A Guide is a Guide? Or Not? Review

I hate history.
I would say that I hate learning, but that is not the case.
I just can not get into history, it just seems rather...
I tried and I tried...
In high school. Nope.
College? Not a chance.
I can smile and say that when Broxton needs help in history when he gets older, he is lucky that Marc LOVES it.
He loves watching all sorts of history stuff.
He googles it all the time.
Well, little did I know that they have a competitor in the Complete Guide for Dummies.
How lucky for Marc...
Because of this, we were able to get TWO history books for him to take a look at.
Okay, he did more than look.
He started actually READING.
If you know Marc, he doesn't sit down and pick up a book that often.
He just has other things to do...

Of course, I figured that I could take a look at both and see which one I liked better.
First, I started with The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History.
383 Pages of information.
I do not know if that is considered good or bad!
I will say, they do an AMAZING job of breaking everything down.
The Table of Contents is 12 pages, the Index is 24 pages!
They break the book down into 9 parts and in total, 38 chapters!

378 pages of information.
The table of contents is 11 pages and the index is 11 pages as well.
The Dummies book has 6 parts and 24 chapters.

Now that I threw out a few numbers for you...
Do you want to know what I really thought about them?

Sorry to say, but they both have parts that I liked!
I know, you were really wanting me to let you know which one to pick up to have at your house.
I can not do it.
I can tell you why though.

For the rest of this, it will be Idiot's vs. Dummies.
Or Dummies vs. Idiot's, you call it what you want...

With the Idiot's:

(They are off to the side and are in their own little individual blocks.)
American Echo: "memorable statements from historically significant figures and documents."
American Life: "biographical sketches of an era's most significant and representative figures."
What's the Word: "defines the buzzwords that defined a time and place."
Vital Statistics: "key numbers relating to an era or event."
Remember this: "most significant or representative single event of an era."

With each chapter, you get the "In this Chapter" section that basically bullets what is ahead in the following pages.
The best part? The end of each chapter includes "The Least You Need to Know."
It is a couple bullets that summarizes the key points to take out of that particular section.

With the Dummies:

Normally, they are blocked off into their own area, but there are times that the icon is beside the paragraph in the chapter.
I particularly did not care for the times the icon was placed beside the paragraph.
I like the extras being separated, as it gave a small break in the reading of the chapter.
Their Icons:
American Faces: "mini profiles of those people who make an impact on American History or who are just interesting to read about."
In Their Words: "quotes from letters, speeches, documents, advertisements, and such of the past."
It Started Here: " origins of customs, events, phrases and other aspects of American life."
Technical Stuff: " names, numbers, and other stats behind the news."
Remember: " a fact or idea that you may want to stash in your memory bank."

This also has a bullet style with the "In This Chapter" at the start as well.
The thing I liked best about the Dummies?
They have a couple maps/photos to let your eye have a bit of rest throughout the reading.
Also, they include a "Part of Tens", a bit of a top 10 for the book.

I felt that the Idiot's Guide was more informative of the information and would be more of a text book type reference.
The Dummies Guide seemed to be more of a bit of information for conversation starters/pieces.

With Marc, the jury is still out..
He is still flipping back and forth through both of them!
He says that although they are both very informative, he is a bit put off as they are both VERY biased and the author's opinion is blatantly obvious for both books.

As I said, I can not say which would be better for you..
Are you looking for something to teach?
Or more to discuss?

Now, until July 1, 2011...
Use Coupon Code:
That will get you 50% off your order from The Complete Idiot's Guide Website.
(If history isn't your thing... they have SO MANY different subjects to choose from!)

FTC Compliant Review Policy: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.


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