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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best seller

“Reading Davis is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had!” (People magazine)

From the arrival of Columbus through the historic election of Barack Obama and beyond, Kenneth C. Davis carries listeners on a rollicking ride through more than 500 years of American history. In this revised, expanded, and updated edition of the classic anti-textbook, he debunks, recounts, and serves up the real story behind the myths and fallacies of American history. 

©2011 Kenneth C. Davis (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

“Fun, engrossing, and significant.... History in Davis’s hands is loud, coarse, painful, funny, irreverent - and memorable.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about Don't Know Much About History, 30th Anniversary Edition

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great history refresher

Would you listen to Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition again? Why?

I have listened to this book a couple of times. I originally purchased this book as a refresher on American history because my children were asking questions that I know I knew at one point but needed a quick refresher. Now I find myself skipping to the part of the book I am looking for more on.

Any additional comments?

The format of the book is a little odd and takes some getting used to. Once you get used to some of the book formatting that doesn't fit well in an audio book it is just fine. The other disappointment is that most of the United States Civil War has been removed and moved to it's own book. This was a pretty significant bit of history that gets glanced over.

9 people found this helpful

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amazing amount of information very well presented

amazing history book. it helps to understand how the US developed. it explains major events in an exciting style that was very enjoyable. loved it. had a great time listening.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best history books I've read!

This book does a great job on getting you up to speed on the key points of American history, and it does so in an interesting and sometimes humorous way.
Highly recommend. One of the best history books I've read.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Biased overview; Confusing chronology.

What disappointed you about Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition?

I was hoping for an objective overview. This was not it. (Note: I am by no means a staunch conservative--more of a middle-of-the-roader--but still thought the treatment of so many periods of history were inexcusably laden with liberal biased. E.g. the vilification of corporations and free enterprise and the utter glorification of unions.)

Although I applaud the ambition of the author in covering such a dense span of time, his frequent inability to portray events by facts, detached from agenda, was disappointing. Also, the fact that he chose to do it in a question/answer format, rather than in purely chronological order, made it confusing at times and difficult for the listener to put events in chronological context. (Though the chapters are in chronological order, the questions within them may hop between presidencies and may go forward and back in time 10 years or more from one to the next.)

Would you recommend Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition to your friends? Why or why not?

No. Not objective, poorly read, confusing format.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I thought his manner of reading, especially in his tone and diction, sounded condescending and cynical.

Any additional comments?

The reading of all of the questions at the beginning of the chapter was tedious and unnecessary. It's like reading a textbooks table of contents before each chapter. Totally obnoxious.

15 people found this helpful

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what you miss in school

Would you listen to Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition again? Why?

i love the dont know much books davis has a great way of puting togather info that you might have missed in school due to many reasons once you read one of his books you well want to read them all

2 people found this helpful

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History for the win

History made exciting and easily digestible. This book is a reminder that US history is short and in it's infancy and yet constantly repeats.

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Very well performed narration of our history

Very well performed narration of our history, in an interesting and enjoyable way. The information was vast, yet only a breif portion of our nation's history. It was also very complex, yet easily digestible. The author mainly discusses US history in chronological order, but occasionally bounces back and forth, all the way still offering an orderly and easy to understand story that captivates the audience.

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Good Summary of American history

Very informative, it was a great refresher for me. I even learned a few new things!

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Intriguing

I really enjoyed the narrator in combination with the book's writings. It put history in a position easy to grasp and understand. When it came to complicated historical moments that I hear about but never understood, the author eloquently explains the situation and why it happened due to the mood of the times. History is messy, because it's very human. I also enjoyed how the author sticks to overall morals and basic decency explaining the wrongs of slavery and how that will forever be on the wrong side of history.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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shallow

nothing in depth, everything anyone who isn't living under a rock would know. probably good for a young teen.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Always here
  • Always here
  • 05-09-15

Not convinced on its accuracy

What would have made Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition better?

The author calls Great Britain, England. Therefore it is very confusing. If the author doesn't know the correct name and terms of GB then it throws doubt on other facts. Really put me off that ignorance and lazy research has been used.

What could Kenneth C. Davis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

See above

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Narrator

1 person found this helpful