The full title (and subtitle) of this book is The Untold Tales of The First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation. And so it sometimes is. (It depends on how much history you have read as to how much of this book is unknown or forgotten.)
You might recognize the author’s name from his “Don’t Know Much About History” series. He is also a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered. Heralded as a “popular historian” he presents his latest work.
If you have conservative political leanings, you will loathe and despise this book. If you are more liberally minded, you will probably find it fascinating. If you are undecided, then I would say do not stop with reading this book only. Explore and read more.
An unbiased relater of history he is not. He frequently uses words like “propaganda” in such a manner as to express his personal opinion. I found this disturbing, apart from my political bent, because it didn’t feel like “pure” history. It had modern politics attached and it makes it very hard to digest a non-fiction book when you know the person has certain beliefs and you find them mixed into the details of the subject matter. I’m not certain and cannot state whether or not he intended to do this, but this is what I found.
History buffs, all politics aside, will probably find this book interesting. It reads like Ben Gates relating unknown historical facts in the National Treasure movies. Who wasn’t entertained by Nicholas Cage hunting for buried national treasures? Likewise, who wouldn’t be fascinated by Davis’ relating these stories? It’s easy to like his style. I just would have preferred the straight facts without feeling like I was on the modern day campaign trial.
If you like history – I would encourage you to read this book no matter your political bent. Either you will find it enlightening in knowing what modern day historians are saying or you will find the information useful. Viewed one way, reading this book is a win-win situation. It is, as Davis so aptly described for us (unintentionally), all in how you view things.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.