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Ignorance is Blitz: Mangled Moments of History From Actual College Students Paperback – March 4, 2008


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Ignorance is Blitz: Mangled Moments of History From Actual College Students + College in a Nutskull: A Crash Ed Course in Higher Education + Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assualts Upon Our Language
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; New edition edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076114949X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761149491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Be prepared to weep as you read Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students, a horrifically hilarious compendium of actual North American college student essays. Learn about the victims of the Black Death (who "grew boobs on their necks"), the Automaton Empire, Martin Luther King's famous "If I Had a Hammer" speech, the Iran Hostess Crisis, Zorroastrologism (the "duelist" religion "founded by Zorro"), and Joan of Ark, Noah's wife, at rest on Mt. Arafat. Meet Dim El Sum of Korea, the Vestigal Virgins, "dedicated to burning the internal flame," and Hitler, who "shot himself in the bonker." Did you know a position as "lady-in-mating helped a young girl's chances for a marriage," and "the assignation of Archduke Ferdman gave sweet relief to mounting tensions," or that "the major cause of the Civil War is when slavery spread its ugly testicles across the West"?

Well, you'd better buckle down and learn, then! --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Glorious... equal-opportunity idiocy for every era." - Philadelphia Enquirer. "A horrifically hilarious compendium... knitting together errors, assumptions, and creative fact-making that are shocking and hysterical." - Associated Press."

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This book is one of the funniest books I have ever read.
P. Stang
I know I certainly don't want parts of my papers to end up in a book like this!
M. Cookson
This book is a quick read, but is great for a big laugh!
Kimberly A. Paternoster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the funniest book I have read in years!!!!!!
Knowing that I was a history major, my teenage daughter raced in last night to tell me I had to read this book and review it. Since her tips are usually outstanding, I went off in search of the book and found it hidden on the back shelf of a local book store. I glanced at one page . . . and was hooked! Soon, my loud laughs were drawing puzzled glances from all directions. Even after I finished the book, I kept rereading it. Some of the humor is even richer the second time.
Professor Henriksson worked with friends and colleagues at over two dozen colleges and universities to locate these quotes from actual term papers and blue-book examinations. In some cases, he has done a little editing to improve the flow, but he says the actual words and spellings are unchanged. Apparently, these examples reflect what students have written over the last 30 years in U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities.
"Every generation has to make sense of the past for itself." This is a book of errors, but ones that show "the ingenious and often comic ways we all attempt to make sense of information we can't understand because we have no context or frame of reference for it."
The entire history of humanity as we understand it is covered, from the Garden of Eden to prehistoric times to the world of the 1990s.
The errors broadly fall into the following categories:
1. Astonishing misstatements ("History . . . started in 1815." "Plato invented reality.").
2. Misspellings based on not understanding what the real word is or means ("Fryers were required to take a vow of pottery." "Unoccupied Bishop Bricks could be cause for problems.").
3.
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Walker VINE VOICE on October 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If God is indeed merciful, then we will not be condemned to repeat the history presented by these college students. Professor Henriksson has excerpted some stunning examples of "higher" learning from his student's essays, including such gems as:
* "The Wholey Roman Empire amazed many when it was found in Germany."
* "The Hundred Years War (1320-1600) was fought over English holidays in France."
* "World War II became the Cold War, because Benjamin Franklin Roosevelt did not trust Lenin and Stalin. An ironed curtain fell across the haunches of Europe."
And my personal favorite:
* "Anarchism is a system of government headed by an Anarch. Canada, for example, became an anarchy in 1867."
If you enjoy this sort of dry humor, then get a copy of this book for yourself or for the teacher in your life. And for the sake of humanity, MAKE YOUR KIDS DO THEIR HOMEWORK!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the past 10 years or so, I've been the recipient of several e-mails containing the history of America (or of the world) according to student term papers, they have invariably been quite funny, and this book, which is a much expanded collection of similar writings, is also very good.
After reading about 10-20 pages at a sitting, though, I find I begin to get tired of the endless strings of mis-heard, mistyped, or just plain confused ramblings of people who actually managed to make it into college somehow (and worse yet, people who may already have gotten out of college). In small doses, though, this book really is quite hysterical.
This one goes straight to the magazine basket in the bathroom, where it will be much appreciated.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Merlin on November 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
With apologies to all who contributed to this book I laughed really hard while reading most of it, right up to where I got to the self test. I then said to myself "oh my. I dont know who or what or when either!" In any case I think this book can be a great teaching tool. Not only is it a perfect example of how ineffective our school systems can be but as soon as I finished the book, I went straight to the web and researched every question on that self test. I have hope that other readers will do the same.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book on a recent train ride, and I fear I frightened my fellow passengers with my frequent guffaws. While I wonder if this book wasn't a bit unfair to Henriksson's students, his seamless weaving together of history examination errors into a Bizarro-universe world history is original and uproarious.
One warning: Some of the jokes will be lost on those unfamiliar with the minutae of history. I am a history buff, and my wife a history teacher, and even we missed some references. At times, I felt as uninformed as those poor dunces Henriksson has exposed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christian Wheeler on December 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A hysterical look at the butchery of history by students across the country. Lists of things like this regularly pop up on the Internet, but those fall far short of the true ineptitude shown by some of our nation's students in the pages of this book. Might bring tears to your eyes--caused by both horror and laughter. The funniest ones might be those that show some inventive qualities--unable to come up with the answer, some students resorted to wild interpretations of what little they knew, with outrageous results. The perfect gift for history buffs, teachers, or professors...well, anyone who enjoys a good laugh. Hands down, this has to be one of the funniest things I've read in a while. As a student of history and a former teacher's assistant, I've seen things like this before...but these are far crazier. If you need a good laugh, here's the ticket.
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