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About Kenneth C. Davis
Davis's success aptly makes the case that Americans don't hate history, just the dull version they slept through in class. But many of them want to know now because their kids are asking them questions they can't answer. Davis's approach is to refresh us on the subjects we should have learned in school. He does it by busting myths and setting the record straight.
Kenneth C. Davis is a frequent media guest and has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including NPR, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and CNN. He has been a commentator for All Things Considered, and has written for the New York Times Op-Ed page, Smithsonian, Washington Post, CNN.com and other national publications.
His latest books are In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives (2016) and MORE DEADLY THAN WAR: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War (2018). His forthcoming book, STRONGMAN: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy will be published in October 2020. Davis lives in New York City with his wife. They have two grown children.
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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.
A New York Times bestseller · More than 1.6 Million Copies Sold!
“Reading Davis is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had!” —People magazine
From the arrival of Columbus through the historic election of Barack Obama and beyond, Kenneth C. Davis carries readers on a rollicking ride through more than five hundred years of American history. In this revised, expanded, and updated edition of the classic anti-textbook, he debunks, recounts, and serves up the real story behind the myths and fallacies of American history.
In his wildly entertaining, winningly irreverent, New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series, author Kenneth C. Davis has amused and edified us with fascinating facts about history, mythology, the Bible, the universe, geography, and the Civil War.
Now, the sky's the limit in his latest irresistible installment—a grand tour of knowledge that carries us from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Berlin Wall, from the Salem Witch Trials to Watergate, from Michelangelo to Houdini. Brimming with busted myths, gripping true stories, and peculiar particulars about a plethora of people, places, and events, this captivating compendium is guaranteed to delight information lovers everywhere as it feeds our insatiable appetite to know everything!
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of the Month, More Deadly Than War from New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis explores the hidden history of the Spanish influenza pandemic during World War I.
2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the worst disease outbreak in modern times: the Spanish flu, a story even more relevant today. This dramatic narrative, told through the stories and voices of the people caught in the deadly maelstrom, explores how this vast, global epidemic was intertwined with the horrors of World War I—and how it could happen again.
Complete with photographs, period documents, modern research, and firsthand reports by medical professionals and survivors, More Deadly Than War provides captivating insight into a catastrophe that transformed America in the early twentieth century.
A Junior Library Guild Selection!
“An important history—and an important reminder that we could very well face such a threat again.”—Deborah Blum, New York Times bestselling author of The Poison Guide: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
“In an age of Ebola and Zika, this vivid account is a cautionary tale that will have you rushing to wash your hands for protection.”—Karen Blumenthal, award-winning author of Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights
With wit, wisdom, and an extraordinary talent for turning dry, difficult reading into colorful and realistic accounts, the creator of the bestselling Don't Know Much About®, series now brings the world of the Old and New testaments to life as no one else can in the bestseller Don't Know Much About® The Bible. Relying on new research and improved translations, Davis uncovers some amazing questions and contradictions about what the Bible really says. Jericho's walls may have tumbled down because the city lies on a fault line. Moses never parted the Red Sea. There was a Jesus, but he wasn't born on Christmas and he probably wasn't an only child.
Davis brings readers up-to-date on findings gleaned from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic Gospels that prompt serious scholars to ask such serious questions as: Who wrote the Bible? Did Jesus say everything we were taught he did? Did he say more? By examining the Bible historically, Davis entertains and amazes, provides a much better understanding of the subject, and offers much more fun learning about it.
Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers—who fought for liberty and justice for all—were slave owners?
Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy—that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles.
These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true—and they should be heard.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
“Highly informative and entertaining…propels the reader light years beyond dull textbooks and Gone with the Wind.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
It has been 150 years since the opening salvo of America’s War Between the States. New York Times bestselling author Ken Davis tells us everything we never knew about our nation’s bloodiest conflict in Don’t Know Much About ® the Civil War—another fascinating and fun installment in his acclaimed series.
Who dug those canals on Mars? What was the biblical Star of Bethlehem? Were the pyramids built by extraterrestrials?
From the ancients who charted the heavens to Star Trek, The X-Files, and Apollo 13, outer space has intrigued people through the ages. Yet most of us look up at the night sky and feel totally in the dark when it comes to the basic facts about the universe.
Kenneth C. Davis steps into that void with a lively and readable guide to the discoveries, theories, and real people who have shed light on the mysteries and wonders of the cosmos. Discover why Einstein was such a genius, the truth behind a blue moon or two, the amazing secrets of Stonehenge, and even how one great astronomer lost his nose.
With the fun question-and-answer format that has appealed to the millions of readers of his bestselling Don't Much About® series, you'll be taking off on an exciting armchair exploration of the solar system, the Milky Way, and beyond.
From the heated debates among the framers of the Constitution in 1787 over an "elected king," to the creation of the presidency, and on through rich profiles of each man who has held the office, New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis takes readers on a guided tour of American history. Examining each chief executive, from the low lights to the bright lights, the memorable to the forgettable and the forgotten, Davis tells all the stories, offering rich anecdotes about real people. He also charts the history of the presidency itself, debunking myths and grading the presidents from A+ to F.
For history buffs and history-phobes alike, this entertaining book may change your understanding of the highest office in the land throughout more than two hundred years of history.
Don't Know Much About Geography by New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis is a fascinating and fun exploration of our planet.
Geography is the hub from which other disciplines radiate: meteorology, ecology, geology, oceanography, demographics, cartography, agricultural studies, economics, and political science.
In addition to presenting geographical trivia that’ll impress your friends, Davis explores 21st-century topics of global concern, including the role of the Internet and technology in transforming the lives of people around the world, how so-called developing nations develop, sustainability, and the debates over climate change and evolutionary science.
This completely revised and updated version of Don't Know Much About Geography is an entertaining and illuminating grand tour of planet Earth.
For years, Kenneth C. Davis has enlightened and enthralled us, opening our minds and tickling our fancies with his wonderfully irreverent, fun, and factual Don't Know Much About® books. He has carried readers on wild and edifying rides through history, mythology, geography, the Bible, the Civil War, even across the universe. Now, following on the heels of his triumphant New York Times bestseller Don't Know Much About® Anything, comes Don't Know Much About® Anything Else, his latest one-stop potpourri of intriguing information. Chock-full of delightful historical snippets and fascinating people, remarkable milestones and boneheaded blunders, and eye-opening, brain-boggling facts about simply anything and everything in the world, here is the ideal companion for those long car rides, plane flights, quality family hours, or relaxing downtime.
The latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series -- a magical journey into the timeless world of mythology
It has been fifteen years since Kenneth C. Davis first dazzled audiences with his instant classic Don't Know Much About® History, vividly bringing the past to life and proving that Americans don't hate history, they just hate the dull, textbook version they were fed in school. With humor, wit, and a knack for storytelling, Davis has been bringing readers of all ages up to speed on history, geography, and science ever since. Now, in the classic traditions of Edith Hamilton and Joseph Campbell, he turns his talents to the world of myth.
Where do we come from? Why do stars shine and the seasons change? What is evil? Since the beginning of time, people have answered such questions by crafting imaginative stories that have served as religion, science, philosophy, and popular literature. In his irreverent and popular question-and-answer style, Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world, as well as the works of literature that have made them famous. In a single volume, he tackles Mesopotamia's Gilgamesh, the first hero in world mythology; Achilles and the Trojan War; Stonehenge and the Druids; Thor, the Nordic god of thunder; Chinese oracle bones; the use of peyote in ancient Native American rites; and the dramatic life and times of the man who would be Buddha.
Ever familiar and instructive, Davis shows why the ancient tales of gods and heroes -- from Mount Olympus to Machu Picchu, from ancient Rome to the icy land of the Norse -- continue to speak to us today, in our movies, art, language, and music. For mythology novices and buffs alike, and for anyone who loves a good story, Don't Know Much About® Mythology is a lively and insightful look into the greatest stories ever told.