Sunday, September 13, 2015

America: A Narrative History by George Brown Tindall, David Emory Shi Review

"America, now in its twenty-fifth year, has sold more 1.2 million copies over the past seven editions and remains the most affordable history text on the market. The narrative wins students over with compelling storytelling, colorful anecdotes and biographical sketches that make the material more memorable. The text includes helpful in-text study aids, and a host of electronic media resources to help teachers teach and students learn."

This is the eighth edition of America: A Narrative History. 

Do you know what I really don't like about history books? They are so long yet they still count as one book. And this one is required reading for my AP US History class. Let me say this first: Oh, my gosh. It is so boring in the beginning. I just can't even open my eyes to let those words in. I just can't, but I do promise you that it does get better... and worse. 

Where should I even start? Quotes, Quotes. 

Quotes are great, but they don't mention where they come from in some passages. I'm disappointed in that (because occasionally, I do like to make quotes that exist but are from people few have heard of; it makes me sound smarter than I really am). 

Boring parts. And fun parts. They are mixed into together, but I suppose I can't really tell which parts are boring or interesting. Every reader is different in their own way, but I find the political sections the most fascinating. It's intriguing that some politicians do things a certain but also influential way in hopes of gaining more power. The greed of humanity is great. 

Historical figures. There are many. George Washington. The rest of the Founding Fathers. Abigail Adams. Harriet Tubman. Hillary Clinton, even. The book doesn't refrain from badmouthing almost Every. Single. Historical. Figure. And. Famous. Person. In this book. I swear. The book underlines the negative character traits of George Washington (badmouthing is light), Thomas Jefferson (probably deserving of badmouthing), Andrew Jackson (most definitely deservingly in this case), and more. 

But the book does fill in the "missing" aspects that aren't found in previous history books. (I mean, a younger student's history book.) The book doesn't shy away from putting in curse words and such. It also doesn't sugarcoat the existence of sexual assault. The book is much more realistic and negative. 

So what do I think of it?

Well, I'm no expert on history books. But I know this one is going to be the bane of my existence for the rest of this school year. I already hate it. 

Rating: Two out of Five

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