Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

Here, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its debut as a New York Times bestseller, is the revised, updated, and expanded edition of the classic anti-textbook that changed the way we look at history.

First published two decades ago, when the "closing of the American mind" was in the headlines, Don't Know Much About® History proved Americans don't hate history—just the dull version that was dished out in school. With wit and irreverence, in question-and-answer form, Don't Know Much About® History took readers on a rollicking ride through more than five hundred years of American history, from Columbus's voyages to recent events. The book became an instant classic and has sold more than 1.6 million copies.

Now Davis has brought his groundbreaking work up to the present, including the history of an "Era of Broken Trust," from the end of the Clinton administration through the recent Great Recession. This additional material covers the horrific events of 9/11and the rise of conspiracy theorists, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the New Orleans levees, the global financial meltdown, the election of Barack Obama, and the national controversy of same-sex marriage.

For history buffs and history-phobes alike, for longtime fans who need a refresher course, and for a new generation of Americans who are still in the dark about America's past, Davis shows once more why People magazine said, "Reading him is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had."

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062092212
List price: $10.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition by Ken...
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
A friendly question-and-answer format with entertaining answers about American history from Columbus to Clinton. The post-Watergate coverage is pretty slim, but at that point it could probably be assumed that most readers remembered those years clearly. (There is an updated version, but my copy was printed in 1995.) I learned quite a bit about those bits we skipped in school, like the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Though it could not replace a traditional history course, since there is an assumption that you know enough basic information to ask the questions being answered, it is an excellent refresher for those who have long since forgotten the names and dates they learned in school. Like most good popular history books, it brings out the human side of history, turning the names into people and the dates into actions with consequences.more
A compilation of important facts in our country's history. Each fact has a perspective or details that were probably not taught to you in school, unless you had a really cool history teach. A worthwhile read.more
Admittedly I do know a lot about history- a good portion of this book was review, but I did learn new things even in the chapters that were review. I learned the most about history post World War II- none of my history classes have ever gotten that far, and it was good to sort things that I sort of knew out. I might reread this eventually to pick up things that I didn't hold onto this time because of how much information there was.more
This is a really fun skip through American history. It breaks down the last few hundred years into periods and then covers major events in each. Attention is paid in particular to noting people, places, and things you may have heard of but may not remember or may never have learned about. The author earns extra points for not being shy about calling a bastard a bastard (e.g. when he talks about the worthless Senator McCarthy he's quite blunt, in contrast to some of the recent apologist tomes penned to try and defend him and his actions).I read the first edition of this book but if you buy it today you'll get a new edition with a few corrections and new material.more
An engaging and amusing overview with consistent depth across time. Somewhat over emphasizing certain political aspects. Not exactly left-leaning, but definitely highlighting environmental and racial issues.more
Lively enough for a non-American like me to pick up a fact or two about US history. Might come in handy if I ever found myself headed towards cocktail hour with a gym-ful of Alabama schoolteachers... Or might not.more
Davis offers a quick and compact distillation of the essentials of American history. Inevitably in such a miniscule form detail and depth are short-changed. Still, it's better than nothing.more
Lots of interesting facts and annecdotes, but Davis definitely has his own point of view about the events of history, the actors and what it all means. I personally thought Davis was much to hard and negative about Hawthorne.more
Another addition to Davis's "Don't Know Much" series. He's updated his looks at some of the questions and myths surrounding American history. As with all his books, it is an excellent starting point for serious learning about the topic, and he includes a number of books to read for further investigation of interesting topics.more
A friendly question-and-answer format with entertaining answers about American history from Columbus to Clinton. The post-Watergate coverage is pretty slim, but at that point it could probably be assumed that most readers remembered those years clearly. (There is an updated version, but my copy was printed in 1995.) I learned quite a bit about those bits we skipped in school, like the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Though it could not replace a traditional history course, since there is an assumption that you know enough basic information to ask the questions being answered, it is an excellent refresher for those who have long since forgotten the names and dates they learned in school. Like most good popular history books, it brings out the human side of history, turning the names into people and the dates into actions with consequences.more
A compilation of important facts in our country's history. Each fact has a perspective or details that were probably not taught to you in school, unless you had a really cool history teach. A worthwhile read.more
Admittedly I do know a lot about history- a good portion of this book was review, but I did learn new things even in the chapters that were review. I learned the most about history post World War II- none of my history classes have ever gotten that far, and it was good to sort things that I sort of knew out. I might reread this eventually to pick up things that I didn't hold onto this time because of how much information there was.more
This is a really fun skip through American history. It breaks down the last few hundred years into periods and then covers major events in each. Attention is paid in particular to noting people, places, and things you may have heard of but may not remember or may never have learned about. The author earns extra points for not being shy about calling a bastard a bastard (e.g. when he talks about the worthless Senator McCarthy he's quite blunt, in contrast to some of the recent apologist tomes penned to try and defend him and his actions).I read the first edition of this book but if you buy it today you'll get a new edition with a few corrections and new material.more
An engaging and amusing overview with consistent depth across time. Somewhat over emphasizing certain political aspects. Not exactly left-leaning, but definitely highlighting environmental and racial issues.more
Lively enough for a non-American like me to pick up a fact or two about US history. Might come in handy if I ever found myself headed towards cocktail hour with a gym-ful of Alabama schoolteachers... Or might not.more
Davis offers a quick and compact distillation of the essentials of American history. Inevitably in such a miniscule form detail and depth are short-changed. Still, it's better than nothing.more
Lots of interesting facts and annecdotes, but Davis definitely has his own point of view about the events of history, the actors and what it all means. I personally thought Davis was much to hard and negative about Hawthorne.more
Another addition to Davis's "Don't Know Much" series. He's updated his looks at some of the questions and myths surrounding American history. As with all his books, it is an excellent starting point for serious learning about the topic, and he includes a number of books to read for further investigation of interesting topics.more
Read all 21 reviews

Reviews

A friendly question-and-answer format with entertaining answers about American history from Columbus to Clinton. The post-Watergate coverage is pretty slim, but at that point it could probably be assumed that most readers remembered those years clearly. (There is an updated version, but my copy was printed in 1995.) I learned quite a bit about those bits we skipped in school, like the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Though it could not replace a traditional history course, since there is an assumption that you know enough basic information to ask the questions being answered, it is an excellent refresher for those who have long since forgotten the names and dates they learned in school. Like most good popular history books, it brings out the human side of history, turning the names into people and the dates into actions with consequences.more
A compilation of important facts in our country's history. Each fact has a perspective or details that were probably not taught to you in school, unless you had a really cool history teach. A worthwhile read.more
Admittedly I do know a lot about history- a good portion of this book was review, but I did learn new things even in the chapters that were review. I learned the most about history post World War II- none of my history classes have ever gotten that far, and it was good to sort things that I sort of knew out. I might reread this eventually to pick up things that I didn't hold onto this time because of how much information there was.more
This is a really fun skip through American history. It breaks down the last few hundred years into periods and then covers major events in each. Attention is paid in particular to noting people, places, and things you may have heard of but may not remember or may never have learned about. The author earns extra points for not being shy about calling a bastard a bastard (e.g. when he talks about the worthless Senator McCarthy he's quite blunt, in contrast to some of the recent apologist tomes penned to try and defend him and his actions).I read the first edition of this book but if you buy it today you'll get a new edition with a few corrections and new material.more
An engaging and amusing overview with consistent depth across time. Somewhat over emphasizing certain political aspects. Not exactly left-leaning, but definitely highlighting environmental and racial issues.more
Lively enough for a non-American like me to pick up a fact or two about US history. Might come in handy if I ever found myself headed towards cocktail hour with a gym-ful of Alabama schoolteachers... Or might not.more
Davis offers a quick and compact distillation of the essentials of American history. Inevitably in such a miniscule form detail and depth are short-changed. Still, it's better than nothing.more
Lots of interesting facts and annecdotes, but Davis definitely has his own point of view about the events of history, the actors and what it all means. I personally thought Davis was much to hard and negative about Hawthorne.more
Another addition to Davis's "Don't Know Much" series. He's updated his looks at some of the questions and myths surrounding American history. As with all his books, it is an excellent starting point for serious learning about the topic, and he includes a number of books to read for further investigation of interesting topics.more
A friendly question-and-answer format with entertaining answers about American history from Columbus to Clinton. The post-Watergate coverage is pretty slim, but at that point it could probably be assumed that most readers remembered those years clearly. (There is an updated version, but my copy was printed in 1995.) I learned quite a bit about those bits we skipped in school, like the Vietnam and Korean Wars. Though it could not replace a traditional history course, since there is an assumption that you know enough basic information to ask the questions being answered, it is an excellent refresher for those who have long since forgotten the names and dates they learned in school. Like most good popular history books, it brings out the human side of history, turning the names into people and the dates into actions with consequences.more
A compilation of important facts in our country's history. Each fact has a perspective or details that were probably not taught to you in school, unless you had a really cool history teach. A worthwhile read.more
Admittedly I do know a lot about history- a good portion of this book was review, but I did learn new things even in the chapters that were review. I learned the most about history post World War II- none of my history classes have ever gotten that far, and it was good to sort things that I sort of knew out. I might reread this eventually to pick up things that I didn't hold onto this time because of how much information there was.more
This is a really fun skip through American history. It breaks down the last few hundred years into periods and then covers major events in each. Attention is paid in particular to noting people, places, and things you may have heard of but may not remember or may never have learned about. The author earns extra points for not being shy about calling a bastard a bastard (e.g. when he talks about the worthless Senator McCarthy he's quite blunt, in contrast to some of the recent apologist tomes penned to try and defend him and his actions).I read the first edition of this book but if you buy it today you'll get a new edition with a few corrections and new material.more
An engaging and amusing overview with consistent depth across time. Somewhat over emphasizing certain political aspects. Not exactly left-leaning, but definitely highlighting environmental and racial issues.more
Lively enough for a non-American like me to pick up a fact or two about US history. Might come in handy if I ever found myself headed towards cocktail hour with a gym-ful of Alabama schoolteachers... Or might not.more
Davis offers a quick and compact distillation of the essentials of American history. Inevitably in such a miniscule form detail and depth are short-changed. Still, it's better than nothing.more
Lots of interesting facts and annecdotes, but Davis definitely has his own point of view about the events of history, the actors and what it all means. I personally thought Davis was much to hard and negative about Hawthorne.more
Another addition to Davis's "Don't Know Much" series. He's updated his looks at some of the questions and myths surrounding American history. As with all his books, it is an excellent starting point for serious learning about the topic, and he includes a number of books to read for further investigation of interesting topics.more
Load more
scribd