We learn so much drivel in school and via the press that once you do manage to peak behind the curtain and start to understand the truth it can be quite overwhelming to realize how much you you need to un-learn and then really learn. Noam Chomsky has written an excellent article that outlines a few of those historical threads. In this case he looks at the freedoms that were provided by the Magna Carta and how they have been stripped away in America. Along the way he gives a quick history of how Blacks have always been but for a very short period and today still are really slaves in every meaningful sense in America and a few issues of environmental law. If you're interested in learning more at least about the American part of history that you probably weren't taught in school (assuming you went to school in America) I heartily recommend Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States"