Stupid American History by Leland Gregory

July 16, 2011

Synopsis (from the publisher): America is the home of the brave and, apparently, the stupid and gullible. Satirist Leland Gregory teaches us a lesson in historical hilarity with Stupid American History.

From Columbus to George W. Bush (that’s a lot of material, people), Leland leads us through American history’s mythconceptions, exposing idiocy and inanity along the time line. He reeducates by informing us about myths. For example, Samuel Prescott actually was the guy to alert us that the British were coming and not that Paul Revere dude.

Move over Colbert and Stewart; satire has finally found its rightful place in American history.

Liked:

  • The information in the book was presented in easily digestible chunks. There was only one anecdote per page, and few of those took up more than a single paragraph. This book was very easy to browse through when I had nothing better to do.
  • As with the other Leland Gregory books I’ve read from the same “Stupid…” series, this one was completely free at the Kindle store. There’s really no way I would pay for anything from this author!

Disliked:

  • I don’t know what Gregory has against citing his work, but here again he offers absolutely zero corroboration for his version of the “truth”. There’s no way any of his stuff can be taken the least bit seriously until he starts adding footnotes or citations for readers to check out.
  • I can’t believe the synopsis from the publisher actually says, “Move over Colbert and Stewart…” Um, no. Just… no.
  • The drawings and illustrations in the book were incredibly cheesy, and even a bit embarrassing. I was reading this on my Kindle while getting my hair cut one day, and had to endure odd looks from my stylist as she caught glimpses of the illustrations. They looked like something that would be found in a children’s book, and, what’s worse, the same ones were repeated throughout the entire thing. Why were they even there? To pad the page count? Ridiculous.
  • Lots of stuff in the book was simply inaccurate. I can’t be bothered to trot out page numbers right now (I’ve already deleted the thing from my Kindle), but several errors jumped right out at me — and I’m not exactly an expert on American history.

Rating:

Well, since I love trivia of all kinds and since this book was both easy to read and free, I’m going to be generous and give it 2 stars out of 5. But really, the book pretty much sucks and I don’t recommend spending money on it.

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