Smarter than a history teacher, funnier than the Founding Fathers, and more American than Alaska, an almost (but not entirely) comprehensive primer on American history (or at least, the good stuff)
In trademark smart aleck style, this is history according to mental_floss, an insightfully accurate and incisively humorous exploration of little-known truths and widely believed falsehoods, which simultaneously exposes some of America's oddest moments, strangest citizens, most egregious frauds, and much, much more.
Ten meaty chapters, peppered with fun trivia, entertainingly cover the essential timeline of the social, political, and cultural happenings of American history and mythbust all the lies teachers told us along the way. Was Abraham Lincoln really a heroic defender of liberty and freedom? Were the Sixties actually a groovy time of peace and love? Has the U.S. always been dependent on foreign oil? mental_floss sets the record straight and shares the fascinating stories behind politics, literature, fashion, televangelism, serial killers, genetic engineering, Yuppies, SPAM, the original Swine Flu, potato chips, rollerskating, mobsters, rum, communists, beaver wars, the rise and fall of irony, and everything else made in the U.S.A.
Prehistory, Puritans, plantations, and pirates (23,000 BCE-1715 CE -- Don't worry, be scrappy!: 1715-1815 -- Drunk and illiterate (and no t just a little bit): 1815-1850 -- Time for your bloodbath: 1850-1880 -- Empire state of mind: 1880-1910 -- United States of amazing: 1910-1930 -- Superpower surprise: 1930-1955 -- Sex, drugs, and mocking roles: 1955-1975 -- Morning in America?: 1975-1992 -- America the decider: 1992-2010 -- 44 presidents in 45 minutes.