Having loved Schama's History of Britain and enjoyed the TV series upon which this American history is based, I was very much looking forward to reading this book.
Sadly, however, it is barely readable. A ragged jumble of prose seems to require a detailed understanding of the protagonists and events being discussed to make any sense of what is being described.
This is not the book for a newcomer to American history. It seems to be to be a colour commentary on events. I knew not to expect an ABC of US history but I could certainly have done with more context and a more linear structure to make it more accessible.
The British History books jumped around a little but they had a much greater narrative drive then this. Schama's greatest failing in this book is that he bores, and that's inexcusable.