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American History Revised: 200 Startling Facts That Never Made It into the Textbooks Paperback – April 6, 2010
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“Eye-opening, interesting and lively. If schools put it on the curriculum, kids would pay more attention… American History Revised should be required reading for anyone in public office, a potent reminder that real history, not the tabloid fodder sprayed across the nightly news, is often made far from the limelight.” -- Huffington Post
“American History Revised offers an overview of American history by focusing on many facts and episodes that, “startling” or not, do indeed often throw light on our peculiarly complicated country, its past, and, inevitably, it’s present and even future. I doubt that there is a single reader who won’t find many of the essays genuinely illuminating — Morris is a master of the concise essay — and often challenging. Morris is opinionated; few readers will agree with him in all of his opinions, but he is a wonderful person to engage with.”-- History Book Club
“Seymour Morris Jr. is certainly not the first to take a lateral look at the moments when the facts conflict with legend and choose to print the facts. He is, however, the most readable and authoritative. This is a lucid, provocative and thoroughly enjoyable book, full of eye-opening surprises and tantalizing what-ifs, which can be read cover to cover or dipped into like a box of favorite candies.” -- The BookWeb.com
“Many believe that history is inflexible and chiseled in stone. The simple fact is that history is much more fluid. In fact, according to this fascinating book, history is generally filled with ironies, surprises, and misconceptions. Witty, lucid, and playful, this is a book that will leave you astonished, entertained, and, yes, enlightened.” -- Tucson Citizen
“In his new book, Seymour Morris Jr. shows that American history is like an iceberg, with the best parts long hidden from view. 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, best-selling author of Puzzle Palace
"In American History Revised, author Seymour Morris, Jr. delivers useful and entertaining snippets of American history. The reader learns of a news story, broke to eastern newspapers in 1861 by a young Mark Twain, who later saw his novel Huckleberry Finn banned from several public libraries (a fact which only made them sell faster). With reverence, Morris tells of the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, nearly sunk by the air-raid on Pearl Harbor, repaired and re-fitted in 68 hours by 1,400 men.
“The people and events chosen for this book meet two criteria: they are largely unknown, and they make a point worth remembering.”
Business-minded folks would do well to pick up this piece for a hefty dose of inexpensive financial advice. One is informed that Howard Hughes was not entirely self-made but “got a leg up” from his father, who not only invented a unique oil-drilling bit, but unlike many inventors, the man refused to sell the invention, instead making a fortune renting the bits out to drilling companies. The author also points out that the patient investors that held onto their stocks even after the great crash of 1929 “made out like bandits.”
If anything, these pages reminds us that if humans indeed learn from our past–in order not to repeat mistakes–then history books lacking these facts should be swiftly updated." - San Francisco Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
Very good for what it is! You will enjoy it! Four stars!
* In discussing Pearl Harbor, the author refers to "one such officer-Corporal George Mooney". Is the author unaware that a corporal is not an officer, or was Mooney in fact a Captain or other rank?
* The author refers to "an American Admiral" in 1813, although there were no Admirals in the U.S. until the 1860's.
* The author refers to JFK winning the Pulitzer Prize for "Why England Slept". In fact he won for "Profiles in Courage".
* Twice he confuses the battle of Antietam with Gettysburg-referring to the "three day battle" of Antietam and claiming R. E. Lee would "never again launch a sustained offensive" after Antietam. What then was the Gettysburg campaign?
* In similar vein, he cites as R. E. Lee's "one brilliant victory"-Chancellorsville. What about the Seven Days, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg?
* He claims both George Washington and Ulysses Grant were 5-star generals. In fact, all holders of that rank were from the 1940's.
* He sometimes seems not to have read his own stories. Once he informs the reader that the British losing the Revolutionary War was a surprise since they had only lost one significant battle-Yorktown. Several pages later, he refers to the American victory at Saratoga as "the turning point" of the war.
In sum, the book is worth the read, but the reader is well advised to check out any of the 200 stores elsewhere before repeating them. In general they may be correct but the details are often wrong and the subject of sloppy research and editing.
Some have talked about it being a coffee table book, but I found it did better around here as a bathroom book. Everyone started reading it when I left it by the tub, including my 14 year old son.
Where it really shines, in my opinion, is discussing some business aspects of history. The story of George Eastman alone was well worth my time reading this book. What an amazing character he was! I'd never heard of him- of course he is NOT in the textbooks. They should put him in textbooks though, he's quite a role model! There's some nasty little tidbits too - like US Generals that hire themselves out to foreign countries.
I did find that the book kinda flicked around though, for example, it went from war to business to politics, to war. It was great to read first this story, and then that story, but I don't know if one TRIED to read it cover to cover if they could make much sense of the organization of the book. I never could really get a fix on that.
That said, the way it is encouraged in depth memorable short reading, and I liked it just the way it was very much, as did the family.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was glad to receive this book, I have been reading this to my seven year old granddaughter. She is amazed at some of the stories I find this is not what I was taught in school. Read morePublished 27 days ago by sherri scott
This is a very good book for anyone who loves history and even better for those who love knowing little history facts to bring into a conversation. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Adrian Torres
Some truly fascinating information, here. I recommend it highly.Published 10 months ago by Valerie K. Lerman
History is not written by historians, but by the victors. What we read and learn isn't always what really happened or the entire truth. Seymour Morris Jr. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steve Woodburn