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    Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges into History (Uncle John's Bathroom Reader)
    by The Bathroom Readers' Hysterical Society
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 2001)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars May be too good for the bathroom...
    I'm not, by nature, overly impressed with trivia books. I enjoy them at times, but I rarely consider them "page-turners", which is why they are often considered great choices for bathroom reading material. This collection is a welcome exception! History is a fascinating field, something more people need to realize but few can grasp after years of stale high school history lessons. This book has a lot of fascinating material in it, and offers the reader a wealth of hilarious and/or startling trivia. This book is well worth the cost!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Bathroom Historian
    I received the first Uncle John's Bathroom Reader as a gift nearly fifteen years ago, and I have enjoyed every one of its many successors."Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into History" is the first of the readers to focus on a specific subject matter, but it is every bit as enjoyable as its more generic brethren.

    Whether you read this book in the bathroom or in the living room, you'll really get a kick out of it.Each article is short, interesting and can generally be read in one sitting (so to speak).Although some of the material was new to me, the book seemed to have its facts straight about the stories with which I was familiar.Despite the witty and breezy style, the authors have usually done enough homework to master the basics.To top it off, the "factoids" on the bottom of each page are pretty interesting in their own right!

    If you enjoy history lite--featuring short articles that can be read quickly in a series of short sittings--check out "The Bathroom Historian," my ongoing list of books in this genre.Happy reading!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What I learned from Uncle John...
    I picked up this book about a month ago, and haven't been able to put it down since.I have learned more tidbits of trivia from this book than I did in High School.The articles are written in a way that makes history fun, and for many people, that's not easy!Being someone who enjoys history, this book is a real gem! ... Read more

    Isbn: 157145697X
    Sales Rank: 9105
    Subjects:  1. American - General    2. General    3. Humor    4. World history   


    History's Last Stand
    by Gerard Del Re, Patricia Del Re
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1993)
    list price: $10.00
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A nice collection of the "Lasts" of History
    Wow!That last reviewer must have woke up on the wrong side of the alley!Using a clever format, "History's Last Stand" takes up a couple hundred of History's grand finales.Anecdotes -- both serious and irreverent -- include such events as Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine, Abraham Lincoln's assassination, General 'Chinese' Gordon's fall at Khartoum, and D.B. Cooper's jump from a Boeing 727.I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

    Wayne Gralian
    Wayne's World of Books / Krakow RPGs

    1-0 out of 5 stars What a waste of precious time and effort
    This is one of the worst buys of my life. I thought I was purchasing a book of anecdotes and interesting short stories throughout history's greatest exits. This is a book that utilizes the same amount of space for Prince Humbert II as it does for great finales of General Custer or the Berlin Wall. Any person I can save from buying this book is all the better. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0380769158
    Sales Rank: 1590546
    Subjects:  1. Biography    2. Celebrities    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: World    6. Miscellanea    7. Politicians    8. World   

    Dirty Little Secrets of the Twentieth Century
    by James F. Dunnigan
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (06 October, 1999)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Like a History Professor
    I really liked this book because it didnt sound like my history teacher. I'm no historian, but the writer's explanations is somewhat similar to my grandparents and relative's never ending tale of the past.

    I'd recommend this for the young people, like me,who would like to read about history--- its a way to start liking it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Twentieth Century explained in Byte size format.
    An attempt to explain the Twentieth century, mostly from an American perspective, using rather selective criteria. The absence of any references at all means we are forced to accept on good faith the authors sometimes quirky interpretation of the last 100 years, thus leading us to believe that this book is probably more for entertainment than for serious debate. Some of his conclusions are idiosyncratic to say the least. The downfall of the Eastern bloc was largely due to the BBC World Service and ham radio apparently. Unless this is the first history book you've ever read, there are no real dirty little secrets as such, it's really just a concise interpretation of historial, economic and sociological trends of the last century.
    A lot of the sections are repetitive and are deliberately short, presumably to cater for our shortened attention spans which, as is pointed out more than once, is due to the influence of TV. Theories like this are hardly groundbreaking, however despite the essentially lightweight nature of the book, I think the author has some genuine insight. Communism and facism for example are explained in terms of religion.
    Essentially, this book should be read to enable you to spout interesting facts at people. Just be ready if challenged to do some proper research in order to substantiate much of this.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Dirty Little Secrets? Hardly . . .
    The title of this book is misleading . . . it leads one to assume that the book contains a number of hidden and little known facts and figures that influenced the 20th century, when it reality it is just one man's oddyssey into the social and political forces and changes that occurred in the 20th century. No references to anything is given, so as history it is very weak. General trends are noted, most of which are obvious anyway, and some parallels with the past are noted. It is a nice, quick easy read and may turn up a few items that you weren't aware of before, but anyone familiar with current events or recent history will not be impressed. An example from the book: Why do Americans live longer than other peoples in third world countried? Answer: Better sanitation! A secret? You decide. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0688170684
    Sales Rank: 88980
    Subjects:  1. 1900-1999 (20th century)    2. 20th Century World History    3. 20th century    4. General    5. History    6. History - General History    7. History, Modern    8. History: World    9. Miscellanea    10. Modern - 20th Century    11. Modern history    12. United States - 20th Century   


    The Pessimist's Guide To History : An Irresistible Compendium Of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres And Mayhem From The Big Bang To The New Millennium
    by Stuart Berg Flexner, Doris Flexner
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (20 June, 2000)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An easy read of horrible events
    One would expect to feel some guilt from reading this book, since I found myself being entertained by stories of terrible tragedies that happened to millions of people throughout history, but the authors tend to poke fun at the causes, not the victims, of such events.Another striking thing is that after a while, you feel like you're reading a book about general World History (unfortunately it often seems to go hand-in-hand with misery).

    I was amused, yet angered at the human follies that lead to the majority of major disasters - stupid governments, big dumb ideas, racial bigotry, religious wars, etc.,.I also felt fortunate that I'm living in these relatively modern times.Certainly our world is still no stranger to tragedy, but at least modern cities are not in danger of burning down due to a knocked-over lantern or such.

    After reading about the variety and volume of major natural disasters, one is amazed at just how little control people have over this world, even now, particularly after witnessing the recent, massively damaging Asian tsunami disaster.

    The truly interesting, though tragic, parts of the book deal with man-made disasters; unfortunately, there are plenty of examples both small-scale (e.g. psychotic killers) and large-scale (e.g. psychotic governments).This is where the authors inject most of their wry humor, directed at history's monsters and idiots.

    All in all, it may not be something to read while at the beach with the family, but it is an interesting and easy-reading diversion for casual history buffs.

    4-0 out of 5 stars laughing all the way to the grave
    This is pretty good stuff. You get a lot of humor for a nice price. I think it's healthy to be able to laugh a little at the multitudinous ways in which chaos brings us bad fortune. You can't take things too seriously, can you?

    3-0 out of 5 stars For the sporadic reader...
    The chronology is fun...the accuracy, dubious... the occasional follow-up commentary, slightly amusing...the objectivity, mild...the compilation, notably broad...I read this book over the course of a couple of months, whenever I had to sit down.If you are looking for factual historical record, you'll need a supplement.I did enjoy it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 006095745X
    Sales Rank: 146409
    Subjects:  1. Chronology, Historical    2. Disasters    3. General    4. Historical chronology    5. History    6. History - General History    7. History: World    8. Reference    9. World - General    10. History / General   


    Just Curious About History, Jeeves
    by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett
    Paperback (01 January, 2002)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $14.00
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    Isbn: 0743427092
    Sales Rank: 256806
    Subjects:  1. History    2. Miscellanea    3. Reference    4. Trivia    5. World - General    6. History / General   


    The Greatest Stories Never Told : 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy
    by Rick Beyer
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (18 March, 2003)
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
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    Reviews (19)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A quick and fun read
    "The Greatest Stories Never Told" will amuse and entertain you because of the simple style in which it is written.It is a small book with about one page written on each of the one hundred stories and a page of photos next to each story.It is a quick and fun read that can be read by people of almost every reading age.Although the book may not be totally be accurate as one historian reviewer pointed out, I found the book to be an entertaining read.For instance, do you know on whom the story of Dracula is based?Do you know why the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock?Do you know what caused Watergate?Pick up this book to find out the answers to these questions and much more!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Astonishing, Bewlidering and Stupefying!
    We all know about the famous stories in history that made history...but what about the not-so-famous ones that still made history?Many of them are right here in this wonderfully assembled book of anecdotes that will surely make you pause to reflect on the very nature of causality, fate and the unanswerable question of 'what if...?"Well done!I bought three for the historians in my own family!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A tasty and authentic treat!
    Assisted by historians at Harvard and Boston University and librarians at the National Archives and Library of Congress, this book is well-researched and visually rich. But it's also colorful and snappy, a testament to how lively history can be in the hands of someone who truly loves it. Beyer gives us 100 bite-size histories, tasty morsels that are curiously strong. My 11 year old son devoured several stories in one sitting; I consumed the book in one weekend. From events that changed nations...to inventions that changed the world, this collection is a joy, a real page-turner. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0060014016
    Sales Rank: 4616
    Subjects:  1. Curiosities & Wonders    2. History    3. History - General History    4. Military    5. Military - General    6. Miscellanea    7. Reference    8. World history    9. History / Reference   


    Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths of American History
    by Richard Shenkman
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (03 August, 1992)
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
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    Reviews (17)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Nearly no primary sources
    Television news reporter (now there's a credential) Shenkman attempts to debunk some widely-held but erroneous beliefs about American history from Columbus to the present day, covering topics such as sex, family, the so-called good old days, arts and quotations. It's a fine and admirable idea for a book.Unfortunately, this book does not deliver the idea's promise.Shenkman uses nearly no primary sources, relying on modern historians' research.This gives the result that in many instances, his "proof" of the falsity of one claim is simply another author's claim.Shenkman also has an odd idea of what constitutes American history, often resorting to 17th-century history to refute claims of what "American" life really is.He also quotes extensively but cites sources sproadically, often lumping a few paragraph's worth of sources together in one footnote.There are one or two nuggets of good stuff in here, like the origin of Paul Bunyan, or some of Harvard's history, but the lack of primary sources and generally non-scholarly approach make this book somewhat interesting at best.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Part of the Problem
    This book provides the real truth about many of the myths and legends that get passed around as history. Since dramatizations are always more popular that dull reality, this work is never ending. The author says that Americans know plenty of history, but little of it is true. No facts are cited, so page 11 serves as an ironic introduction. Seventeen chapters group historical topics. They make entertaining reading, and are informative. But are they all 100% correct? Note how many of his notes reference a sole source. Page 22 questions Eli Whitney's use of interchangeable parts from inspecting surviving examples. But after decades of wear wouldn't the original parts have been replaced? The Ford assembly line (p.25) came from Chicago slaughterhouses.

    The "Founding Fathers" chapter teaches you what is censored from the schoolbooks. Page 31 tells of the Yazoo land swindle in Georgia, and the part played by the US Supreme Court after the fact. Neither Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, or Hamilton went to church regularly (p.35). "Presidents" says that Warren Harding was selected after many ballots. His Cabinet included some of the best minds in the country (p.50). If not the brightest, he made it up by often working from 8am to midnight until he died of a heart attack. Eisenhower's "fuzzy locutions" were just a way to give evasive answers (p.54). Reagan was a liberal Democrat from the 1930s to the early 1950s (pp.56-57). Most Presidents had a middle-class to rich background, except Andrew Johnson [and Bill Clinton?] (pp.58-59). Shenkman contradicts de Tocqueville on the "equality of conditions" in America. But de Tocqueville was right; lavish living was politically incorrect, and considered immoral. De Tocqueville also commented on America's fascination with money.

    "Sex" suggest the only diference from 200 years ago is more publicity. The sermons against vice in the late 19th century may have been against the industrialized version (p.71). Big cities had guidebooks so "the reader may know how to avoid them" (p.72)! "The Family" notes the high rate of divorce in America started in the 1880s (p.80). Divorce seems to follow the economy (p.81). In past centuries early death was so common that single parent families were prevalent (p.82). "War" suggestss a censored reign of terror during the Revolution; a higher proportion of Loyalists fled than Royalists from Revolutionary France (p.84), where more died. Shenkman says the Mexican War was for territory, as if this was unusual (p.91)! Like most historical arguments, one man's truth is another man's myth. Page 103 says the Japanese emperor and the Supreme Council decided to end the war on June 20, 1945 weeks before the A-bombs were dropped. No one expected deaths from the radiation!

    The popular image of "The Frontier" as a place of violence is due to Hollywood movies and dime novels, rather than historical fact (p.112). The Kansan cow towns which saw more violence were those with a large transient male population looking for fun. Davy Crocket's legend came from his political biographies (p.114). "Education" notes the failures in schooling goes way back; it is not a current phenomenon (p.13). College rebellions were common in the early 19th century (pp.135-6). "The Good Old Days" refer to the times where problems were forgotten and good memories retained (pp.159-160). Drug abuse was widespread in the late 19th century, not counting alcohol (p.164). "Folklore" says many famous figures believed to be mythical were based on real people, like Johnny Appleseed (p.166). The "Famous Quotes" chapter explains why some are "famous misquotes:. You can not fool all of the people all of the time after they read this book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A teaser - and I'm not sure to trust it
    This looked like a fascinating premise - debunk all the things we think we know.Unfortunately, the book did not live up to it's promise for me.The author tried to cover so much ground that nothing could be properly explored or explained.Just a lot of random factoids strung together.

    I'm normally a fan of the factoid books, but I guess I just had mismatched expectations.I expected more from this book.

    I was also vaguely troubled at a number of points during the book.The author used a lot of weasel words (might, could, may, etc.) when trying to convince us that the conventional understanding of a particular point is wrong.If you know better, say so.If it's a matter still in dispute, that's a little too academic for me to care about.

    At other points, I found myself challenging his assumptions and sources.The one good thing I can say about this book is that for popular entertainment it was exceptionally well footnoted.(Not that I have the resources to look up all those books, but it was reassuring to think that I could.)

    I doubt I'll be picking up any of his other books. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0060972610
    Sales Rank: 36777
    Subjects:  1. History    2. History - General History    3. History: American    4. Legends    5. Miscellanea    6. United States    7. United States - General    8. History / General   


    Legends , Lies& Cherished Myths of World History
    by R. Shenkman
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 July, 1994)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Wickedly Funny Debunking
    So you think Catherine the Great was Russian, do you?Then you are a prime candidate for R. Shenkman's acid-tongued revelation of little known or seldom recognized historical fact.If there is a basic misapprehension, Shenkman is on it--much to the annoyance of those who thought they knew Cleopatra was Greek, the Gospels are consistent, and the Scots have always worn kilts.

    In some respects the work is like buckshot: Shenkman basically goes after what interests him, darting from one item to another in a more or less chronological order, taking on everything from Alexander the Great to Hitler.Did Moses write the first five books of the Old Testament?Did Lady Godiva really ride naked through the streets of Coventry?Who was really responsible for having Joan of Arc burned at the stake?Did Winston Churchill really oppose appeasement of Germany?

    Some of the material is stuff you would have known if you had paid attention in high school, but even so much of it will startle most readers, and Shenkman's wry style is sure to amuse.Recommended for the pure fun of it!

    GFT, Amazon Reviewer

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good compliment to the "Myth America" TV series.
    As with most TV series you get statements with out support. So I tracked down the Richard Shenkiman book to get some background to the statements about American myths. I was not disappointed. It is as if he was reading this book on the TV with more graphic representations for the different media.
    The book is worth reading. However the format may not be to some peoples liking as it is short choppy statements and the chapters are divided into subjects as, Discoverers and Inventors, Presidents, Sex, and Art.
    There is a fair set of footnotes to lead you to further reading. You may need this as he sometimes stretches a point.
    Final analysis, you are better off reading this to give a better perspective on reality. Read it to your kids and save them a lifetime of "Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History".

    1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, terrible, terrible
    As a professional historian I was appalled by this book. I have a pretty generous sense of humor, but Shenkman's weak attempts at debunking popular conceptions and his "breezy" wit were too much. He propogates just as much bad history as he purports to correct, oversimplifying such complex subjects as Alexander's conquests and the fall of Rome, and his section on Judaism could easily be called anti-Semitic. It should come as no surprise that he skips over relgions that it's not okay to ridicule--only Jews and Christians are the butt of jokes, here. As another reviewer said, Shenkman seems to like hearing himself talk--so true. His narrative style reminds of me those self-important people you hear dominating restaurant conversation so often.
    If you really must have something historical to laugh at, check out The Lowbrow's Guide to History, which, at least, doesn't pretend to be telling the truth. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0060922559
    Sales Rank: 21499
    Subjects:  1. Errors, inventions, etc    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: World    5. Humor    6. Miscellanea    7. Reference    8. World - General    9. History / General   


    Quirky Quotations : More Than 500 Fascinating, Quotable Comments and the Stories Behind Them
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (25 August, 1992)
    list price: $15.00
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Diversion
    The inscription at the begining of Tuleja's "Quirky Quotations" is from Cicero: "Nothing that can be said is so absurd that some philosopher has not already said it." The pages that follow prove the rule.

    Tuleja's "Quirky Quotations" is a witty and lighthearted look at some memorable quotations and the stories behind them.The book is a delight to read--instead of being a dull compendium of quotations, it cleverly and briefly explains the context of many famous, infamous and obscure remarks (some of which are worth remembering at parties or at meetings that have become far too serious).

    Tuleja breaks the book up into short paragraphs that can easily be read at brief sittings.This makes "Quirky Quotations" ideal for reading on an airplane or--dare I say it--as a bathroom reader.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nonchalance Has No Place In a World of Thinkers
    This book is craftily written and offers a wide range of insight into the diverse perceptions of many prestigious thinkers.

    Tad Tuleja has been thorough in his accounting of most quotes, making this background is bothfascinating and educational.

    Light hearted, but with a certain allurementthat inspires the most casual of contemplators to give all that life has init some thought.

    Enjoy your intellect--jjb ... Read more

    Isbn: 051758560X
    Sales Rank: 1568032
    Subjects:  1. Quotations    2. Reference    3. Trivia    4. Reference / Trivia   

    American History in 100 Nutshells
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (19 May, 1992)
    list price: $19.00 -- our price: $19.00
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful for anyone!
    This is a great book that will make history easily accessible and enjoyable.

    The book breaks 100 key events into easy to read passages summarizing key points in a most readable fashion.So many of us, unfortunately, learned hisotry from notes copied off of the board in a high school classroom.This makes the things that we should remember (Little Big Horn, Stamp Act etc) more entertaining.

    One reason why this book is great for individuals who already like US history is the collection of fun facts at the end of each segment.

    Worth owning as both a reference book and a fun read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than you might think
    Amazing, non-orthodox book on US history. This enjoyable, fun and easy reading is full of interesting facts. It shrinks US history down to 100 nutshells which are like reading history between the lines, probably the history most americans don't know. This is an excellent complement to any formal history book. The fresh approach offers excellent culture and, why not?, entertainment. You should not miss it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A unique way to learn American history! Bravo!
    American History in 100 nutshells is a fascinating read for increasing knowledge of American history with new insight and fun! This book is truly an enjoyable read. The format is very unusal and exciting. Mr. Tulejapresents the reader with 100 thoughts and phrases and explains thecircumstances of each passage. Each "nutshell" is presented in achronological order. The read is fast, entertaining, at times quirky. Whenyou get your hands on this novel approach to history, you'll discoverthehistory behind such sayings as: the shot heard round the world, our countryright or wrong, to the victor belongs the spoils, John Brown's body lies a'mouldering in the grave, and much more. I wish my father could have seenthis book! He would have loved it! ... Read more

    Isbn: 044990346X
    Sales Rank: 357145
    Subjects:  1. Encyclopedias    2. History    3. History - General History    4. History: American    5. Miscellanea    6. Trivia    7. United States    8. United States - General    9. United States History (General)    10. Reference / Trivia   


    The 365 Most Important Events of the 20th Century
    by Paul Baldwin
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 December, 1999)
    list price: $14.95
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    Editorial Review

    Your birth may have been important to you and your parents, but what was the rest of the world thinking at the time? Find out in Paul Baldwin's The 365 Most Important Events of the Twentieth Century, an overview of the scientific, political, and social milestones from 1900 to 1999. Focusing on "the events that have had lasting repercussions or influence" allows Baldwin to narrow down the field a bit--1967 lists the Six-Day War, Thurgood Marshall's Supreme Court appointment, and the first heart transplant, but omits the release of the Beatles'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, for example. Each item briefly outlines what happens, why it was significant, and how it still affects us. Some of the events might not have been earthshaking at the time, such as the introduction of the Diners Club card, but have changed the world (now we "don't leave home without" a major credit card). The writing is sharp and clear, often spurring the interested reader on to further historical research. And while not everyone will agree with every choice--"Stephen Sondheim Ascendant"?--The 365 Most Important Events of the Twentieth Century is a good précis of the past hundred years. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's amazing what I didn't remember!
    Paul Baldwin has done a fantastic job of selecting special events of the 20th century to help us understand how much mankind has grown in the past 100 years.Of course, many of the events occurred before I was born, but it was refreshing to "re-learn history" by reviewing his concise and interesting descriptions.I say "re-learn" history, since I'm sure I was exposed to many of these events during ny school days, but I sure didn't remember them all.As for the more current events, those I've actually lived through -- what an adventure to read about and re-live some of those events.A fascinating read! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0688156282
    Subjects:  1. 1900-1999 (20th century)    2. 20th Century World History    3. 20th century    4. Chronology    5. General    6. History - General History    7. History, Modern    8. Miscellanea    9. Modern - 20th Century    10. Modern history    11. Reference    12. Twentieth century   

    They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes and Misleading Attributions
    by Paul F. Boller, John George
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1990)
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $17.95
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    Reviews (4)

    2-0 out of 5 stars So what!

    I enjoyed this book much less than I expected.About half way through I began looking forward to the end.When I finished the book I tried to think why I felt this way.I came up with a couple of things that may be the reason.First,this book was put together by two professors who may well know the facts;but that doesn't mean they can use the facts to make a good,entertaining or inspiring book.Upon finishing this book,a reader should thirst for more.My feeling was; enough is enough.Secondly,there seemed to be no overall direction but rather collecting up examples in very selected areas.Thirdly,the authors seemed to have an agenda to dispute statements attributed to liberal/socialist individuals by right wingers, but not the other way around.Being a good writer,like being a good teacher, means that one should inspire the reader or student to want to read or learn more.This book just didn't do it for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spoiling a good story
    It may well be true, as Roy Howard never said (p. 51) that "too much fact checking has ruined many a good news story." But the many misquotations listed here, some very well known, often have fascinating stories in themselves. In a day when, thanks to the Internet, misquotations, urban legends, and dubious "facts" fly faster and farther than ever, this book is a very valuable resource to have around.

    My major complaint with this book is that I wish it had been much longer -- for example, there are numerous quotes attributed to Winston Churchill (like the one about being a liberal when you're 25) that could stand to be debunked alongside the two included in this volume.

    Still, though, it's very helpful to be able to demonstrate to folks that Lenin never said anything about "useful idiots" (p. 76), that Lincoln never made the long statement beginning, "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift..." (p. 82), or that Voltaire never "defend[ed] to the death your right to say it" (p. 124). For those reasons alone, I would recommend this book be kept and studied by anyone who cares about truth, accuracy, and stomping urban legends to the death they deserve.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. George is amazing
    He's my professor in college at UCO, and he's an amazing man.

    This work is just an extenstion of his personality -- exacting, intelligent, and focused on what's really true rather than just what people say.

    If you'reat all interested in accuracy, or if you're a big fan of quotations (like Iam), than this is a wonderful book for you! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0195064690
    Sales Rank: 676373
    Subjects:  1. Errors and blunders, Literary    2. General    3. Literary curiosa    4. Literary forgeries and mystifi    5. Quotation    6. Quotations    7. Reference    8. Rhetoric    9. Reference works   


    by Editors of American Heritage Magazine, Editors of American Heritage Magazine
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 2001)
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $15.95
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought
    From time to time, American Heritage magazine asks a group of authors to name the person or thing that is most overrated and most underrated in each author's field of expertise."Overrated/Underrated" assembles three years worth of answers to those questions, and the result is a quick and enjoyable read.

    Almost everyone has heard of the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart, but far fewer know of Harriet Quimby, a flamboyant beauty who was the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.When someone asks "who is the most famous sex symbol of the twentieth century?", Marilyn Monroe is a safe bet for the answer--but what about Donna Reed, named by one author as the most underrated sex symbol of her time?And what about Robert E. Lee--was he the great strategist that history makes him out to be, or was he really "the original Teflon general"?

    Overrated/Underrated pillories many icons and offers substitutes to replace them--as a result, it's bound to irritate readers, but that's half the fun.And since each article is fairly short, the book can easily be interrupted and put aside (thus making it ideal for airplane travel). ... Read more

    Isbn: 1579121632
    Sales Rank: 1162792
    Subjects:  1. Civilization    2. Form - Essays    3. Humor    4. Miscellanea    5. Popular Culture - General    6. Popular culture    7. United States    8. Humor / Essays   


    What Were They Thinking?: Really Bad Ideas Throughout History
    by Bruce Felton
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 August, 2003)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars A witless presentation of witlessness
    It's summed up on the back of the jacket:"... a compendium of history's most ... fool notions, useless products ..." Substitute "publishing's" for "history's", and there you have it.All of which begs the [next] question -- what was *I* thinking when idiotic enough to purchase this piece of slack-jawed trash?

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Humorous Look at Some Bad Ideas.
    "What Were They Thinking?" by Bruce Felton is a humorous look at bad ideas throughout history.Given the subject, it is easy to see that this is not a complete collection, and one could easily imagine that it will develop into a series of books.The book has several sections and covers many areas such as: politics, the arts, popular culture, war and peace, science, sports, business, etc...Mixed in with the stories of people trying to implement bad ideas are lists of bad ideas such as cars, books, movies, etc, and ill-advised quotes.Some of the "bad ideas" are fairly well known, some are actually urban legends, and others are much more obscure.

    This is not a great book, but it is fun, and it certainly does not demand to be read in one sitting.Rather it seems well suited to picking it up occasionally and reading the selections that catch one's eye.This book is an above average selection, and worthwhile for those looking for some light reading.

    3-0 out of 5 stars What was the author thinking?
    Really BAD ideas throughout history.A collection of tales, some of which really look like urban legends, which show that intelligence in the human species tends to be rather scattered.However, some of the tales told out of context when looked at with a little bit of sympathy could easily be construed as the best the persons involved could come up with at that time and in that circumstance.It does make for interesting bathroom reading, somewhat like reading a joke book or a book of trivia. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0762726679
    Sales Rank: 94528
    Subjects:  1. Curiosities & Wonders    2. Errors, inventions, etc    3. General    4. History    5. History: American    6. Humor    7. Miscellanea    8. Reference    9. Humor / General   


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