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Publisher's Summary

Slept through high school history? Need a more entertaining refresher than a dusty textbook? Want to learn more about America and its interesting history?
Pick up The Great Book of American Trivia, the ultimate compendium of American trivia and little-known facts. A quick audiobook packed with information.
Here you will find out:

Which US president survived an assassination attempt - and didn’t even pause his speech?
What holiday’s origin story was actually just a tall tale to unite a country at war?
Where in the world can you find an American mountain range - that isn’t in America?
How did an earthquake lead to the Trail of Tears?
What first lady gossip shook up an entire presidential cabinet?
Overstuffed like the Thanksgiving turkey with answers to these questions and more facts - sometimes fun, sometimes serious, but always as true as we can confirm among America’s fables - The Great Book of American Trivia takes on the real drama behind the quaint stories we found as students in US history books. A novelty among trivia books, here you’ll learn the real stories, the mysteries, and the fascinating tidbits about American history from its first inhabitants to present day.
Whether you know nothing about America’s past or you consider yourself an expert, you’ll learn something new and find yourself entertained as you discover or relive the nation’s troubles, mistakes, triumphs, and challenges. Dig in now and start learning the interesting stories that shaped America into what it is today.
©2017 Bill O'Neill (P)2018 Bill O'Neill
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By cosmitron on 02-17-18

American History Express

Where does The Great Book of American Trivia: Fun Random Facts & American History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is among the better books.

What did you like best about this story?

The description of the treatment of Native Americans.

Which scene was your favorite?


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?


Any additional comments?

The Author knows his American History and makes it available in bite size pieces for the
Facebook and Snapchat generation.

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28 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Erryn Barratt on 04-09-18

Dip a toe into American History

I write my reviews by hand before typing them up and was prepared to type up the review for this book and was amazed at how long it was.

So I’m going to spare you most of it? Why? Because you need to listen to the book!

What I loved about this book was the acknowledgement that there were human beings on the continent before Columbus. The acknowledgement that European settlers and subsequent governments have committed the equivalent of a genocide. Need proof?

There were 18 to 20 million Native Americans when Europeans arrived. In 2012, that number was down to just 5.2 million (just 1.1% of the total population). Many live in abject poverty on reservations, and as evidenced by Standing Rock, governments still believe in eroding what few lands and sacred spaces remain to them. If you only listened to this book for the cursory but accurate and empathetic discussion of Native Americans, it is time well-spent. The only thing I would have done differently was discussing more famous Native Americans throughout history. That they created popcorn is interesting, and revisiting Sacagawea and Pocahontas (and correcting certain commonly-held inaccuracies) was informative, but I wanted more biographical mentions in addition to Leonard Pelletier’s (who did, certainly, deserve mention).

If you remember this is a trivia book and not a history treatise, you’ll be fine. Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’ is great, but not everyone has 34 hours or the patience for the narrative stories. O’Neil’s book gives you hundreds of trivia facts, leaving you with the ability to do further research if something catches your fancy.

There are a number of pop quizzes to keep you engaged and test your knowledge. I really liked these. O’Neil does arrange the book in historical periods such as Colonial Revolution or the period between WWI and Civil Rights (1918 to 1964). Some of this might be done to organize the information, but the chapters are logical. Be warned, the incidents in the chapter are not sequential in order.

As a Canadian who loves PBS documentaries, I was familiar with some things – Glass-Steagall, the Louisiana Purchase, Stonewall riots, Brown v Board of Education (Linda Brown just passed away recently), 1983’s Thriller, same-sex marriage… The list goes on and on. But there are also many, many things I was not familiar with. O’Reilly often uses dates and statistics to back up the trivia and make it more memorable.

My favourite statistic is that 95% of all Americans have watched Sesame Street – which is shown around the world in dozens of languages. Progressive often before its time, that children’s program is a true gift from PBS to the world.

One quick issue: John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. NOT John F. Kennedy JUNIOR. The president was not a junior. His father was Joseph and his older brother was Joe Jr. (died in WWII). John F. Kennedy JUNIOR was the son of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and died tragically while piloting a plane in 1999, killing him, his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren Bessette.

Nitpicky on my part? Maybe. But accuracy is important. I’m working on the assumption all the other facts, dates, anecdotes and statistics are correct and I hope I’m right.

Okay, on to narration. Derek Newman was a great choice. Clear, concise, and with just the right amount of either humour or gravitas, he brings this book to life. I will definitely listen to him again.

This is a great book for what it is – trivia. A quick introduction to the US. A fascinating venture into a world superpower.

Note to self: look up the 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster and find out whatever happened to the lost colony of Roanoke.

Finally, I want to share one statistic that shocked me. Only 12 students and 1 teacher died at Columbine High School in 1999. (I use only judiciously because one death is too many). That massacre seemed to usher in the phenomenon of young white men bringing assault rifles into public places and opening fire. In Parkland, Florida, this year, 17 died. Columbine was a moment of awakening, but I hope O’Neil will have to update this book because things are finally going to change with these young students who are fighting back against politicians.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Emily on 04-18-18


Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I enjoyed this book and the condensed trivia is pretty good. There were a few errors which made me question the rest of the book, and it can get a bit confusing because it skips between years. However, I do really like the questions at the end of each chapter.

The narration was brilliant. Derek Newman had a really dry wit that came through in his narration, and I really liked it.

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