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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dave runs American history through the wringer, and comes up with some wonderfully warped formulations. (The Vikings, for example, "were extremely rugged individuals whose idea of a fun time was to sail over and set fire to England, which in those days was fairly easy to ignite because it had a very high level of thatch, this being the kind of roof favored by the local tribespeople...") Covering pre-Columbian days through the dawn of the Bush administration, Dave Barry Slept Here is the funniest thing to hit this great nation since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Miami Herald syndicated columnist Barry here assembles a funny U.S. history replete with malapropisms (Ferdinard and Imelda of Spain financed Columbus), parodies ("This land is your land, / This land is my land, / Looks like one of us / Has a forged deed to the land."), literal-mindedness (President Monroe Doctrine) and, above all, anachronisms (the Wrights' first flight was canceled because of equipment problems at O'Hare). Several clever gags run through the book--one about the significant contributions of women and minorities (although none is ever detailed), another ascribing the date of every major event to October 8 (for ease in remembering) and a third featuring the Hawley-Smoot tariff, which had an immediate impact on the Great Depression. There are few heroes in Barry's pantheon, and only an occasional villain--principally Richard Nixon--while other widely admired figures, like Mark Twain and Winston Churchill, are given their lumps. Author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (October 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345416600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345416605
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on November 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pulitzer Prize winning humor columnist Dave Barry set out to write a American history book that would be accessible to lay people. How did he accomplish this? For one thing, there are no dates to memorize, unlike the ones that menaced us in school. Or rather there is a single date (Oct. 8) for all important events, so chosen because it's his son's birthday.

Another way, this book is different is that it has left out the dull parts of history. Therefore, the reader is spared having to wade through tedious facts and figures that seem interchangeable and impossible to remember or care about. No, this book is bona fide funny. True to his promise, Barry adroitly gives us our history minus the really boring parts. He begins by explaining how America was "very different...no roads, no cities, no shopping malls, no Honda dealerships." He then progresses to Columbus's voyage with the three ships: the Ninja, the Pina Colada, and the Heidy Ho III. He is succinct when his narrative threatens to veer into dullness. For example, he sums up the "Decline of Spain," by saying "On Oct. 8, 1565, Spain declined." Presidential foibles, oddball interpretations of laws and amendments, amusing chapter headings (Deep International Doo Doo, The Seventies: A Relieved Nation Learns That It Does Not Actually Need a President, a running joke at the expense of Richard Nixon, plus creative use of quote marks make this a hilarious read.

And as a bonus, he does not forget to mention the many important contributions made by women and minorities. Well, sort of.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For sheer gut busting laughs, this is the funniest book I've read. You do need some knowledge of American history to appreciate a lot of the satire, but it's a riot on any level. "Science Made Stupid" (not by Dave Barry) comes in a close second.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love American History and the more you know about it, the funnier this book is. Dave Barry's at his finest in this book and it's a must have for any Dave Barry fan or U.S. History buff. I read this book when I was taking AP US History in high school and laughed my head off. If you love history you'll appreciate it. If you think that it's the most painfully boring subject ever, this book making fun it will help you endure it. Either way, it's a can't miss gift idea (at least in my experience). Dave Barry's book should be used as an American History book. And I'm not making this up. His riffs on the American Revolution and the Civil War are classic. This book is the best of Dave Barry!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book years ago before a plane trip to Boston. I was glad I was on a prop plane that was very noisy, because I was laughing out loud and no one could hear me. This book is an absolute riot, even if you don't know American history well (although it's definitely funnier if you do). I used to have a large collection of Dave Barry's books and stopped collecting after his "Dave Barry Does Japan" flop, but this is easily the funniest of all of his books (and one of the books I kept). HIGHLY recommend.
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Format: Paperback
Although American history is not a book, everyone and anyone who fancies themself a buff on the subject should take the time to read Dave Barry's tome, which quite possibly remains the funniest book he has written to date. Barry's aim is to eliminate the "boring method" of eternally droning textbooks and replace it with a simplified system, in which every critical event occurs on October 8. (He arrived at this date after "considering many important factors, such as: (a) it is our son's birthday.") Although he confines his most piercing commentary to important leaders and key events, he is quick to point out from time to time that "many women and minorities were also making important contributions." Some of his running jokes fall flat after a while - after all, one can only laugh at the Hawley-Smoot Tariff so many times - but Barry has more than his fare share of payday moments; especially memorable are his thoughts on the Bill of Rights, the Great Depression, and the 1950's. In true textbook fashion, Barry tops off the package with an array of outrageous footnotes and discussion questions (one example: "Did you ever seee 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?' Explain.") Overall, this book is truly wonderful, one that you'll certainly pull out whenever you need a good belly laugh.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Dave Barry's "Dave Barry Slept Here" is a hilarious pseudo/satire-history of the United States. Anyone familiar with Dave Barry's wit from his columns will immediately recognize the same wit unleashed on so much of our history that we have heard, if not necessarily really learned, throughout our lives.

Dave Barry writes like a high-school student - intentionally, of course. He attributes great advances to "technology," isn't interested in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff so he skips it because it sounds boring, and decides that every important event in American history happened on October 8th so that he doesn't have to remember any more dates (even the Fourth of July happened on October 8th, 1776). And he ends every chapter with hilarious "discussion questions" that are just as funny as the text.

I've read and re-read this hilarious book, and it's great to just pick up and start reading in the middle whenever you need a good chuckle. Anyone who likes Dave Barry, enjoys American history, or is interested in what three-word sentence you can rearrange the letters in "Spiro Agnew" to spell (hint: the first word is "grow") should read this book and enjoy!
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