Legends, lies, and cherished myths of American history

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9780060972622: Legends, lies, and cherished myths of American history

The truth and nothing but the truth--Richard Shenkman sheds light on America's most believed legends:

  • The story of Columbus discovered that the world was round was invented by Washington Irving.

  • The pilgrims never lived in log cabins.

  • In Concord, Massachusetts, a third of all babies born in the twenty years before the Revolution were conceived out of wedlock.

  • Washington may have never told a lie, but he loved to drink and dance, and he fell in love with his best friend's wife.

  • Independence wasn't declared on July 4 (and the Liberty Bell was so little regarded that Philadelphia tried to sell it for scrap metal but nobody wanted it).

  • After World War II, the U.S. Government concluded that Japan would have surrendered within months, even if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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About the Author:

Richard Shenkman is an associate professor of history at George Mason University and the New York Times bestselling author of six history books, including Presidential Ambition; Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History; and Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter. The editor and founder of George Mason University’s History News Network website, he can be seen regularly on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

From AudioFile:

Shenkman admits that this is his version of truth and that truth in history is difficult to ascertain. Furthermore, this isn't world history, but European history. Reader Arte Johnson, Emmy winner from "Laugh-In," relies on a sardonic Yiddish style. Johnson attempts to imitate famous voices, Gandhi and Churchill, for example. For assorted French kings he attempts a French accent. His tone reminds the listener that almost any famous event is difficult to recount accurately. Johnson reads quickly and keeps the listener's attention with a wealth of fascinating information. M.G.S. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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