An extremely unfocused book. Kaufman has an excellent topic here, but does little with it. Like with Freakonomics, the book is a series of interesting tidbits that don't really add up to anything. Probably the most interesting thing I learned is that practically every food in America, except those including pork, is probably kosher, even if not supervised by a rabbi. There were some interesting tidbits about the Mather family, but why not go deeper into how their theories affected the average American?
There is a book to be written on this topic - this one isn't the right one. It merely skims the surface and isn't a coherent whole.
And don't let the length fool you. This is REALLY short. Without the index, it is 194 pages of the kind of type you see in young adult titles. I read this in about 2 hours, and I'm not a particularly fast reader
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