Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis
Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned

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Synopsis

The latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series -- a magical journey into the timeless world of mythology

It has been fifteen years since Kenneth C. Davis first dazzled audiences with his instant classic Don't Know Much About® History, vividly bringing the past to life and proving that Americans don't hate history, they just hate the dull, textbook version they were fed in school. With humor, wit, and a knack for storytelling, Davis has been bringing readers of all ages up to speed on history, geography, and science ever since. Now, in the classic traditions of Edith Hamilton and Joseph Campbell, he turns his talents to the world of myth.

Where do we come from? Why do stars shine and the seasons change? What is evil? Since the beginning of time, people have answered such questions by crafting imaginative stories that have served as religion, science, philosophy, and popular literature. In his irreverent and popular question-and-answer style, Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world, as well as the works of literature that have made them famous. In a single volume, he tackles Mesopotamia's Gilgamesh, the first hero in world mythology; Achilles and the Trojan War; Stonehenge and the Druids; Thor, the Nordic god of thunder; Chinese oracle bones; the use of peyote in ancient Native American rites; and the dramatic life and times of the man who would be Buddha.

Ever familiar and instructive, Davis shows why the ancient tales of gods and heroes -- from Mount Olympus to Machu Picchu, from ancient Rome to the icy land of the Norse -- continue to speak to us today, in our movies, art, language, and music. For mythology novices and buffs alike, and for anyone who loves a good story, Don't Know Much About® Mythology is a lively and insightful look into the greatest stories ever told.

 

About Kenneth C. Davis

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Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of A Nation Rising; America's Hidden History; and Don't Know Much About® History, which spent thirty-five consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, sold more than 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don't Know Much About® series for adults and children. A resident of New York City and Dorset, Vermont, Davis frequently appears on national television and radio and has been a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered. He blogs regularly at www.dontknowmuch.com.
 
Published December 10, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 560 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Davis occasionally flashes an attitude, taking a shot at one of Michelle Bachmann’s campaign claims about the Founding Fathers and slavery, noting several historical antecedents for our recent financial meltdown, blasting Bush II for Iraq and other messes, and reminding us that President Obama ca...

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Davis is a playful teacher, too—one who reminds his students that they probably got their first taste of Norse myth watching Bugs Bunny sing the role of Brunhilde in “What’s Opera, Doc?” Specialists in the upper echelons of academia will no doubt find something to grumble about in Davis’s popular...

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Publishers Weekly

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What is a myth? How does it differ from legend, fairy tale and allegory? Do myths cross cultures? Davis (Don't Know Much About the Civil War ) answers these a

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Publishers Weekly

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Davis’s latest historical reference explores the presidency as an institution and the individual lives of the men who have served as America’s commander in chief.

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Publishers Weekly

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The material's q&a format (children read the questions and Wyman reads the answers), complete with several fast-paced "true/false" and "pop quiz" segments keep things rolling along—and keep listeners hooked, at least for a while.

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Publishers Weekly

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Davis, author of the trademarked series of Don't Know Much About primers, seeks to dispel public boredom and ignorance about history and correct mistakes about various historical events in this update of his bestselling survey of American history.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this presidential election year, bestselling author Davis (Don't Know Much About History) returns with an absorbing take on the American presidency.

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Book Reporter

If Alpha's famous orange-and-white dressed reference books have spawned a whole new generation of readers whose quest for a maximum amount of facts are sated by prose any "idiot" could read, the Don't Know Much About series offers the same promise with a bit more elegance and charm.

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Tulsa World

Davis quotes presidential historian Marcus Cunliffe on the American public's outsized expectations of what the president should be: "Could it be," Cunliffe writes, "that Americans have something more dangerous: not an Imperial Presidency or an Imperiled but a plumb Impossible Presidency?"

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