drowningmermaid's Reviews > Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned

Don't Know Much about History by Kenneth C. Davis
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's review
Dec 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, curriculum
Read from November 25 to December 19, 2010

A very nice overview that does a good job of showing American history as it relates to world history, not in isolated, boring blocks that I was taught in grade school. Seriously, by sixth grade, I wanted to hurl every time I heard the name "Paul Revere."

I don't see how he can consider himself "biased toward objectivity," though. He makes plenty of disparaging remarks about southern, conservative, religious types and he seems, for the first part of the book anyway, to be biased toward gossip-- stressing the human foibles that went into the founding of America. I was quite interested, though, to learn that genetic evidence does not completely confirm that Jefferson had a black mistress, only that Sally had children by one of the Jeffersons.

However, Davis lost some points with me when he glossed over MLKs fairly-rampant womanizing, and the fact that he plagiarized from other speech writers. That made it seem like he was only willing to take the distant, forgotten (white) greats down a peg or two. Also, the last decade or so of modern history could have been covered more concisely.

Good read, though. Liked it far better than I expected to.

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