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In his New York Times bestselling Don’t Know Much About® series, Kenneth C. Davis has made subjects from history to geography and the Bible accessible and enlightening to buffs and amateurs alike.
Now, he’s taking on the American presidents, from the low lights to the bright lights, the intellectuals to the disasters, from the memorable to the forgettable and forgotten. Davis uses his same entertaining question-and-answer style to chart the history of the presidency itself as well as debunk the myths surrounding America’s leaders and tell the real story, which is far more fascinating than the version you studied in school. You’ll learn about the young Abraham Lincoln, who carried his mother’s coffin, the tailor’s apprentice who became president, and how Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” once helped save college football. In this historic election year, this is a must-have for everybody who wants to brush up on American history and the men who have been at the nation’s helm.
With Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents, Davis shows once more why People magazine said, “Reading him is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had.”
Hardcover Book : 752 pages
Publisher: Hyperion, Walt Disney ( September 01, 2012 )
Item #: 13-617347
Product Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25 inches
Product Weight: 35.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Kenneth Davis compiles very good reference works that are easy to use for basic details. I purchased this book for a quick reference work to supplement my teaching materials for a college course I teach on the United States presidents. Davis has compiled an excellent encyclopedic volume with readable articles and very good recommendations for further research and reading.
As in any work of this type it is impossible to cover all the quirks and fancies of the individual presidents but Davis does a good job of picking up interesting background that is so important in understanding the individuals who occupy the White House. That said, he spends almost as much time on the unimportant presidents and the great presidents. Some of his interpretations and analysis is still subject to opinion so the reader should not take all "facts" as gospel.
Historians continue to research and reevaluate history based on new evidence and reinterpret old assessments in light of the latest scholarship. Schools of historiography also continue to change and evolve leading to new interpretations of individual presidents and their presidency. For this reason the reader should keep in mind that while Don't Know Much About the American Presidents is a good reference work, further research is necessary in understanding or former and current presidents.
In spite of whatever shortcomings there are in Mr. Davis' book, I would still recommend it as an excellent tertiary source book, and a fun read.
Reviewer: James S
I got this book back in November two weeks later, I had read the whole book. I don't read the book from a political view but from the view of a reader interested in Americn History. A very valuable Reference book for just about anybody.
Reviewer: Richard C