Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition

  • by Kenneth C. Davis
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey, Kenneth C. Davis, Zach McLarty, Cassandra Campbell
  • 29 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its debut as a New York Times best seller, is the revised, updated, and expanded edition of the classic anti-textbook that changed the way we look at history. First published two decades ago, when the “closing of the American mind” was in the headlines, Don’t Know Much About® History proved Americans don’t hate history—just the dull version that was dished out in school.
Now Davis has brought his groundbreaking work up to the present, including the history of an “Era of Broken Trust”, from the end of the Clinton administration through the recent Great Recession. This additional material covers the horrific events of 9/11 and the rise of conspiracy theorists, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, and the failure of the New Orleans levees, the global financial meltdown, the election of Barack Obama, and the national controversy of same-sex marriage.


What the Critics Say

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Courtney A. Stevens


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!!!
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- GEORGE "Hobby- Military History Occupation- Retired Commander USN; Retired Director of Quality Assurance; Graduate Liberty University, Lynchburg VA; Residence-Waverly Ohio"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-21-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio