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The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The compact history of a giant country.

American history is one of those subjects that students frequently labor over and can seem like a random collection of names, dates, and events. Understood as a collective biography and free of the cheerleading found in many text books, the fully updated fifth edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History explains the cha
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Paperback, 5th Edition, 432 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Alpha (first published 1996)
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Tiffany
I read this to review for a Praxis test; it's been 20 years since I took a history class. I wanted a refresher on the high points and I got it. This author has a more compelling writing style than the author of the CIG to World History. While not as badly needed as in the World History book, a few maps would be helpful.
Shelly
Jun 17, 2014 Shelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Read this quick summary of US history in four days as a prep for the FSOT. It's a little slanted but a useful resource for a summary of the American narrative.
Z
Jul 03, 2014 Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took years and years to get through, butt (heh) it was a bathroom read. Pretty informative and easy to get through.
Pamela Hubbard
Aug 13, 2012 Pamela Hubbard rated it really liked it
This was a great overview of the many different aspects of American history: social, economic, religious, political, etc. Not only did it cover the main events, such as wars, it also delved into the atmosphere of the country at different points in time. This broad overview really helped me see connections between events and ideologies and showed the steps between our vastly different culture in the early 1900s to what it is now. I highly recommend this book for those of you wanting an easy read ...more
Mandy
Nov 26, 2012 Mandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book zero stars I would. Not only is the lay out in my option complete "idiotic" its unclear when everything happened because he bounces back and forth between years and adds random facts of things that happened many years later. the author has clear bias opinions which makes me second guess how accurate the history is. To me history should go without person comment and insights. Which he failed to do.
John
Read this in one day to study for a test. It's a passable distillation of American History in 275 pages. It can't seem to decide if it wants to be in the Howard Zinn camp of all rich educated white Protestant people are the devil, or the textbook "all of US history was done by rich white men". By trying to straddle both, it doesn't really do either. Still, I think I did okay on the test.
Allegra Green
Not as entertaining as the Complete Idiot's Guide to British history, and I felt it left out some really important details about things such as how wars ended, and a chart of American presidents! Some they barely covered! I would have appreciated a chart and a timeline. But it was a good enough introduction to history.
Meg Lees
Jul 14, 2008 Meg Lees rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a fast, easy review of US History, this is great! I love all the "Idiot" books, and this one is no different. Without it, my US History test would have gotten a much lower grade! However, it is not a good book to use alone; I found it better as a supplement to my textbooks than as a stand-alone study book.
Heather Crozier
Not an enthralling read, obviously, but it helped me sketch in some areas. I feel less stupid regarding the country's history, but I definitely need to do more reading on 20th century events.
Cade
Oct 12, 2012 Cade rated it liked it
easy-reading, brush up on history, but the author shows clear bias with the more recent history. A lot of things I understand better since I didn't always listen in school.
Lindsey
Helpful in giving an overview.
Taína
Jun 21, 2012 Taína marked it as to-read
That's right people!!
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