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Comic History of the United States

Bill Nye

Book Overview: 

This text takes the reader on a comical journey from the time of the first European settlement through the Civil War. The author’s caustic wit is evident throughout the book in his numerous sarcastic and humorous remarks. The reader will enjoy a “different” type of history book based on facts, yet caustically embellished for entertainment purposes.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .THE DISCOVERY OF NEW YORK.

The author will now refer to the discovery of the Hudson River and the town of New York via Fort Lee and the 125th Street Ferry.

New York was afterwards sold for twenty-four dollars,—the whole island. When I think of this I go into my family gallery, which I also use as a swear room, and tell those ancestors of mine what I think of them. Where were they when New York was sold for twenty-four dollars? Were they having their portraits painted by Landseer, or their deposition taken by Jeffreys, or having their Little Lord Fauntleroy clothes made?

Do not encourage them to believe that they will escape me in future years. Some of them died unregenerate, and are now, I am told, in a country where they may possibly be damned; and I will attend to the others personally.

Twenty-four dollars for New York! Why, my Croton-water tax on one house and lot with fifty feet four and one-fourth inches front is fifty-nine do. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Not as funny as his history of England

Brilliantly done..

I agree with another reviewer who said it may need to be read more than once, and you should have a good basic knowledge of American history.
In spite of the politically incorrect and downright racist comments, I did rather enjoy his sense of humor and I occasionally found myself looking up incid...more

I started reading this because I thought it was a history of the US by Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Only to find out that there was a comic writer of some hundred years ago or more also named Bill Nye (not the Science Guy). I kept reading it because it was a populist history of the US and I thought...more

After reading the first few chapters of Comic History of the United States by Bill Nye I realized I was reading the words without really understanding (and appreciating) it. Not being one to read anything and not enjoying it (much less understanding it) I started again. In order to understand and...more

I downloaded from LibrVox and listened to on child pick-up run today. Some funny commentaries on Queen Isabella, Columbus, Penn and Native Americans. Probably was funnier in its time. Volunteer read- she did a good job.

Bill Nye's Comic History of the United States, published in 1894, is a funny little book. Nye is more droll than funny, his puns and word play are quaint. Bill Nye is a 19th century humorist who has several comic histories and books of commentary. Despite the age of his work and the changes is st...more

Maybe I'm partial to Bill Nye, or maybe I find the lack of political correctness somewhat refreshing. Does that make me a bad person? I hope not! Controversial review to come!

I can understand how this may have been funny back when it was released. It's very tongue in cheek. To read it in today's society, you definitely have to ignore a lot of the allowed racial comments from the time. He completely lost my interest in the droning on of the the Civil War.

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