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Quite probably the author has researched diligently to disprove the theries but there is nothing to show this. The impression is that this is a very lightweight history book. If you enjoy history you should read this. The nice thing about it is that, apart from giving really interesting information it gives it in bite-sized chunks so you can pick this up and put it down without missing anything.

How to learn your history in a very short time, and find out the truth, which is so often tarnished by a one sided view. I am in awe as to how someone can cram so much information into such a small book! Made good reading, could have been more definitive but you get an insite into some interesting times. If you are between 18 and 35 there is a lot you will not know and this will help with certain periods of history. At the end of the day you get what you paid for, end of!!! See all 84 reviews.


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So much of what we know about historical events is based on generally accepted 'facts': But, history is, in fact, full of myths and misunderstandings that have become part of popular belief and wrongly coloured our understanding of historical figu So much of what we know about historical events is based on generally accepted 'facts': But, history is, in fact, full of myths and misunderstandings that have become part of popular belief and wrongly coloured our understanding of historical figures and events.

Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong

Each entry of this title will discuss the case for and against commonly accepted 'facts', and corrects what you thought you knew about history. Was Captain Scott iconic or incompetent? Did Benito Mussolini make the trains run on time? Was the Suffragette movement responsible for securing votes for women in Britain?


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  7. Was Caligula an insane tyrant and sexual pervert? Hardcover , pages. Published first published September 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Bad History , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Sep 25, Wolf rated it it was ok. As entertainment, the writing is a little too flat. The addition of some uninspired cartoons does not assist. In overturning false beliefs about history the book does not quite live up to its promise either.

    But too many are either too well known facts some of which I was taught at school or rely on a particularly slanted view of the evidence. This book looks like it was inspired by the success of QI. The television series and its written spin offs like the Book of General Ignorance work well because they are entertaining and informative. They combine a degree of wit and humour with genuinely interesting and surprising facts. This book lacks the same degree of either amusement or compelling fact or overturned assumption.

    It stands to reason that such survivors will paint themselves into history as the 'good guys' while slandering the slain 'baddies', condemning them to be forever thought of as evil tyrants. Emma Marriott's quest to quosh historical lies and correct long-believe 'History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there. Emma Marriott's quest to quosh historical lies and correct long-believed misconceptions is admirable. I opened the book with interest, hoping to discover some mind-blowing revelations. Did I find them?

    Many of the lies that Marriott seeks to overturn were first exposed long ago. Native Americans suffered genocide at the hands of European settlers; Christopher Columbus wasn't the first non-native to discover the Americas. Marriott does give some shocking figures to showcase the horrific scale of the slaughter of Native Americans and their food sources: These numbers show the extent of the inhuman treatment which the Native Americans and indigenous wildlife received, but it is common knowledge that European settlers perpetrated these shameful acts. With regards to Columbus, it is widely known that he was not the first non-native to land on the Americas, as the Vikings had been visiting those shores and trading peacefully with the natives for centuries before The entire chapter on Columbus is impotent, as it imparts no new information to the reader.

    Some chapters did provide surprising information. For example, the Wild West has long been portrayed as a lawless place where gunfights were commonplace and life was cheap. It turns out that in comparison to today's America, the Wild West was an extremely safe place where the vast majority of people were hard-working, law-abiding citizens. Gunfights were rare; in Dodge City - which was considered the most dangerous city in the Wild West - the largest number of people ever killed in gunfights during a single year was five.

    The gunfight at the OK Corral, which went down in history as the bloodiest gun battle in the West, lasted one minute and resulted in only three deaths. I was surprised to find out that most cowboys of the time were Hispanic, African-American or Mexican. America's founding fathers were against democracy, considering it anarchy; the main killing sites of the Holocaust were not Auschwitz and other German concentration camps although hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered in these , but extermination camps where millions were killed ; Captain Scott of the Antarctic was a poorly prepared, inept explorer; the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask's true identity; China's great 'famine' under Chairman Mao saw the deliberate killing of 45 million citizens through forced starvation and other means; James Watt didn't invent the steam engine; Galileo wasn't persecuted and imprisoned by the Catholic church, but lived under loose house arrest in his luxurious home, where he continued to work on scientific discoveries and writings; St Patrick wasn't born in Ireland; Roman gladiators rarely fought to the death.

    Several other subjects are tackled too. While most of these make interesting reading, they don't go into any real detail. Each chapter follows the same blueprint: I'd have liked the chapters to be twice as long, presenting more in-depth evidence which would have given the book more historical credibility.

    As is, the bite-size chapters are little more than factoids. History buffs may learn nothing new from the book. Those with a passing interest in history, or a desire to boost their general knowledge, will enjoy the book and find it an easy read.

    Jun 10, Kees-Jan van Engelenburg rated it it was ok. Feb 16, Neroli rated it liked it.

    Emma Marriott

    One problem with the book is its lack of organisation in terms of the order of its thirty-one different sections that illustrate historical misconceptions. They could be ordered historically or geographically but appear to be ordered at random.

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    Then there are the section titles where some are justified through a quotation which is later shown to be historically dubious. This claim is then challenged. On the other hand, many of the chapters have titles that do not represent the opinions of any reasonable person. There is a case for saying that he was persecuted by the Catholic Church, but he was not imprisoned in a dark cell. He did in fact live in comfortable confinement.

    One problem that the book has is the oversimplification of issues, but this is a necessary consequence of attempting to explain complex issues in a few pages. Despite its faults, I enjoyed this book. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

    How We Got the Past Wrong. Set up a giveaway.

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