Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis

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In the 11+ years it took us to become American Citizens I have learned a lot about American history. Much of what was on the Citizenship Test my husband and I already knew, from our own schooling (yes I took American History in a Canadian school) – as well as what we have learned through our daughter doing her schooling here in the United States.  What we found more interesting however, was that most of the people that we asked that were born and did all their schooling here, couldn’t answer most of the questions on the American Citizenship test..which I guess makes the title of Kenneth C. Davis’ book spot on.

It took me about two weeks to read the large volume Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis, which was updated and re-published as an anniversary edition this past June.

But before last week, I never really realized how much more there was to the history I thought I knew fairly well (or at least better than most ‘born’ Americans).  In fact, I found out I knew a lot of the early history of the country and much of the recent history too, but what happened after World War II and 1980 pretty much was a blank slate for me.  I was very impressed by the number of both prominent and ‘obscure’ events that are covered in this book from before independence to as recent as the last presidential election.

Kenneth C. Davis writes mostly without leaning toward one political party or another, and digs up the things that you won’t read in a school textbook.  And while the book is supposed to not be as dry as a textbook, it is still somewhat meaty, don’t expect it to read like a best selling novel.

I do think Don’t Know Much About History is unique in its approach though because it is more reminiscent of what you might find on a History Channel documentary or tv series rather than a school book.  I do know that it will remain on our book shelf to balance whatever American History curriculum we choose to use next year when our daughter is a high school junior.

You can purchase Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis at book stores nationwide as well as online.

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