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Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned + Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned + America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; 20 Abr Rev edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307714918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307714916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Here, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its debut as a New York Times bestseller, is the revised, updated, and expanded edition of the classic anti-textbook that changed the way we look at history.

First published two decades ago, when the "closing of the American mind" was in the headlines, Don't Know Much About® History proved Americans don't hate history—just the dull version that was dished out in school. With wit and irreverence, in question-and-answer form, Don't Know Much About® History took readers on a rollicking ride through more than five hundred years of American history, from Columbus's voyages to recent events. The book became an instant classic and has sold more than 1.6 million copies.

Now Davis has brought his groundbreaking work up to the present, including the history of an "Era of Broken Trust," from the end of the Clinton administration through the recent Great Recession. This additional material covers the horrific events of 9/11and the rise of conspiracy theorists, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the New Orleans levees, the global financial meltdown, the election of Barack Obama, and the national controversy of same-sex marriage.

For history buffs and history-phobes alike, for longtime fans who need a refresher course, and for a new generation of Americans who are still in the dark about America's past, Davis shows once more why People magazine said, "Reading him is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had."

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of A Nation Rising; America’s Hidden History; and Don’t Know Much About® History, which sold more than 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don’t Know Much About® series for adults and children. He blogs regularly at www.dontknowmuch.com.


More About the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the author of Don't Know Much About® History, which spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and gave rise to the Don't Know Much About® series, which has a combined in-print total of 4.3-million copies. Davis has been dubbed the "King of Knowing" by Amazon.com because he becomes a subject expert in all of the areas he writes about: the Bible, Mythology, snd the Civil War, for example, and his latest Don't Know Much About® the American Presidents. Davis's success aptly makes the case that Americans don't hate history, just the dull version they slept through in class. But many of them want to know now because their kids are asking them questions they can't answer. Davis's approach is to refresh us on the subjects we should have learned in school. He does it by busting myths, setting the record straight and always remembering that fun is not a four-word letter word. Kenneth C. Davis is a frequent media guest and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including NPR, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, and The O'Reilly Factor. He has been a commentator for All Things Considered, and has written for the New York Times Op-Ed page, Smithsonian magazine and CNN,com and other national publications. In addition to his adult titles, he writes the Don't Know Much About Children's series published by HarperCollins. He lives in New York with his wife. They have two grown children.

Customer Reviews

They should make this book a must read in most history classes.
louis Glickman
Audio versions are always my first choice in books ... I loved listening to this wonderful book.
DD@Phila
Best true approach to our History with no ' Rally around the flag' jargon.
leinad furr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gookin on December 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Look, is this an in-depth dissertation for the phd historian? No. Is it a great, entertaining, knowledgeable read for those to want to brush up on their history because they didn't pay attention in school, or just have a renewed interested in the topic? Yes.

It's broken up into sections/questions, so it's a great read in terms of getting bits at a time - or if you want to dig in for the long haul, you can do that as well.

I'm a 30 year-old college grad who wished he paid more attention in high school/college, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now feel smarter than all my friends!

Want to really know what happened with Columbus, WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Nixon, Bush, Obama? Want to get the highlights and facts and important base-line knowledge? Check this out! It's worth it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DD@Phila on September 15, 2011
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Audio versions are always my first choice in books ... I loved listening to this wonderful book. First, it reminded me of a favorite History teacher from my early high school days who's teaching method was to offer stories similiar to the vignettes presented in Don't Know Much About ... Perhaps that predisposed me to the author's style.

But, the work involved in the time span and capturing highlights of each era just spurred additional historical reading choices for me. The encapsulated view broadened rather than distilled my interest. The narrators (including the author) are fresh and engaging.

For those of you who think history is a dry topic ... think again. DD@Phila
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By louis Glickman on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful read. A lot of things that you lived through, but with a somewhat different
twist. They should make this book a must read in most history classes. It clears away
some of the fog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cathryn Conroy on September 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Where else can you get an easy-to-read overview of 500 years of American history--from who really discovered America to how we elected our first black president--and have FUN reading it? I saw author Kenneth C. Davis interviewed on CNN and was mesmerized by what he had to say and how he said it. When they flashed his credentials on the screen as the author of this book, I bought it immediately. This isn't your high school or college history textbook. This one is so much fun you might even stay up past your bedtime reading it! Quite simply, read this book and you'll be quite literate when it comes to the big facts about our nation's past--whether you want to win at Trivial Pursuit, impress someone at a cocktail party or (most important) develop an understanding of why and how things happened THEN that deeply impact our NOW.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David T on December 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm pushing 62 and wanted to find a book on American history that I could use to teach my granddaughter about our beginnings. The scope is no easy task to cover. This book IMHO does a pretty good job on covering American history but the author certainly has his way with "recent" historical facts with a strong (and sometimes distasteful) hard and fast leaning towards the left. Just be warned ... if that's your thing then fine, if not then look elsewhere.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kenneth C Davis has once again wrote a book that is entertaining and informative. He explains that you may not agree with everything that he wrote in his book but has based it on his interpretation on the historical facts. The information in the book will explain to you why things happened the way they did and you will then be able to identify the historical characters that shaped American history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walls with Doors on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book much more than I thought I would. It's an easy read and is a good overview of American History. I don't see any type of liberal slant in the book at all.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on August 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Don’t Know Much About History

Kenneth C. Davis is a best selling author. This is the 20th anniversary edition, it was first published in 1990. It provides an “antidote” to the dull, dreary textbooks of high school or college. It is their censorship that makes these textbooks dull and dreary. Listing just names and dates is factual and non-controversial, unlike a book that provides a directed study of history. You have to read history books on your own, but not necessarily this one. Davis complains about the teaching of history, but was he ever a teacher himself? What does he do for a living? Each of its nine chapters consists of questions and answers about an historical event. Its intention is to refute fabricate schoolbook histories. Does Davis really believe show business acts that show people incapable of answering a question about history (p.xiii)? What about the ones who know the answer? How much of American history is relevant to everyday living? Who controls schools and their textbooks? This question and answer format reminds me of some TV game show (p.xxi). Who learns anything from game show? There is no mention of video games or phones that affect student’s learning. What about advertising? Big Corporations use advertising to control people’s thinking. Advertising decides what is shown on television, radio, newspapers, etc. Even books like this? “America has no monopoly or virtue or villainy” (p.xxvii). But isn’t it proper to recommend doing the best? Is America divided along racial and economic lines? Isn’t that true of other countries? Class or economic biases are part of human behavior. Who controls our school systems? Aren’t students the victims of their policies (p.xviii)?

These chapters are well-written, like magazine articles, and loosely connected.
Read more ›
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