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Historian and Best-Selling Author Kenneth Davis, the “King of Knowing,” to Speak on Campus April 14

Posted February 21, 2009

kennethdavis.gifAcclaimed historian and author Kenneth C. Davis is bringing his humor and in-your-face style to Western New England College. Davis, the creator and author of the bestselling Don’t Know Much About book series, will speak at Sleith 100 on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Alumni Association, is free and open to the public.

Davis has a knack for innovative storytelling, and his engaging wit and offbeat approach promises to be a hit at the College. The first book in the series, Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned, was originally published in 1990 and spent 35 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. In April 2003, a completely revised, expanded and updated edition of Don’t Know Much About History was published by HarperCollins. To date, more than 1.4 million copies of the book have been sold.

Davis has struck a chord with Americans who want to be educated and entertained. With humor, anecdotal material, and contemporary references, he makes his subjects—often viewed as “boring”—come vividly to life. Other titles in the series are Don’t Know Much About Geography, Don’t Know Much About the Civil War, Don’t Know Much About the Universe, Don’t Know Much About Mythology, and Don’t Know Much About the Bible. Want to know where Cain found his wife? Here’s your chance to ask Davis!

Did you know that during the American Revolution George Washington had chickens taste his food to see if it was poisoned? You might not know that Paul Revere’s famous line was “The Regulars are coming out!” not “The British are coming!” Reading Davis, according to People magazine, “is like returning to the classroom of the best teacher you ever had.”

Once dubbed the “King of Knowing” by, Davis is also a contributing editor to USA Weekend, where his Don’t Know Much About articles often appear in more than 600 newspapers. In addition, he has written for such national publications as The New York Times, Newsday, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He frequently brings his unconventional and entertaining approach to the subject of America’s misunderstanding of history, geography, and the Bible to hundreds of television and radio talk shows, including National Public Radio, where he was a commentator for All Things Considered, and many other public radio stations, including Vermont Public Radio, where he is a frequent commentator.

Last May, Smithsonian Books published his newest work, America’s Hidden History: Untold tales of the first Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation.

Davis has also developed a series of Don’t Know Much About books for children. These books take the Don’t Know Much About concept of making learning fun to younger readers in both picture books and middle grade reference books. They include Don’t Know Much About the 50 States, Don’t Know Much About the Solar System, Don’t Know Much About the Presidents, and Don’t Know Much About the Pilgrims. He launched a Don’t Know Much About biography series and the latest is a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution founded in 1919. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University serves 3,955 students, including 2,575 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and School of Law.


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