Synopses & Reviews
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.
“[B]reezy, bullet-pointed and well illustrated.” Financial Times
“[M]anages to educate and entertain simultaneously, which is a win-win for everybody!” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A cavalcade of delicious facts, surprising trivia and refreshingly honest, hilariously smart-alecky insight that finally sets the wayward historical record straight.” AmericanProfile.com
In true smart-aleck style, "Mental Floss" presents 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, and much, much more.
Smarter than your old history teacher, funnier than the founding fathers, and more American than apple pie, The Mental Floss History of the United States is an almost (but not entirely) comprehensive primer on American history (or at least, the good stuff). From the editors of MentalFloss.com and mental_floss magazine—with its tagline: “Feel smart again”—comes an American History text packed with hilarious (but true!) trivia written in the smart-aleck tradition of The Mental Floss History of the World, Mental Floss Presents In the Beginning, and the first mental_floss book, Condensed Knowledge. Perfect for trivia buffs, history lovers, college students, and anyone who likes to laugh and learn. United States history has never been so fun.
About the Author
Erik Sass is a journalist who covers the media business from his main base of operations in Los Angeles, with branch offices around the country. When not writing for mental_floss
, he reports on magazines, newspapers, radio, and billboard advertising for MediaPost.com.
A shy, withdrawn child ("loser"), Erik spent many of his formative years reading about history. Ironically, the knowledge he acquired transformed him from mopey misfit to man-about-town; now much sought after for his historical anecdotes, he is considered an indispensable conversational ornament to any party attended by persons of substance.
A giver, Erik also works with mental_floss to share these benefits with others. In addition to the present volume, he was a contributing author for mental_floss presents: Forbidden Knowledge, and also writes about history for mental_floss magazine.
Erik has not vomited on the shoes of government officials or their spouses; however, he has vomited on his own shoes more than once.