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The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History

(Politically Incorrect Guides)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,647 ratings  ·  154 reviews
 “The problem in America isn’t so much what people don’t know; the problem is what people think they know that just ain’t so.”  —Thomas E. Woods

Most Americans trust that their history professors and high school teachers will give students honest and accurate information.   The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History  makes it quite clear that liberal professo
Paperback, 270 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Regnery Publishing (first published April 1st 2001)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,647 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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May 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
You could shorten the title to simply "incorrect."

Usually the words politically incorrect announce someone who is proud of having gone against the grain. Thomas E. Woods is here to show us that a person can be unusually proud of committing all the sins he purports to denounce.

Woods' aim is to correct the cherished myths of American History that are advanced (without evidence!) by Liberals/Political correctness/people who disagree with Woods. The problem is in order to do this, Woods does exactly
Aug 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly eye-opening. The D&C says we are to waste out our days bringing hidden things to light. This book helps you to do that. The author goes through the span of U.S. history, from the Pilgrims to Bill Clinton, exposing what the popular myths are. So I learned the following:

-the Native Americans were not the first American environmentalists
-the revolutionary war was was more of a return to common law rights of Englishmen rather than a rebellion
-the Civil War wasn't really
Finally an easy way to display my ignorance and political extremism to friends! If you want to waste your time and money than this book is for you. This book has the same level of truth and scholarship as the crazy, ranting homeless man you cross the street to avoid but without the personality. Woods' book pays homage to the worst extremism of the right wingers and libertarians. Not content to destroy the present, Woods' books is a hideous attempt to pervert the past and our understanding of Ame ...more
Robin Damgaard
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ron Paul recommends this book. Enough said.
Jun 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
The concept behind this book is great. There are a slew of historical facts that are so vastly over-simplified when you are a kid in history class that they end up effectively being lies. Many history books and teachers also present complicated constitutional issues as if they are simple, with of course the history teacher's view presented as the one "true" view. The problem with this book is that Woods does these exact same things, but he seems to think it's somehow better because he's coming f ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
History is written by the winners looking upon the past through rose colored glasses.

This book negates the tint.

It has some of the well known "open secrets" like Jefferson fathered his slave babies and Kennedy had affairs and used ghost writers, but he mostly fills the book with the effects of well intentioned programs--there's less integration in school districts with forced bussing programs that were meant to diversify the schools, the reasons behind certain decisions (why the founding fathers
Jul 15, 2007 added it
Shelves: polisci_history
History is always presented by those in power.
Academics have a vested interest that it is presented their way.
This is a good counter balance
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great supplement to ANY history course from grade school through grad school. It's nice to see what the text books usually leave out.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Addition to my high school curriculum
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Not sure I agree with EVERYTHING, but all of it is thought-provoking.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, politics
This book, while unpopular in more liberal-minded circles, provides a lot of insight into some of the more significant events in our Nation's history that are often overlooked in most of our high school history books. The book describes how far our Nation has fallen from what it was originally intended to be. For me, at least, this is a very discouraging reality. I am an admirer of what the Founders originally put forth into this country via the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. However, many ...more
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
We all have a thing or two to learn about what we have be lead to believe in high school and some college history classes.

Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This entire line of books is incredibly good, chocked full of information you usually don't find in history books or classes, giving new light to "accepted" history.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started listening to this in an attempt to have balanced opinions and education about American history. Unfortunately, this is not really a history book. It is conservative propaganda, and as such, leaves out huge parts of the story. Most of the book may very well be fact, but it is fact in the same way that negative political ads are. It presents select examples as proof that a much broader generalization is truth. For example, since some Native American tribes benefited in the short term fro ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
Inside, you learn that the American "revolutionaries" were actually conservatives. Puritans and other colonists mostly didn't steal Indian lands or engage in genocidal ...acts against them. The first section heading is called "Suspicion+Dislike=Liberty. A formula for freedom." All the chapter titles are actually pretty irritating.

Later on it gets into Confederate apologetics, justifying religious tyranny as long as it's done by the states and not the federal government. He seems to love focusing
Patrick S.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
Another enjoyable book by Tom Woods. This really is the "history you SHOULD have learned in school" book. He starts from the beginning of the first European settlers and goes right into the Reagan/Clinton era. Probably the most that I learned was the section on World War I. It is very interesting how war hungry some of the Presidents were and how vocal they were about it. The fact that Woods uses a lot of quotes shows that these aren't just conclusions drawn from connecting dots but letting the ...more
Jamie King
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-history
The lack of notes in the P.I.G. books (Politically Incorrect Guides) that I've read so far is frustrating. They offer quite a different perspective which I imagine could be just as biased as the leanings in other books the claim to debunk.

I offer as example a 19th century soundbite taken completely out of context to support the portrait of a innocent, peaceful Confederacy. Page 87 Woods writes,

"Johnson argued that Radical Reconstruction showed such contempt for law and precedent that it proved
Honza Prchal
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book was riveting and, though contrarian, quite fact-based, even when it is infuriating.
It did have some MAJOR issues, however, especially relating to war ... the American Civil War, Cold War, and WWI, in particular (on WWII, it was surprisingly good, though I disagree with some, but not most of the spirited and entertaining FDR bashing). I most object to the coverage of Mr. Lincoln's War.
It rehashes a lot of truth, some Confederate propaganda about the occupation of New Orleans (federal s
David Monroe
There is only one portion of the title that accurately describes this book, the word "incorrect". This fantasy is driven by an agenda. An agenda to discredit scholarly research and facts... facts that dare to contradict a Right-wing political ideology. So, no problem, Wood makes history fit his world-view. Facts are not and never will be, partisan. Sometimes they agree with you, sometimes they don't. But weaving them into a fantasy to sell to gullible FOX, Beck, Rush and Paulits - by a professio ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is an awesome read for those of you who don't believe everything you heard in the 8th grade. Spanning the early settlements on the American Continent, this book shatters some commonly held myths perpetuated by our current indoctrination centers and even most college courses. Thomas Woods holds a degree in History from Harvard and makes good use of his vast knowledge on the subject in this book, often sighting books "you;re not supposed to read" as great examples. My favorite thing abou ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am listening to this book on CD. It's interesting in a way. There are valuable tidbits and quotes.

The author seems to have an axe to grind and a political agenda. I feel that the book is a bit argumentative.

For example, the author is really big on the right to bear arms. This is difficult to take in this era of school shootings. He brings evidence to support his view. It feels a bit like the debate club with one side reporting. One feels like someone else could bring an opposing viewpoint with
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This is a nice alternative to your typical history textbook, but I can't quite bring myself to rate it higher than three stars. There's a lot of great information here, but trying to distill the entire history of the U.S.A. down to three hundred pages is a problematic endeavor no matter how you slice it. Still, Woods' perspective gave me a different take on a lot of things, such as the startling degree to which Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt were responsible for escalating World Wars I an ...more
Davey Ermold
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: government
I've come to the conclusion that we have the absolute best system of government possible, but we have elected idiots for virtually the past 200 years. To be sure, most historians and economists (both Democrat and Republican) will not like this book, because it describes the pitfalls of big-government interventionism (both foreign and domestic). Nevertheless, this book fills in some of the cracks that most history textbooks gloss over. Highly recommended.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was total garbage. I had to put it down after a few chapters because I could literally feel myself becoming more bigoted.

If you can get past Native American's agreeing to give away the land they lived on for no profit, even though they couldn't speak English or Spanish in the 1300's and 1400's, you've got a tougher stomach than I.

Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance, but I really didn't think ethically I could.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Like his "33 Questions," this book deals with aspects of American history that most historians won't tell you about--certainly not public school teachers.

The story of American History that is taught in our schools and universities is a simple one, that reads like a morality tale--ignoring facts that reflect badly on "heroes" like FDR.

Read this book and learn what you're not supposed to.
Kym Robinson
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a fan of Thomas Woods work, I am perhaps biased, but I did enjoy this book and found it to be both informative and entertaining with an easy to follow prose.

A good balance to Zinn's 'The Peoples History of the USA' as both could be read alongside the other in order to gain certain perspectives.

I do suggest this to anyone interested in American History or History in general.

85 %
Void lon iXaarii
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Quite a cool book. Not that I'm that familiar with the American History, but it sure does say some stuff I've never heard of and certainly stuff you don't expect many to go around repeating :P Thumbs up for such histories!
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Definitely not as good as other politically incorrect guides in the series. There are many sweeping generalizations in here which are hard to believe because I can't see his footnotes. But there are also important facts in here that more people should know. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book gives a thought provoking alternative assessment of American history. Read this with an open mind. You don't have to agree with everything. It does, however, give the reader many things to think about. Many Americans do not think about the long term ramifications of current policies and propositions. If nothing else, the reading will begin to look at the long term effects of current policy proposals.
I thought the idea behind the book would be great, however, it was a battle just to finish the book. The biggest problem I have is that the author does what he is accusing everyone else of doing. essentially saying that this is correct because he says so, and with just a little bit of looking into information there is a bunch that does not fit the facts of the events.

Additionally the author seems to reverse his own opinion on what what has helped and harmed the country and economy throughout hi
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Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and host of The Tom Woods Show, which releases a new episode every weekday. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Woods has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, C-SPAN, and Bloomberg Television, among other outlets, and has been a ...more

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“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government, may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much territory as they inhabit.” Abraham Lincoln, 1848” 1 likes
“The story of American history that most students have encountered for at least the past several decades amounts to a series of drearily predictable clichés: the Civil War was all about slavery, antitrust law saved us from wicked big business, Franklin Roosevelt got us out of the Depression, and so on. From the colonial settlements through the presidency of Bill Clinton, this book, in its brief compass, aims to set the record straight.” 0 likes
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