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The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Do you know America? No, I mean, do you REALLY know America? Would you recognize John Adams in a lineup? Can you identify any presidents between Lincoln and Roosevelt?

Hmmm. I thought so.

Well, you really need this book.

Not only will it improve your sorry historical knowledge, it will crack you up, and give you material to throw your teachers off-balance for entire class periods. Identify their lies! Point out their half-truths! And possibly, just possibly, gain some extra credit for yourself.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 30, 2009 – This 11-chapter, tightly condensed guide to history posits that most know little on the subject, and that's a shame: its aim is to provide an overview of significant topics speeding along on humor, Daily Show–style. The first chapter declares, “Any idiot will tell you it was Columbus , but that's just proof that he or she is an idiot.” The following chapters (such as “A Nation Declines to Bathe” and “The Depressing Thirties”) give profiles of historical figures, events, and concepts, along with photographs, sidebars, end-of-chapter questions (“Who would have made a better president than Harding?”), and assignment ideas. The irreverent, often laugh-out-loud approach should win over reluctant readers. Ages 12–up.

Customer Reviews


I had to read this book for an English assignment. I really enjoyed the book. One of the only ones I actually didn't mind reading.

Wouldn’t Recommend

There are some very readable passages in this book but I’m afraid it prioritizes the comedic, sweeping statement over actually relating events. I don’t mind if something is toungue-in-cheek but don’t attempt to be definitive and glib at the same time. I also strongly object to the book’s habit of glossing over long segments of US history and then commenting that nothing important actually happened. It really feels lazy. Also, and this might be the most damning thing I can say, the humor falls flat more often than not. If you want history for kids with a comedic twist, try Horrible Histories and leave this one on the shelf.

The best

This book is highly informative and funny. It fostered my love for history and often find myself quoting in. This is my favorite book

The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Dec 22, 2009
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings