Friday, June 13, 2008

America's Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis

Title: America's Hidden History
Author: Kenneth C. Davis
ISBN: 9780061118180
Publisher:Collins/An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers/2008
Pages: 236/Hardcover
Genre: Non fiction/History

Before I proceed, what I thought about the book, I reproduce here the product description of the book as mentioned in the inside of the front cover.


Kenneth C. Davis, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller Don't Know Much About History, presents a collection of extraordinary stories, each detailing an overlooked episode that shaped the nation's destiny and character. Davis's dramatic narratives set the record straight, busting myths and bringing to light little-known but fascinating facts from a time when the nation's fate hung in the balance.

Spanning a period from the Spanish arrival in America to George Washington's inauguration in 1789, America's Hidden History details these episodes, among others:

  • The story of the first real Pilgrims in America, who were wine-making French Huguenots, not dour English Separatists
  • The coming-of-age story of Queen Isabella, who suggested that Columbus pack the moving mess hall of pigs that may have spread disease to many Native Americans
  • The long, bloody relationship between the Pilgrims and Indians that runs counter to the idyllic scene of the Thanksgiving feast
  • The little-known story of George Washington as a headstrong young soldier who committed a war crime, signed a confession, and started a war!

Full of color, intrigue, and human interest, America's Hidden History is an iconoclastic look at America's past, connecting some of the dots between history and today's headlines, proving why Davis is truly America's Teacher.


Before reading this, I had not heard of the author, let alone reading anything by him. I received this from Collins for review purposes. found it interesting and informative to a great extent. There are 6 stories consisting of little known facts about American History. Although not strictly interconnected, they are in chronological order. Tracing out from Spain, English, France we finally reach America and find out hitherto unknown facts about who helped in shaping it up.

With human touch and engaging way of writing, it holds our interest and we are deeply involved in each of the stories. Davis takes us on a journey, which consists of war, religious bigotry, treachery along with flashes on human quirks. At some places, this is very shocking, jolts us out of our stupor.

Although I have read about history of England, I was not much aware of American history. This book has vetted my interest to learn more about it. There are some strong women who changed the course of America's history. Some bits are very shocking. How the native Indians were deprived of their own land. What made an impact was religion was so much part of it. This I fail to understand. How can anyone let any religion rule over humanity?

There are lose connections as the six stories are not connected. There are places, one asks why it happened but none forthcoming from Davis. Some parts are hard to comprehend. Even after re-reading those, I couldn't understand bits of it. Not knowing much about American history, made some portions difficult for me. Saying that, I found it engaging.