Devote five minutes a day to this book, and in one year youíll be able to dazzle - or annoy - your friends with your newfound knowledge about Americaís past. The Intellectual Devotional: American History is sliced 365 ways and delivered to you in fun-size chunks, one page at a time. It covers seven categories, one for each day of the week.
On each page is a one paragraph summary followed by several paragraphs of detail, followed by two or three footnote-looking trivia nuggets. This readerís digest of U.S. history keeps it brief and interesting.
On Mondays, we learn about Politics and Leadership, from Washington delivering the shortest inaugural address on record to John F. Kennedy winning the Pulitzer Prize.
Tuesdays bring the subject of War and Peace, where we learn tidbits like John Adams, Americaís second president, serving as the defense attorney to the commander of the British troops following the Boston Massacre. And that two percent of the U.S. population died during the Civil War. Two percent! Thatís like nine million people at todayís prices.
The topic for Wednesdays is Rights and Reform. We follow Americaís journey living up to its philosophical promise, briefly exploring subjects such as the Great Awakenings and multiple civil rights movements.
On Thursdays, we get down to Business, or the history of it and its impact on the American economy through discoveries of natural resources and advances in technology from the Cotton Gin to the Gold Rush to the Internet.
Fridayís theme is Building America, where we learn about the history of building, as well as destroying, Americaís infrastructure. How did barbed wire get started? Whose idea was that? When did Yankee stadium open, and when do they plan to tear it down? Did Mrs. OíLearyís cow kick over that kerosene lamp? Who knew infrastructure could be so fascinating?
Which brings us to Saturdays and Literature. Edgar Allan Poe. Hemingway. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Uncle Tomís Cabin. Did you know that Harriet Beecher-Stowe and Mark Twain were next-door neighbors?
On Sundays, you can enjoy educational entries on the Arts. Do you know from which novelís character Starbuckís gets its name? Which 1990 movie is a remake of Casablanca? How many times has Lisa Marie Presley been married?
The Intellectual Devotional: American History is presented in a way thatís entertaining, accessible and easily digestible. You can pick it up and put it down for as little or as long as you like. You can jump to the end and read it backwards, or open it up to a random page and start reading. Itís like 365 little Ken Burns documentaries crammed into the convenience of a portable reader.
And why arenít more books adorned with a handy built-in red ribbon bookmark?