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Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions (Stupid History)

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  1,126 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Paperback, 266 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sean O'Hara
Dec 22, 2010 Sean O'Hara rated it did not like it
Shelves: history-american
Gregory's previous book, Stupid History ws so much fun to nitpick that when I saw this one listed as free on KindleIQ I decided to pick it up. To his credit, Gregory's research has improved so there are far fewer falsehoods, and he even cites sources occasionally. However, the number of errors in the book remains attrocious.

* He claims the phrase "a more perfect union" is bad grammar since nothing can be better than perfect, ignoring the obvious interpretation of the phrase as "closer to perfect
Mar 01, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
This seems like a compilation of historical factoids previously printed on the back of Leinenkugel beer coasters. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that – I loves me some beer after all – and it’s a somewhat enjoyable read on my phone within the context of a crowded bus. It’s chock-full of interesting counter-logical stories, swipes at politicians old and more recently old, and goofy, cartoon figures of satirical genre that punctuate the book in apparently nonsensical order.

Dec 28, 2010 Don rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I received a Kindle for Christmas, and I picked this book to be the first to read on it because it was a free e-book and and it was fairly short - the decision had more to do with testing out the Kindle than actually choosing this book to read. It was a quick read, as the book consists of a myriad of weird, trivia like facts regarding American history. The frustrating part about the book is that for some of its information, there are no footnotes, no citation to any sources, which I think is unf ...more
May 25, 2015 Aimeslee rated it did not like it
Unless you just have to read words to stay sane (like on a trip or if the electricity goes off), I would not recommend this to anyone. It left me saying "meh!". It was mildly entertaining at first, but that did not last long. Then, when he wrote that Jimmy Carter was the first Southern president since Reconstruction, I was like, who was LBJ, chopped liver? Sorry, just could not trust another word after that. Plus, I'm no fan of Dubya, but this author lets his dislike/ridicule show slightly and t ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Trisha rated it it was ok
An easy read, but very repetitive and contradictory. As a History major, I thought I would enjoy this book, but I found Gregory's attempts at cheekiness annoying. I would only suggest this book if you need something to read, but don't have the time or are in the right surroundings to devote your brain to a real book.
Jul 06, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Barbara Nelson
There are lots of fascinating tidbits in this book. Some of these include:

On September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the numbers that popped up for the New York Lottery were 9-1-1. What were the chances of those three numbers coming up on the anniversary of the attacks in the same city in which the attacks took place? Read the book to find out!

The First Real President: The first president to be born a citizen of the U.S. was number 8, Martin Van Buren. He
Oct 12, 2013 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
"Move over Colbert and Stewart" – are they serious!?

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program.)

I requested a copy of STUPID AMERICAN HISTORY through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program. Based on the book's description, I was hoping that it might be a hybrid of James Loewen's classic, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, and The Daily Show's satirical American history "textbook," AMERICA: THE BOOK. Unfortunately, STUPID AMERICAN HISTOR
Paul Pessolano
Feb 15, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
This is a fast, easy, entertaining, informative, and fun read. It is well suited to education and those who really want to know the truth about history. Gregory gives the reader a different slant on our history and will dispel the history that was taught to us.

The best way for me to give you a feeling for the book is to show you a few of the items from the book.

"The first motto that appeared on U.S. coins was not "In God We Trust", it was "Mind Your Own Business".

"President Lincoln had four brot
Ava C
May 27, 2016 Ava C rated it did not like it
Did you know that Martin Van Buren's first language was not English, but Dutch?

Or that The Poseidon Adventure, a movie about passengers trying to stay alive after their ocean liner capsized, was being played on the Titanic 40 minutes before it sunk?

Or how about the fact that Heinz ketchup actually has over 60 varieties, but H J Heinz thought the number 7 was lucky, so he changed the label to 57 varieties?

Other random facts and funny bits of history that are rarely mentioned are found in Stupid
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is a book about aspects of American History which are little known, or which are well known but totally false. There's loads of fascinating facts in the book. A few things I found really interesting:

1. Where the term record 'album' actually comes from.

2. The Mickey Mouse cartoon that was banned in 1932 in Ohio.

3. When it was actually illegal to hold a religious marriage.

4. The major communist who worked first for the New York Tribune.

5. Hitler was named man of the year for 1938 by Time maga
Eric Bauman
Nov 06, 2011 Eric Bauman rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I read this on the Kindle. I think I got it for free or nearly free. While my Nook was down (long story), I needed something to read since all of my physical books were packed in boxes for the move.

The book is a series of one- and two-page stories about figures and incidents in American history. I found that a lot of stories tended to be about the same figures (Benedict Arnold gets mentioned quite a few times). Also, quite a few of them were not all that interesting—some even seemed to be merely
Dani Shuping
Nov 29, 2011 Dani Shuping rated it liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

I received this book through Library Thing's book reviews. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I approached this book as what it appeared to be: a book of assorted trivia that wasn't taking itself to seriously. This book is by no means a history book and is probably best used for trivial pursuit or just for tossing random facts into conversations, but that's ok. It succeeds at what it's supposed to be, a light entertaining read.

The book pr
Dec 29, 2014 Cookav rated it liked it
Did you know that Martin Van Buren's first language was not English, but Dutch?

Or that The Poseidon Adventure, a movie about passengers trying to stay alive after their ocean liner capsized, was being played on the Titanic 40 minutes before it sunk?

Or how about the fact that Heinz ketchup actually has over 60 varieties, but H J Heinz thought the number 7 was lucky, so he changed the label to 57 varieties?

Other random facts and funny bits of history that are rarely mentioned are found in Stupid A
Pamela D
I have read a couple of these stupid history books by Leland Gregory, and I always enjoy them. They are free fairly regularly on Amazon. This book was full of entertaining facts about US history and our presidents. His political colors do pop up every once and a while even when it is not relevant to the fun fact (e.g., just making fun of George W Bush without an entertaining fact to back it up).

My one concern with these books is that Leland Gregory does not cite his sources for his facts. I am
Aug 17, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
I'm assuming Mr. Gregory has his facts straight about the myths and stupidity of America. This little book is full of trivia that you just never knew. Such as when JFK was assassinated, it wasn't a federal felony to kill a president. You have to wonder why?!?!

When the Titanic hit the iceberg the night of April 14th, most of the travelers were watching....The Poseiden Adventure...about a ship capsizing. Irony, no?

This book covers the beginning of America to fairly current political history (even
Jul 04, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-history
Pretty good so far but could have been better. Two times he asks a question and never provides an answer, like why Paul Revere is remembered for his midnight ride even though he was captured by the British and only rode 19 miles but not Israel Bissell, who actually rode 345 miles? (The answer is that the poem "The midnight ride of paul revere" was written by Longfellow whose family had a connection to Revere.) Also mentions how Wall Street in New York got it's name but declines to mention that B ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Unitaga rated it really liked it
Stupid American History was about as interesting as a history book can get. I found some of the facts fascinating, while others I laughed at. My favorite kinds were the ones that I had to wonder why people knew them. For example: a women was shot in the stomach with an arrow. It would have punctured an important organ and killed her, but her corset blocked it and she escaped with only a bruise. I would recommend this book to anyone who is reluctant to read about history and like to laugh.Another ...more
Mike Jensen
Jul 29, 2014 Mike Jensen rated it liked it
Lighthearted, perfect for toilet reading book that purports to correct commonly believed falsehoods about American history, such as George Washington cutting down a cherry tree. The main problem is that its single paragraph hit and run format leaves unanswered questions, most often the source for the true version. OK, we should not believe the legend, but why believe the "truth" when the author sometimes does not do the spade work to make the truth credible? This book is fun for what it is, but ...more
Nicole Yovanoff
Sep 21, 2016 Nicole Yovanoff rated it really liked it
Really good light, fun read. I appreciated the author's candour that most of what was learned in classrooms about a good chunk of American history was just not true or half truths. Especially about things related to the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers.

A good chunk of the stuff i did already know, but some was new and the writing was so well done, that I did not mind.

Overall a good read and would recommend it to anyone who likes history and wants something light that when they get d
Jan 30, 2012 J.D. rated it liked it
Shelves: own, american-history
I really liked this book. The factoids in the book are really interesting, and usually very fascinating. Unfortunately, some of the facts in the book almost seem too fascinating to be true. If they are true, this is one of the coolest books I've ever read. Of course, with no source citations or author info page stating Gregory's credentials as a historian there's no way to be sure without researching all the book's claims on my own.
Jun 01, 2014 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book had some interesting stories and information, but quite a few of the things he referred to as widely accepted or common misconceptions were things I've never heard. I do question the accuracy of some of the information and no sources were cited. The bigger issue I have is the mocking tone of some of the authors comments. I enjoy the sort of obscure history; I don't care for his political commentary.
Jan 04, 2011 Mischelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs
I read the Kindle copy of this book. There were some mistakes in it. I hope the hard copy doesn't have as much as the e-copy. Anyway, there is a lot of stuff I didn't know. The school didn't tell students of this stuff. A few things, I like to do some research on. This book made me think about the American history more than I want to. That's the good thing. Doing some research. Make me feel like I'm back in school.
Carl Martinez
Feb 25, 2013 Carl Martinez rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
Fast read, tons of information most people probably do not know though many I did...I am history student. I like how Gregory takes on some "politically incorrect" topics and presents them factually which I didn't expect though he is rather unbiased politically...for the most part, the George W. Bush slam was inappropriate (get over it already, geez!)...I bought his other book and look forward to finishing it soon.
Jan 22, 2011 Tiffany rated it liked it
There are several blatant errors in this book, so you can't take everything it says as true. But, it's still an entertaining read. So, don't read this if you're looking for a book full of true historical humorous events, unless you're prepared to have to research any that catch your interest to see whether or not they are in fact true. But, if you're just looking for a bit of entertainment and humor, then go ahead and pick up this one.
David Lott
May 26, 2012 David Lott rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of funny facts in American history.

I read this book mostly as a time waster in between things to do. I wouldn’t say this is a must read book as much as I would say it is a book you keep around for when you need to read something for a minute or two.

I liked the book and found myself really laughing at some points but it is probably not a book that I would read cover to cover again.
Jun 11, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book was ok and definitely had some fun facts. A large portion of the book just seemed to want to sway some of the stories you have always heard about American history without much solid backup. Several examples included have he "probably" didn't say this, it us "unknown" etc. Of course we don't have solid accounts of all the cool stuff in history but we can't discount them either without at least equal evidence.

I dunno, just ok, some fun stories
Dec 22, 2012 Emmy rated it really liked it
Tired of textbook history? Then this is the book for you! Stupid American History is not only engaging and funny, but really cool, too. In this short book, I learned more than I ever had in history class...and if Leland Gregory is correct, then most of the stuff I learned in class wasn't even the whole truth to begin with!
Jun 06, 2015 Alta rated it it was ok
"Stupid" is the right word for some of the information in here. Some facts were interesting and enlightening. Others, I wish I didn't know (crude). Easy to jump to the next tidbit because of the format. I wish some information was condensed to one page or area. Information relating to the same event or person being scattered about the book is a little too random.
steven zisk
Jul 17, 2014 steven zisk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My kind of book. Easy read, and a page Turner.

My kind of book. Easy read, and a page Turner.

this book is my type of read. five stars. it's fun and makes no pretensions. facts are facts. most of it is a bit inane, but entertaining, although your life and outlook on history won't change much, it's fun to read.
Overall, an interesting read, nothing serious, just fun and informative. The facts are not organized by timeline or anything, just a collection of random facts about American history. Good reading when on bus or public transportation. Not a history book though for sure!
I downloaded it for free for my Kindle but wouldn't pay money for it.
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