Takeaway: History is important.
I do not need to be convinced that history is important. It is a lesson that I have understood well and in spite of the fact that personally I don’t always learn from my history, I do want to pay attention to our national history.
It is amazing to me how often that not only average people get history wrong, and therefore base ideas or actions on incorrect data, but how often influential and powerful people get many of the same issues wrong. People that if they don’t know better themselves, should have someone around them that can correct their ignorance.
I am not sure when I got this free, or why. But I picked up the audiobook for free somewhere. The version that I listened to is not the newest. There was a new edition released in 2011. I listened to the 2003 edition that went through the 2000 election.
This is pretty basic history. There are some things that I did not know here, but pretty few. That is not to toot my own horn, it is just to say that while it prides itself on being an alternative history, for the most part, Don’t Know Much About History is a pretty classic history book. The innovation is mostly limited to straight historical narration that is interrupted by with a question and answer format.
This is a book that might be better in paper. It would allow you to flip around to the most interesting sections for the reader instead of a straight read. Also each section has a summary timeline at the end. I think this is potentially very useful to get all in one place, in audio it is mostly just lists of dates, places and people. I listened to all of the timelines except the Revolution, Civil War and World War II. But those three timelines cut about 2 hours of the 20+ hour listening time.
If you are a student of history, there is little here that you probably don’t know. Although as a student of history, I found it useful just to listen as a reminder. But if you feel your grasp of history is weak, this is a well written concise history that hits all the major issues.