Don't Know Much About History

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9780553471038: Don't Know Much About History

Who really "discovered" America?
Why was Kansas "bloody"?
What was so "great" about the Great Depression?

From Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About(r) Geography, Don't Know Much About(r) the Civil War and Don't Know Much About(r) the Bible, comes a lively presentation of the phenomenal bestseller that has brought American history to life for thousands of readers.

From the first settlements of the continent through Vietnam, Watergate and Reagan, Davis takes listeners on a rollicking ride through 600 years of Americana.  With wit, candor and fascinating facts, Don't Know Much About(r) History explodes long-held myths and misconceptions--revealing the very human side of history that the textbooks neglect.

In this entertaining presentation, you'll meet the personalities who helped shape our nation and hear the words and wisdom that have endured through the centuries. From the French and Indian War to Vietnam, from George Washington to George Bush, here is the story of how we got to where we are today--and the questions that have plagued most of us since grade school are more interesting than ever before.

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Kenneth Davis's aim in this program, as it is in all the titles of this popular series, is to make learning relevant and fun. He succeeds marvelously. Davis has an easygoing style and a good sense of humor. And most importantly, he knows how to present the "big picture." His history of the United States is not a series of isolated incidents that happened long ago with no bearing on contemporary American life. Listening to this presentation, we recognize patterns, notice how problems of the past resurface in our own present, and realize that history is what makes us today. We are also presented with a look at American history that is far more honest than anything gleaned from traditional textbooks. Heroes and villains alike are presented, warts and all, and the "less savory moments" in America's past are discussed frankly. For, as Davis explains, "the real picture is much more interesting than the historical tummy tuck." The theme running through the program, from pre-European settlement to the Reagan years, is the struggle for power--the never-ending battle between the haves and have-nots that is the "essence of history." Six hundred years of history are broken up into manageable segments though a series of questions (spoken in a number of different voices to help distinguish them from the main narration), each of which is given a specific answer and then discussed in the context of its contemporary setting and perhaps past and future events. This is a crash course that focuses on the basics but will inspire listeners to want to know more--which is really what learning's all about. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Uma Kukathas

From the Publisher:

The runaway bestseller...over six months on the New York Times bestseller list.

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