When my two books arrived, I started in on them right away. And I was shocked by how much I learned. These are great books, stuffed full of information! There were definite differences with the two books though. Here's my take on the books.
U.S. History for Dummies:
- Goes through U.S. history in a chronological manner, with chapters covering an average span of 15 years each.
- Briefly discusses lots of topics.
- Handy "remember" icons next to important facts and stories
- Extra information on people and events is highlighted in boxes
- Extra lists at the back of the book with information on famous American inventions and events
- The Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence are also included in appendices
- Very casual tone to the writing
- Discusses American History in a roughly chronological order, with some overlap between chapters
- More in-depth discussion of events in American History than in the U.S. History for Dummies book (example: covers the presidential election of 2008 in 14 pages versus 2 pages in For Dummies)
- Serious tone to writing, but still easy to understand
- Handy icons to draw attention to memorable statements from historically significan figures and documents, biographical sketches of figures from the era in question, vital statistics, definitions of buzzwords, and most important event from the era
- Each chapter ends with "the least you need to know", which nicely recaps the most important information from the chapter
If you'd like to pick up a book from the Complete Idiot's Guide series, you can use this coupon code: CIGBlog11 to get 50% off the price of one regularly priced book. Good through October 31, 2011.
Disclosure: I received these two books to review for myself, as well as a highlighter and shopping bag, from the nice people at Complete Idiot's Guide. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.