About the Book
As a columnist for the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri has watched in real time as those who didn’t learn from history have been forced to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it. If we repeat history one more time, we’re going to fail! Maybe it’s time for a new textbook.
Alexandra Petri’s US History contains a lost (invented!) history of America. (A history for people disappointed that the only president whose weird sex letters we have is Warren G. Harding.) Petri’s “historical fan fiction” draws on real events and completely absurd fabrications to create a laugh-out-loud, irreverent takedown of our nation’s complicated past.
On Petri’s deranged timeline, John and Abigail Adams try sexting, the March sisters from Little Women are sixty feet tall, and Susan Sontag goes to summer camp. Nearly eighty short, hilarious pieces span centuries of American history and culture. Ayn Rand rewrites The Little Engine That Could. Nikola Tesla’s friends stage an intervention when he falls in love with a pigeon. The characters from Sesame Street invade Normandy. And Mark Twain—who famously said reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated—offers a detailed account of his undeath, in which he becomes a zombie.
About the Author
Alexandra Petri is a Washington Post columnist who offers a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of the essay collections Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why and A Field Guide to Awkward Silences. She joined The Post as an intern in 2010, after graduating from Harvard College. She received the National Press Club’s Angele Gingras Award for Humor Writing in 2016; was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2018; and one of the Fifty Funniest People Right Now by Rolling Stone.