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Don't Know Much About History, 30th Anniversary Edition  By  cover art

Don't Know Much About History, 30th Anniversary Edition

By: Kenneth C. Davis
Narrated by: Arthur Morey,Kenneth C. Davis,Zach McLarty,Cassandra Campbell
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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

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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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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.

10 people found this helpful

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NOTHING LEARNED BY READING THIS BOOK EITHER

Based on the title of this book, I looked foward to reading this book; However, about 1/2 way through the book, it became clear to me that this book only rehashed key events, most of which have been discussed much more in-depth in a significant other book. I do not feel like I learned a single thing as a result of buying and listening to this book. I was going to complete the book;However when the author spent more time explaing why we were wrong to drop the A-Bomb on Japan, than he did on subjects like the depression era, or the 2nd half of the 19th century. I dedided to trash this book!!!

6 people found this helpful

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boring lists of dates and facts

Read the title and you will understand the intended audience. If you are looking for deeper, behind-the-scenes insights, skip this one. Audio also chronologically lists dates and events to summarize some parts of history, which added to the boredom. I waited for a month to accumulate my two credits for this book, only to be disappointed.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

4 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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Good book. Liberal slant

Liberal slant on events covered and depth of coverage and definitely a heavy bias but fair enough and quite well written and interesting.

3 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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Well, done and entertaining

The author has an excellent handle on the facts of American history. The important events are all there.

Still, it is hard to get around the authors liberal bet. He does much better when he sticks to the facts and stays away from supposition.

Particularly disturbing is the authors understanding of the electoral college. He proclaims his ignorance by stating that it is outdated and lived its purpose. the author should be reminded that America is not a democracy, but is a republic (with democratic institutions.) the electoral system of the United States of America does not utilize the popular vote, and yet the author uses this term many times.

Very entertaining book, well read by the narrator, Andrew still worth listening to.

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informative but…

having gone through a 7 year court battle against b of a, wells fargo and nationstar. I have been on the inside while the mortgage backed securities fraud was happening. i have over 300 hours of audio and video with my dealings with these banks and even then AG Kamala Harris and an mountian of documents. this book was so far off the mark on what happened, it makes the rest of the information suspect and i can’t take it seriously, however i did find it enjoyable.

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  • 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