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I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not
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I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  134 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
At long last in paperback, Richard Shenkman's bestselling sequel to Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History. Provocative and amusingly heretical, "I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not" (a quote attributed to Warren Harding) offers eye-opening revelations debunking long-held American legends.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 1992 by Harper Perennial (first published October 1st 1991)
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Bob Schmitz
Jul 23, 2011 Bob Schmitz rated it liked it
The book is filled with tid-bits from history exposing the common practice of making a smooth story out of a messy contradictory history.
-The common story of John Adams heroically representing the British Soldiers of the Boston Massacre is tarnished by his exploitation of the prejudices of the jury calling the mob a "motley rabble of...Negroes and mulattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tars"
-At Valley Forge the soldiers went "naked" a word in 18 century usage meant without proper clothing
...more
Yaaresse
This is the sort of thing I usually like, the debunking of cherished myths that pass as accepted history. We got off to a good start with blowing apart the Plymouth Rock legend and the "flag as sacred symbol" nonsense, but Shenkman started losing me about the point where he attempts to debunk the American Work Ethic by arguing that women in Lowell mills were preferred over male workers because they displayed a better work ethic than the men who routinely showed up drunk or hung over. He failed t ...more
Andrew
Jan 19, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
Rather than simply debunking historical myths, author Richard Shenkman delves into the ambiguity of history and the danger of confusing anecdote with fact.
As Shenkman reveals, much of what the reader accepts as history is actually exaggerated, dramatized, or downright false. When possible, the author reveals why, which is a story often as exciting as the original story itself.
Rather than being dispiriting and disillusioning, however, Shenkman's work breathes new life into history. It is empoweri
...more
Aaron Rodriguez
May 01, 2013 Aaron Rodriguez rated it really liked it
Shenkman offers a great rhetorical review on history and it's myths. At times though it is hard to understand what it is he is talking about If one is not familiar with particular historic events. Never the less, shenkman is a wonderful writer and historian and this book is worth reading. If not for the author's prose, then for the wonderful tidbits of history that you and (dare I say) others have misinterpreted. Shenkman points out that history is often misunderstood and forgotten at times, he ...more
Kathleen
Liked it more than just a 3, not enough for a 4. The historical tidbits were very interesting and would make good classroom or cocktail party conversation (well, at least the parties I tend to go to), as well as provide a good starting point for a deeper examination of US history. However, the writing was nothing special, and it seemed that the pool became progressively shallower as the book continued--the amuse-bouche transformed into pretzels, but I munched through it all. If nothing else, the ...more
John Nondorf
Aug 28, 2007 John Nondorf rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: budding historians
Gave up on this one about half way through. Seems to me the author invented some "common misconceptions" about history and set about dispelling the myths he had created...like how everyone thinks women now (early 90's) have it worse than they did in the Colonial period or how everyone thinks the work ethic has vanished recently (ok, yeah, I'm writing this review at work).
The book isn't terrible, there are some enlightening sections even for readers with a working knowledge of History. In my opin
...more
Joshua Taylor
Dec 31, 2012 Joshua Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having taken advanced placement history in high school which delved into a deeper understanding and analysis of American History than most high school history courses, I feel this book was very enlightening to inner workings and personalities of our revered historical figures. We cannot assume that our history is perfect. Decisions made in the last 200+ years have many flaws that were covered over to make things sound better. This book opens those closed memory vaults and exposes our history for ...more
Audrey
May 28, 2009 Audrey rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I think this might be one of those books that is only relevant to a particular generation. A lot of the supposed myths in this book were completely new to me. Maybe they were widely taught at one time, but I never learned most of them in school. Moreover, I often found myself thinking that Schenkman was going farther than the actual evidence allowed. As he himself says more than once, primary sources almost always differ, and I thought he often relied too much on only one or two sources.
Ruth
Aug 10, 2008 Ruth rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who like history and facts
It's fun to see the fallacies and myths that have come to us over the years as Americans looking back on our history. I enjoyed seeing the author's research, and he writes in a largely engaging style, albeit in a way that tends to come across as a giant list of factoids in each chapter. His first book along these lines is called 'Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History,' and this seems to be more of the same.
Mark Singer
Not as good as Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History, but still entertaining.
(Edited May 2016)
I recently finished reading the exhaustively researched and well-wriiten history "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer. Sorry Mr. Shenkman, the ride actually happened, and your snarky comments do not help. I reduced the rating from three stars to two stars.
Irish Gal
Aug 02, 2015 Irish Gal rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
There are some interesting tidbits in here, but the overall tone (his politics are pretty apparent) is annoying. He tends to generalize without showing enough sources - a few times "facts" seem more like opinions (like a couple places where I know he left out a couple of actual occurrences before forming his theory).
Josh Liller
Feb 01, 2010 Josh Liller rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trivia
Very disappointing. I read another book by the author called "Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths of American History" which I enjoyed, but this one was dull.
Erin
Jun 29, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the writing was a bit disjointed, and there wasn't a lot of cohesiveness to the chapters, other than the titles.
Randy
Jan 03, 2015 Randy rated it liked it
Interesting examinations of myths in American History but it often felt that the juiciest tales had already been mined for the original book, which this serves as a sequel.
Simone
Jul 13, 2013 Simone rated it liked it
This was an entertaining read that explained many of the myths of American history and how they began.
DAVID Halfpenny
DAVID Halfpenny rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2016
Becky Galambos
Becky Galambos rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2014
Arik
Arik rated it did not like it
Aug 21, 2008
Sherri
Sherri rated it it was ok
Dec 29, 2014
Marc
Marc rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2008
Paul
Paul rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2008
Beverly
Beverly rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2008
Zach
Zach rated it liked it
Sep 11, 2008
Elizabeth
Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2015
John Elsberry
John Elsberry rated it liked it
Nov 11, 2013
Kenneth
Kenneth rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2013
Lew
Lew rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2012
Ellen
Ellen rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2009
Ann Lehman
Ann Lehman rated it it was ok
Jul 30, 2007
Chelli
Chelli rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2012
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