Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Yes. Informative?, 12 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History But Never Learned (Paperback)
Kenneth Davis should be thanked for writing such a readable popular overview of US History. Reading this book is quite easy and entertaining. A book of this type, by definition will omit some peoples favorite topics and will also be weak at explaining all the views presented. Because this is the nature of the beast, so to say, it would hardly be fair to mark the book down for this. Unfortunately this is not the book's only problem. I am not a history expert, but I noticed that Mr. Davis misattributed Nixon's quote, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" to the Kennedy election. Nixon actually said this two years later. Some other reviewers have noticed a few other errors. Unfortunately this error is still in the 1995 Revised Trade Printing, 5 years after it was originally written. I originally read this book a year ago and recently reread the beginning because I am a bit shaky with Ante Bellum US History. Davis writes, "My intent is to refresh the shaky recollection or reshape the misconception with some simple answers". Unfortunately his refresher did not seem to provide the framework to stay in my mind. Since I do not normally have this problem, I question how well it works for others. Perhaps his question and answer format does not do justice to the narrative aspects of history. So overall, I find this book to be a quite entertaining read. As entertainment, this book deserves four or five stars. The factual errors and forgetable format lower rating significantly. If it reaches people and makes them want to find out more, great! I am afraid that this book _by itself_ will not help much with cultural literacy.
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