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Don't Know Much About American History (Don't Know Much About)

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  304 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Was Columbus the first European in the Americas?

Who was left standing at Custer's Last Stand?

Were the Little Rock Nine a rock-and-roll band?

It's true that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But he didn't discover the New World. In fact, the new world we now call America wasn't very new at all. People had been coming to this land for thousands of years. And they haven'
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 699)
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Wendy
Really enjoyed most of this book. He hit the great and low points of America. His strong liberal leanings manifested itself towards the end, starting with the 1960s to present, so take it with a grain of salt. But I really liked the synopsis of all major historical events in America.
Shawnee Bowlin
Wow! This was a history book I actually enjoyed reading. Perhaps it is because I just simply like to cut to the bone, so to speak. In my opinion, this book skipped a lot of unnecessary junk and got right to the things I wanted to teach. I used it to share with Sandi in our American History lessons. I would read a number of pages, write questions for her to answer, then answer questions she made for me. It was fun and educational, short, and interesting. The author knew just how to capture my att ...more
Cathi
I read a couple of Davis' Don't Know Much About... books years ago and really enjoyed them, so I thought this one would be fun. It certain was. It's written for young readers (perhaps upper elementary or middle school) and is told in Davis' typical question and answer style. It's a great little book--witty, informative, fast-paced, and entertaining. I was reminded of a lot of bits of history that I'd forgotten about, and I even learned a few brand-new things, as well. Not bad!
Chantel
I purchased this book at a thrift store dime book sale and read it now because it showed up on someone's wish list on paperbackswap.com. I know I'm weak in history so I thought this would be a nice brush up. It was alright but nothing exceptional. A quick history review from the start of America up to Sep 11th. Written to grade school reading level and comprehension so way oversimplified for adults but still a decent read. I did learn a few things that I hadn't learned or failed to retain. I enj ...more
Lindsey
Some new information, but it really talked about US History as if it happened in a vacuum. The worst offense was the lack of information about women. I mean, it talked about Susan B. Anthony for less than a page and was like, yeah, she's was a suffragette. It was very disappointing.

I really wanted to learn about the US after WWII, which is where most of my knowledge is lacking, but it barely talked about the rationale for Vietnam or Korea.
Jaimie Engle
Listened to the audiobook. Really enjoyed the simplicity of the material's presentation. Generally, someone would ask a question and a narrator would respond in depth with vivid descriptions and details. Great way to learn some American History or to reiterate those facts we studied in homeschool! I definitely recommend it.
Ebony
Easily readable and enjoyable. I wanted something quick to brush up on my American history and this was perfect. It would be nice if the author updated the book, though. This book is meant for middle school aged children but the history stops around 9/11 which is about the time most kids reading this today were born. Everything that's happened in their lifetime has yet to be included.
Cheryl
This book would be good for the 4th - 6th grade age group I would say and it was written for kids, not adults. It doesn't give opinion about issues and it doesn't go into more detail than is needed in my opinion.

I picked it up at a book sale and decided to read it to brush up snce it has been a while since my own American History classes and the big gap between kid #2 and kid #3. I thought it was very well done and though I decided to read only a handful of pages at a time, a quick read. I didn'
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Erica
Being American, and all, I know I'm not very cognizant of my country's past. At least, that's what I thought. While I don't have dates and names memorized, I was surprised at how much of the information in this book I had remembered from those long ago school days.
This was a nice refresher course, though I felt there were areas that were biased or maybe didn't give a full account of situations. I wish I could remember the spots, exactly, which made me feel this way, but I don't.
I wouldn't use th
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Jim Johnson
There was as much ground-breaking history as I had expected. There were some tidbits that held my interest but this book seemed pretty run-of-the-mill as far as history books go.
Gordon Gravley
For those of us who were daydreaming or fell asleep in class. A succinct re-cap.
Lori
Turns out I know quite a bit about American History... still a fun read though.
Christin
Picked this up at a thrift store for 29cents. Thought it would be nice to have in the car while waiting for kids :-) It is written for middle-school age and I found it really fun, easy and I learned some fun things. It has pop-culture history as well as political history. It was really fun to read.

And for all you Wisconsinites, did you know Harry Houdini grew up in Appleton???? See, now you learned something too.
Ali
A good foundation in U.S. history and I enjoyed reading simplified versions of information that is already rattling around in my brain, though it is certainly not my favorite of the series. My 7-year-old loved it one night then tired of it the next, though she has enjoyed all of the other books in the Don't Know Much series. My 10-year-old read it to herself and it was her constant car companion for days.
Maura
Absolutely fine for what it is (which is a simplified and somewhat cutesy overview of American history). Nothing in-depth, but you wouldn't expect that. I just picked it off the shelf (I had given it as a gag gift to my History grad student roommate a while back) as something to read a few pages of before going to sleep, and it was a nice way to revisit all the stuff you'd learned in grade school.
Stephanie Western
Listened to the (very much abridged) audiobook on the drive to DC. It followed a Q & A format and some of the discussion was really fascinating, especially about subjects where my knowledge is pretty murky (Vietnam, Nixon, etc.). It was interesting enough that I'd like to tackle the unabridged version. Be prepared though to hear about a few of our less-than-shining moments . . .
Kathy
This was a wonderful book, making the history of our nation clear and concise. As a history major, I wanted to see how bad my memory had become! I was surprised at how much I actually remembred. Others things I was a bit fuzzy on, were made clearer. Need to find the adult one now.
Brittany
This book is filled with all the times of history that has passed.Like for the start and the making of the world to september 11th.I love this book because i love history it takes me anther place im mind that wanders what it would be like to live in that time in history.
Justin Greene
This is a good overview of American history to just past 9/11. While not highly detailed it is a great starting point for a student interested in American history or someone just wanted to refresh themselves on the basics of this country over the past several hundred years.
EJR
Teacher, United States History and Government. There was all of 4 facts I didn't know about. Which makes me happy because it turns out I do know much about American History. I liked this book. It was a nice refresher about my curriculum. I recommend it to my students.
Brenda
The space of time separating George Washington’s first inauguration in April 1789 from Lincoln’s first in March 1861 was only seventy- two years, a finger snap in the long stream of history. But that slice of history contained extraordinary events.

Janene
I really have a bad memory and loved this book so I bought it. I loved the extra interesting facts about history or people. It seriously was one I had a hard time putting down. A great reference book to just refresh your memory of who and what happened when.
Tyler
I'm amazed at how much I forgot. This is a great book, geared towards younger people, but I still learned a ton that I never knew. It was fun overall picture of our country that helps you appreciate the influences that shaped our country.
Lauren
I really like this author. For being a nonfiction book it was very intertaining. It was also cool how it was formatted in questions. I liked how they were also kind of like myths or things people commonly got confused about.
Julie
Super reference book easily written about America's moments. Wonderful trivia as well. My kids enjoy it. Layout is user friendly. Can read parts and not all at one time. Own it.
Jane
I enjoyed brushing up on facts from American History. I learned a lot of new things and enjoyed the time I got to read it. I was fairly unbiased and just straight forward facts.
Annie
If you weren't paying attention in high school and have found yourself kinda ignorant when it comes to American history, you'll enjoy it!
Katrina
This book is amazing! I learned so much, and it was enjoyable. I never knew history was so interesting before I read this book!
Alex Seals
This was free with the first National Treasure movie, and it was very entertaining. Even adults will enjoy this.
Emily
Good, concise and interesting American History. Anyone need to bone up on their nation's history in a weekend?
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Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Don't Know Much About series of books and audios for adults and children. The first title in the series, Don't Know Much About History became a New York Times bestseller in 1991 and remained on the paperback list for 35 consecutive weeks. It has since been revised several times and now has more than 1.6 million copies in print.

He is
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More about Kenneth C. Davis...

Other Books in the Series

Don't Know Much About (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much About the American Presidents
  • Don't Know Much About the Presidents
  • Don't Know Much About the 50 States
  • Don't Know Much About Space
  • Don't Know Much about World Myths
  • Don't Know Much about Mummies
  • Don't Know Much About Geography: Everything You Need to Know About the World but Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much about Planet Earth
  • Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned
Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned

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