Unlike other reviewers here, I just bought this for a bit of light reading. It presents American history doing it 'slant' (against the grain). It flags up American double-dealing and hypocrisy, most of which is not really a secret, though I get the fact that it is rarely posted front and centre in American history textbooks.
On the plus side this means this book is not conspiracy-mongering, but covers genuine events: some fairly ruthless American self-assertion and clumsy world leadership. It certainly digs down past the benign self-image that America, like all nations, can have. But on the (ever-so-slight) minus side I thought the simple opposition view a bit misleading as well. History is rarely straightforward and motives are rarely simple or even unified. The generous, creative, progressive, assimilative and freedom-loving aspects should not be entirely edged out. The idea that all power is corrupt and self-serving is as misleading as the view that American power has only ever been about truth, justice and freedom.
Overall, I liked the writing style and the zip of it all - it never dragged or got bogged down; it was always lively, bright and informative. I liked the way it raised tricky issues and got behind the official view. I don't think it cheated, making things up or picking minor or unrepresentative events in the past. But, it was (purposefully) one-sided and a bit high-minded. For the ardent patriot I imagine this kind of equal-and-opposite account of the past is easy to dismiss. I know it is naive, but surely the point is to be more mature about history - preferring genuine understanding to point-scoring? I suggest you read it and see.
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- ASIN : B00KU4NWJM
- Publisher : Gallery Books (14 October 2014)
- Language : English
- File size : 12960 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 667,036 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4.6 out of 5
88 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries
Interesting survey of US misdemeanoursReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 December 2019
4 people found this helpful
Follows the American series of the same nameReviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2020
Essential reading if you followed the television series (the documentaries). It is said to be 'taken from the transcript from the authors' documentary, THe Untold History of the United States, based on the book of the same name...' This doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me, which was based on which?? It seems to be a transcipt of the tv series. I haven't checked how accurate it is. However there is a useful index in the back. Essential reading if you have just learnt about America through history books which present a more traditional view. From long before the Cold War to Obama
Recommended for younger generationReviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2020
A few surprises but nothing really unexpected for anyone that looks beyond the main stream media. Could do with an update and needs much more depth. Annoying that the pictures have the same narrative as the body text, comes across as repetitive. Recommended for young people needing a readable summary of the last few decades to inspire further study.
A very important bookReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 December 2018
The way history of the West and in particular the US during the 19th, 20th and 21st century is described here is somewhat unusual but nevertheless realistic. Most history books describing the same period assume that the politicians in charge are bursting with integrity. The history of the period 1930 to today shows that this is not the case not had it been any different if one goes back further.
One person found this helpful
Knowing our history can redeem usReviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 July 2020
The book is an accurate portrayal of the result of greed and love of power found in us all. When it exists in those who run our world the net result is disaster on a global scale. Brilliantly written and researched. Let us all be warned. Not only Americans. Get to know your history folks.
One person found this helpful