Kenneth C. Davis

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Kenneth C. Davis is an American historian, best known for his Don't Know Much About... series. Born in Mount Vernon, New York City, he attended but did not graduate from Concordia College, Bronxville in New York, and Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York. He lives in New York City and Dorset, Vermont, with his wife and two children.

Davis has made media appearances, including NPR's All Things Considered, and he has lectured at museums, including the Smithsonian Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. He has been a contributor to The New York Times, Newsday and other publications.

Davis's first book, Two-Bit Culture: The Paperbacking of America, offers an overview of the history of paperback books, although some publishers, such as Walter Zacharius and Irwin Stein's Lancer Books, were given little coverage.

Don't Know Much About History[edit]

Published by Crown in 1990, Davis's second book, Don't Know Much About History, spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly 1.5 million copies. This unexpected success launched the Don't Know Much About... series. The standardized format is a chronological coverage of a subject with each chapter divided into boldface subheads of questions, such as, "Did Pocahontas really save John Smith's life?" Davis then answers the questions with basic facts delivered in short easy-to-read essays which have a straightforward approach, but sometimes grab the reader's attention by beginning with light humor and anachronistic comparisons, for example: "Even the astronauts who flew to the moon had a pretty good idea of what to expect; Columbus was sailing, as Star Trek puts it, 'where no man has gone before'." Quotes from historical figures often follow the essays.[1]

The titles were initially inspired by Sam Cooke's song "Wonderful World", with the lyrics, "Don't know much about history" or "geography," etc. The series has generally received favorable reviews. One mixed review criticized Davis for "treat[ing] his subject matter as a vehicle for his own editorials".[2]

America's Hidden History[edit]

Davies' book, America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation (2008), has a more serious tone than the earlier books, is more expansive, and focuses not only on well-known names but also on forgotten figures such as Hannah Duston.

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Don't Know Much About History". google.com. 
  2. ^ "Don't Know Much About History". bookreporter.com. 
  3. ^ "Kenneth C. Davis, The Hidden History of America at War - Pritzker Military Museum & Library - Chicago". pritzkermilitary.org. 
  4. ^ The Hidden History of America at War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah (Don't Know Much About): Kenneth C. Davis: 9781401324100: Amazon.com: Books. amazon.com. 

External links[edit]