The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History

Adam Selzer, Author
Adam Selzer, Author . Delacorte $12.99 (326p) ISBN 978-0-385-73650-3
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009

This 11-chapter, tightly condensed guide to history posits that most know little on the subject, and that's a shame: its aim is to provide an overview of significant topics speeding along on humor, Daily Show –style. The first chapter declares, “Any idiot will tell you it was Columbus [that discovered America], but that's just proof that he or she is an idiot.” The following chapters (such as “A Nation Declines to Bathe” and “The Depressing Thirties”) give profiles of historical figures, events, and concepts, along with photographs, sidebars, end-of-chapter questions (“Who would have made a better president than Harding?”), and assignment ideas. The irreverent, often laugh-out-loud approach should win over reluctant readers. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)

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