Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

APUSH: AMSCO Controversy?

SiniticSinitic Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
edited October 2013 in AP Tests Preparation
Sorry if this doesn't belong here.

Have you guys heard about the controversy with the AMSCO prep book for APUSH? The formerly revered "godfather" of all APUSH prep books has treaded contention recently because of this ([url]http://****/hmi1tf[/url]) wording with the second amendment. The excerpt has caused a heavy onslaught of negative reviews (of people who have obviously never read the entire book) on Amazon.

I mean, just take a look: United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination: John J. Newman, John M. Schmalbach: 9781567656602: Amazon.com: Books

A formerly ~4.5 star product review rating has turned into a 2.5 star rating.

Is AMSCO still a trustworthy book for the AP exam?
Post edited by Sinitic on

Replies to: APUSH: AMSCO Controversy?

  • aldfig0aldfig0 Registered User Posts: 932 Member
    The summary of the First Amendment is questionable as well. Either way it probably won't have any effect on your AP score, as I'm sure the College Board will tread lightly around things like these after oarsman:regatta debacle (whether or not review books should make these comments is another story).
  • wynterwynter Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    This appears to be some scheme - the vast majority of these negative ratings have come very, very recently - I doubt it is legit. The book is fine.

    Not sure if you're just using CC as a place to publicize this, but takes these reviews with a grain of salt (or 10 grains)
  • clementines2016clementines2016 Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    lol only on cc is this a "controversy"
  • renoverchatrenoverchat Registered User Posts: 531 Member
    Looks like a bunch of people from a pro-gun website or group moved en masse to Amazon to give poor reviews.

    AMSCO is a very good prep book. It will help you with the AP test.

    I wouldn't really call this controversy.
  • rescuelullabyrescuelullaby Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Randomly came across this topic & I have to say: DO NOT let this "controversy" (shaking my head - shouldn't even qualify as one) keep you from buying AMSCO! It is seriously the best. Read it before tests in the year, read it in the month before the exam - and you WILL get a 5.
  • qmansbcqmansbc Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    All of the traffic is being generated from this super right-wing blog. They do not seem happy.

    Update: High School AP History Book Rewrites 2nd Amendment | Peace . Gold . Liberty
  • qmansbcqmansbc Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    The Bill of Rights is just one issue... They are automatically assuming that the author is a communist that wants to indoctrinate all of our children, without getting any feedback from him or any of the editors. It's really stupid. What if the author never intended for his summaries to be interpreted that way?
  • clementines2016clementines2016 Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    i just totally read all those comments and HAHAHAHAHA

    because that's totally not what the constitution says, right? i mean, however you want to interpret laws, it's a HISTORY class. lol "indoctrination" through one line in an ap book that's taken right from the constitution

    they sound paranoid.
  • qmansbcqmansbc Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    lol that's what I was thinking. Most of the reviewers just came straight from that blog and never even read the book. It gets people 5's, so why are they complaining about rampant historical inaccuracy?
  • aldfig0aldfig0 Registered User Posts: 932 Member
    that's taken right from the constitution
    It's not. It's a paraphrase. Read the actual text. Anyways, wouldn't you think the paraphrase is kind of ridiculous and redundant? A "militia" better be able to have arms to be of much use.

    What if, next the the 14th amendment, the author of the review book wrote in parentheses "only applies to whites?" I argue that this change is analogous to the ones the author wrote for the second amendment because it's not written in the constitution and it's an interpretation that affects the rights of a significant number of people (the rights of nonwhites in comparison to the rights of gun owners). How would you think of such a change? Would you dismiss it because it's only one line, it's a history class, or the book will get you a 5 anyway?
  • clementines2016clementines2016 Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    lol a paraphase, taken right from the constitution, that has the same meaning
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    that's saying the same thing. i guess you're calling the writers of the constitution redundant? a militia doesn't HAVE to have guns. they can have any weapons, at least, by the definition of a militia.
    What if, next the the 14th amendment, the author of the review book wrote in parentheses "only applies to whites?"

    well considering the actual amendment doesn't say those words, whoever writes this book would have to more than paraphase to write that in
    I argue that this change is analogous

    no, because the ACTUAL wording of the amendment doesn't say "whites only"
  • aldfig0aldfig0 Registered User Posts: 932 Member
    Nowhere in the second amendment does the actual wording say what the author of the review book says. To get from the original wording to that is interpretation (one of three competing interpretations, actually). Besides, the 10th amendment distinguishes between states and the people. All other uses of "the people" in the Bill of Rights refers to people as individuals (for example, it's hard to see in the 4th amendment as to how this would not be the case). And to put the final nail in the coffin, the co-author of the book himself admits his summary (note that he himself thinks that it is a summary) is incorrect and that it will be fixed in the next edition.
    Second Amendment definition in Texas school work book triggers uproar | Fox News
  • SleepingAwaySleepingAway Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    For the thread starter, you should most DEFINITELY use the amsco text. My teacher loved AMSCO so much that she gave the students two different copies (1 AMSCO for history/government and 1 AMSCO for AP)

    Very interesting situation, but it's sad that such an event is made into a controversy, you would expect something more ... controversial.

    Also, the Brinkley text has a very liberal leaning, but that doesn't detract from its academic merit at all. Let's see a right wing extremist professor from Columbia write a better book....
  • Rob1995Rob1995 Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    This book has been used for years and has always been lauded as one of the best AP prep books. Very easy read but still has all the information you need. Read it once before the school year, follow along the book as you go through the course, and read it once more right before you take the exam. Guaranteed 5.

    I don't really know about the issue concerning the second amendment, but I don't even recall there being a 2nd amendment or gun-related question on the APUSH exam last year so it won't even have an impact on your score.
  • Issac6108Issac6108 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    Yeah, because high school students, who are buying this book for the sole purpose of passing an exam, are even remotely concerned with whether or not a single line in the prep book reflects the actual amendment. Are you kidding me? The reviews are ridiculous and are apparently written by the stupidest people on the planet. Too many people nowadays are only concerned with the most trivial details in order to make their point. I mean seriously? Every one of those reviews is about the same stupid thing. These ignorant people are going to be the only reason some students choose against this book.
This discussion has been closed.