In the introduction to "That's not in my American History Book," Thomas Ayres exposes the fact that the typical high school student knows very little about history. HeThomas then begins to prove why that supposition is true by the bits of "unknown" history he musters to support his case.
Did you know that Franklin Roosevelt had polio? Um, yeah. Did you also know that Jonas Salk cured polio? Um, yeah. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a printer, a writer, a diplomat AND an inventor? Um, yeah. Did you know that Thomas Paine was an influential pamphleteer during the American Revolution? Um, yeah. Did you know that Benedict Arnold was the real hero of the Battle of Saratoga? Um, yeah.
Then there are the things I didn't know... either because they are patently false or mis-stated. For example, did you know that "Nolichunky Jack" was the President of the State of Franklin, the unaccepted "14th state of the Union?" Well, no, I never heard of "Nolichunky" Jack, but if you are talking about "Nolichucky" Jack Sevier (the first governor of Tenessee), then, yes, yes I did. Did you know that the British own California? Um, no. The source material for this "revelation" was the discovery of Drake's Plate of Brass in California which turned out to be a playful hoax - which goes to show that historical chicanery can be fun (see, for example, Piltdown: A Scientific Forgery, Based on Research by Ian Langham (1942
) Did you know that John Wilkes Booth may have escaped capture by the US Government after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln? C'mon, we are now approaching Oliver Stone and JFK - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)
I was fascinated by the premise of the book but it, unfortunately, turned out to be a waste of time.