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

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  569 ratings  ·  72 reviews
America is the home of the brave and, apparently, the stupid and gullible. Satirist Leland Gregory teaches us a lesson in historical hilarity with Stupid American History.

From Columbus to George W. Bush (that's a lot of material, people), Leland leads us through American history's mythconceptions, exposing idiocy and inanity along the time line. He reeducates by informing...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 2009)
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Sean O'Hara
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...more
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.

Jan 03, 2011 Don rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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.
"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...more
Paul Pessolano
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...more
May 05, 2014 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Andrew Shuping
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...more
Eric Bauman
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...more
steven zisk
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.
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...more
Mark Deierlein
Simple Read of odd factoids

Simple Read of odd factoids

the factoids are many, the variety of unique insights into accepted pieces of history makes you rethink your perception of history
Jennifer Jacobson Carew
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
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.
I read this on the train. It's a quick read, I did enjoy the historical tidbits here and here. But it wasn't very engaging.
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...more
Fun and informative
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
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.
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.
Feb 12, 2011 Mischelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
David Lott
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.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Yes, this book was fun, entertaining, and illuminating. But is it true? That seems to be important when you are calling a book history (albeit stupid history). Zero footnotes. Zero citations. Zero info about the author. From where did this book come? Its origins are as murky as my daily e-mail and I can't even check out the stories on
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.
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!
A lack of citations for these facts/correctional anecdotes make it problematic. Attempts to "correct" common misconceptions of American history only add to confusion without lack of citations and sources of either the origins of the myths or the "real" history. Easy to read in a one hour's sitting, or less.
From the description I thought there would be more interesting information in the book. It was a light easy read full of useless information to use at parties. However, you have to check the facts before using them, not all are true. There is not footnotes or information on where the "facts" are gathered.
Kindle freebie. This was a book full of "fun facts" that made for good reading when I had only 30 seconds of energy or so before bed. :) I already knew a lot of the information, and most of the rest were things that were fun to know but weren't necessary facts to the American story.
This is the first book that I read after getting my Kindle for Christmas. I found it to be so funny and entertaining. I think everyone would enjoy reading it.

I love stories that are true and give a different perspective of history. History is very funny sometimes
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