cited – though a few of the more extraordinary items (e.g. a racist remark by Sam Rayburn and a bizarre tale about LBJ) were sourced as “personal conversation with [the author]”.

Overall,
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Jeff Beland
Apr 27, 2015 Jeff Beland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really fun little trivia book. I read it quickly and was sad when it was over.
Amy Sawyer
Feb 14, 2016 Amy Sawyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For history lovers who like the miscellaneous tidbits.
Matt
Jul 09, 2014 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book with little tidbits of information.
Robert Ferry
Mar 26, 2015 Robert Ferry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing and occasionally surprising
Lola
May 03, 2016 Lola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's what most teenagers don't realize: American history, while occasionally dull, has its dark dirty secrets. If you know where to look, you can find things that will turn your teacher's ears red. One-Night Stands with American History is like the gossip magazine of American history. It's organized well and the facts are quick and yet still detailed. There are some dirty things, some funny things, and some odd things. Give it a chance! You just might become a believer...
Sara
Nov 29, 2008 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: knowledge junkies
Recommended to Sara by: mom
I like trivia and I like American History, so I liked this book. Very digestible nibblets of knowledge. But, for some reason I got the sense not all of the "facts" were facts. Maybe it was that they listed the source citation after each and every one? Like they were trying to convince me? Still, a good time.
Michael
Jan 17, 2009 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There were a few interesting anecdotes in the book but most of them just weren't interesting. It didn't help that many were about people who were extremely minor players in history.

There are many other books that do a much better job of exploring some of the lessor known stories of American history.
A.J.
Oct 01, 2012 A.J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was given to me as a gift from a thrift store and I hadn't had the chance to read it until now. It's an interesting read with various vignettes and tidbits of events that occurred in history. I recommend this to any history buffs.
Melissa
Definitely a fun read, but showing its age. There were many "facts" that have since been debunked or challenged in the last 11 years. A decent read for the trivia buff.
Susan
Dec 03, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like to see fresh perspectives on American History but I've read so many reviews saying that this book is b.s., it's hard to know what to believe.
Ellenkaymi
Aug 02, 2011 Ellenkaymi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that anyone who enjoys American history would like this book. It is filled with stories and facts that you probably did not learn in history class.
Mark Singer
Just what the full title said. Not really a history, just a collection of amusing anecdotes about American history.
Kate
Jan 11, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Oh history... normally American history is full of propaganda that sickens me, but this book was full of lulz! :D
Otter
Dec 25, 2007 Otter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, episodic read. Lost of interesting facts in bite-sized portions.
Jim Berkin
Jul 23, 2012 Jim Berkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful assortment of American history trivia, entertaining throughout.
Marjorie
Jan 18, 2010 Marjorie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally awesome for American history dorks like me.
Brian Nordstrom
Mar 02, 2009 Brian Nordstrom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty fun read. Good for a history buff.
Alan Beam
Jan 28, 2008 Alan Beam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book to have some interesting and unknown facts.
Sarah
Sep 22, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, historical, 2013
Short stories, with a fun twist on history.
Jillian
Jan 25, 2008 Jillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty funny stories. Very interesting!
Dpalange44
Fun and easy to read.
Beth Leppin
Beth Leppin marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
John Hubbard
John Hubbard rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2016
Pj
Pj is currently reading it
Jun 12, 2016
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“Counting both Northerners and Southerners, more American lives were lost in the Civil War than in any other conflict.” 0 likes
“not only did Horace Greeley, in less than a month’s time, lose his wife, the election, his money, his mind, and his own life, but he also became the only presidential candidate of a major political party to receive no electoral votes.” 0 likes
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