A Nation Rising: Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighters from America’s Hidden History

Written by Kenneth C. Davis
Review by John R. Vallely

Kenneth Davis has made a career of writing popular history dealing with “lost” or “forgotten” aspects of the American past. Best known for his nine “Don’t Know Much About…” books (history, the U.S. Civil War, mythology, etc.), Davis’s writing style is well suited for those who wish to indulge in historical reading in a brief and easily digestible manner. His most recent offering treats six events in the 1800-1850 time frame: Aaron Burr’s trial, the Seminole Indian War, a Louisiana slave rebellion (Madison’s Mutiny), anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia, Andrew Jackson’s Indian campaigns, and the Mexican War. Davis’s style tends to be charmingly idiosyncratic, but his frequent forays into contemporary American political and social movements detract from this particular example of his writing.