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American History Revised: 200 Startling Facts That Never Made It into the Textbooks

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
“American History Revised is as informative as it is entertaining and humorous. Filled with irony, surprises, and long-hidden secrets, the book does more than revise American history, it reinvents it.” —James Bamford,
bestselling author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, and The Shadow Factory

This spirited reexamination of American history delves into our past to expos
Paperback, 412 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Dec 09, 2014 Dale rated it it was ok
Written like a textbook with double columns, American History Revised is intended to be a supplement to the history your high school textbook ignored or glossed over. This is a fine goal because almost every history textbook is a dry, tedious tome that bores its readers to sleep before they can learn any history.

American History Revised approaches this challenge with a scatter-gun style of random facts that are very loosely grouped into categories like "Forgotten by History", "In Pursuit of
Erik Dewey
Jun 06, 2010 Erik Dewey rated it really liked it
Fascinating book. Not so much the "what you've always thought is wrong" type of history book but more of a "hey, here's something interesting you probably didn't know."

I found it quite enjoyable with just enough detail on each piece of history to get the feel but not too much to make it dry and boring.
David Cavaco
Oct 27, 2016 David Cavaco rated it it was ok
Shelves: americana
Interesting tidbits on lesser known aspects of American history. Problem is that chapters claim to be thematic but the book is organized poorly that one easily forgets what they just read. Information overload. The pictures and graphs are interesting. Avoid.
Jul 11, 2014 Keith rated it it was ok
Some of the facts in this book I know are correct. Many are very important as well. Knowing that the U.S. is not supposed to be a Democracy is something our presidents lack.

But I noticed a lot of problems in the book. So certainly if I spotted some problems then most likely there are more.

For instance "our constitution and bill of rights have been intact for 230 years and set the record for continuous government". This is not true at all. Rome, Byzantine, and many others surpass 230 years. But
Jun 10, 2010 Chris rated it liked it
American History Revised is an enjoyable read. It is not revisionist history, but rather a look at some of the lesser known aspects of American history. "200 startling facts" are spread through ten theme-based chapters. It makes for easy reading, and as each startling fact only takes up a page or two, this book works best as something to keep on the coffee table to flip through now and then.

However, I do not recommend this book for serious history readers. The format prevents the author from pro
Jul 31, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it
A high-quality bathroom reader (200 articles - some as short as a couple of paragraphs) on the "betcha didn't know that" of American history. The book is better than that description makes it out to be - there's some incisive analysis of economics, trends & common wisdom amidst the mini-profiles of important Americans unrecognized by standard history texts.

For me, the kicker was the story of the Bennett Place negotiations at the end of the Civil War between General Johnston & General She
Craig Patton
May 15, 2013 Craig Patton rated it it was amazing
Really great book with a lot of fascinating, nuanced, pieces of history that are either lost, forgotten, or never spoken about. As a lover of history I was amazed at the number of things I DID NOT know within it's pages. As a general rule, there are only a handful things I didn't know when reading up on history so this book was more than a pleasant surprise to me.

Another great thing is that it is not limited to just one period of American history but up through the time of the books publication.
Book Maven
Jun 20, 2010 Book Maven rated it it was amazing
I was half asleep when I picked up this book, but I was wide awake by the end of the introduction. Then I kept going. Wow. Lucidly written and vigorously explained, it combines specific historical events analysis with honest self-reflection.
It's both insightful and fresh. The strength of the book its focusing on specific issues that could spark further research and awareness.This is a provocative and enjoyable book, full of eye-opening surprises, which can be read cover to cover or dipped into
Feb 08, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
We went to the nat'l archives yesterday and i found this in the gift shop. I read the preface last night and have decided that this could possible be the best American history book every written. He quotes Samuel Johnson "Anecdotes are the gleaming toys of history." In 1931, while crossing Fifth Avenue in NY, an Englishman used to looking to the right looked the wrong way and was hit by a taxicab - but survived. Had Winston Churchill walked a second faster, he could have been run over. I'm reall ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Dj rated it really liked it
A very interesting if at times uneven book. The author does an interesting job of treating various events in history and presenting them in a light that brings a freshness to them. Occasionally the author seems to be missing or bringing forth a point that he wasn't intending to make, but that doesn't keep the book from being an interesting and enjoyable read.

I would suggest this to anyone that thinks that history is boring. This is more along the lines of what history was intended to be about.
Aug 17, 2010 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
History has a tendency to be sanitized and abridged, and lots of facts drop through the cracks. This book attempts to bring to light a lot of the omissions and misconceptions of American history.

I really enjoyed both the concept and the content of this book. It was fun to read through in bits and pieces and learn a lot of new things. The thematic chapters made a lot of parallels, but I did find myself a little confused as I would read about the Revolution multiple times throughout the book, but
Dec 17, 2010 Grace rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The author is not a professional historian, but a businessman who is interested in history. Which gave it a different perspective. There were definitely some startling facts, and some I already knew, but probably only because I read history books. Second book I've read describing Woodrow Wilson's incredible level of racism. I liked the book's section showing how history repeats itself. Overall, a good read.
Nov 02, 2010 William rated it liked it
Mr. Morris picked out an entertaining selection of little-known events and discrepancies in American history. At times, however, it did seem like a later reference would contradict a former, so I would have liked cross-references between the startling facts. As always, I prefer footnotes instead of an annotated bibliography.

The format is well-suited for those times when you're caught in the bathroom without something to read. It's a bit large to be carrying around town.
Sep 13, 2010 Bev rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Well worth reading, answers many questions I've had about history, many details about personalities of history and most importantly rectifies many errors that have crept into current school history books. The author is very good, interesting read, but some facts I don't buy. Some conclusions are made without validation. The most egregious error was stating that the Mountain Meadows Massacre was done by religious fanatics who believe in blood atonement.
May 25, 2014 Anthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Pretty interesting book. I like that he showed how the things he discussed related to recent events. A couple of sections were a little repetitive, and a couple of things were phrased awkwardly, but the information was interesting enough that overall I was able to overlook those things pretty easily.
Dec 22, 2011 M-dawg rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Most of the stories in this book I have never read. They bring to life some lesser known and interesting facts about American history. That being said, there are a few facts that are lesser known for a reason. Most of the stories are short and the author prompts readers to research the certain topics that interest them.
Jan 27, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
The book presented interesting facts, but it got tedious as I continued through. I understand that the author wanted the facts to surprise you and as a result concealed details about who was involved or when it happened until later in the description, but I found it aggravating by the end of reading and it took me longer to read it than it should have because I was frustrated and kind of bored.
Justin Dove
Couple of things:

1. Sometimes your context needs context. (This book is about how history textbooks, specifically, don't provide a complete picture of historical events.)
2. Beware absolutes and attention-grabbing language: "Startling" Facts that "Never" Made it ...
3. This book wasn't that bad, but not that great.
Jan 24, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Breezily written collection of facts that generally are not taught in American History courses. Kind enough to provide bibliography of sources, but did not list sources with each fact. The author swallowed the lie that Soviet Union had overwhelming number of divisions on the Eastern Front (if so why did it take them so long to conquer Germany?). In all a decent read.
Whitney Hassell
Nov 07, 2015 Whitney Hassell rated it liked it
The fun facts here are quite fun and interesting, but some sections could have been summarized a bit more or sectioned off differently. I will definitely use this as a resource in the future and am glad I bought it.
Jan 28, 2011 Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: history
decent read, but basically just a collection of lesser known facts from American History, but maybe there is a reason while they are lesser known.
More random historical facts to clutter my mind. Some was already known, but others were interesting takes. A good bathroom companion.
Dec 11, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, history
A really interesting book. I learned a lot from it and it made me want to read more history books. Always a plus.
Sally Lopez
Pretty biased on modern social topics. Very interesting and fun to read historical snippets. Recommended for young people! Needs to be shelved in young adult and adult history alike.
Rick Massey
Sep 11, 2012 Rick Massey rated it liked it
This is an extremely interesting read. I love to read accounts of background material you didn't hear in school.
Feb 24, 2011 Lynettes rated it really liked it
History nerd in me couldn't resist this in the library. Interesting facts and tidbits on US History.
Aug 04, 2014 Andy rated it did not like it
If Fox News and Rush Limbaugh collaborated to rewrite history, it might look a lot like this work of fiction. It was a gift, confused with another book of the same title. Whoopsie.
May 06, 2010 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, adults
this is the kind of non-fiction I like--bits and pieces and easily digestible. I enjoyed this even as a non-history person.
April Rogers-Krick
Jul 06, 2014 April Rogers-Krick rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Have read this cover to cover a few times. Use it in my history classes as an additional learning tool for students.
Courtney Stockstill
Courtney Stockstill rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2013
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