While I truly did enjoy this book, I'm going to spend most of the review complaining about it.As implied by the title, Ayres reveals several of the lesser-known facts of American history, which is awesome for a history buff like me.He certainly doesn't lack for content, explaining how the Wright Brothers weren't the first human aviators, Betsy Ross didn't create the first American flag, and the Wild West wasn't really as wild as Hollywood has led us to believe.However, there are others that present similar information with better style and more panache, so this is not the first place to turn for American history trivia.

Ayres' introduction (in which he lays out his great disgust for the way American history is taught in public schools, thinly veiling his belief that if he were in charge of writing history textbooks, they'd be a lot better) is so dry and pompous, that I almost gave up.Luckily that is the worst part of the book.Unfortunately, it never gets much better than mediocre.Ayres stick to the newspaperman's style of "tell it to them, tell it to them with detail, and then tell it to them again" a little too strictly, as I often felt like I was hearing the exact same information repeated several times. I thought maybe my CD player was acting up, but alas, his writing was really that poor. Maybe if he made his introductions more introductory, rather than headline-like snippets of the content, they'd be less obnoxious.Of course then his actual content would have to be written in a more lively manner too.While the facts he relays can't help but be interesting, that's really in spite of his somewhat dry presentation.American high school students would only be slightly less bored with him than their regular text books.While I came out of the public school system enthralled by history, after listening to this book, I can see his point for the need of more accurate and interesting instruction in the subject.I just wished he hadn't been so heavy-handed in getting his point across.The thought running through my head for the majority of this book was how someone like Bill Bryson (my personal favorite, but there are others equally talented) could make this book so much more fun to read.

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