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50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know, Volume 2 Paperback – November 1, 2004


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50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know, Volume 2 + You Are STILL Being Lied To: The NEW Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths (Disinformation Guides) + Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies
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What If? by Randall Munroe
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, find hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Things You're Not Supposed to Know
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932857028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932857023
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,676,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An assortment of little known facts in a bite-size format ... most readers will find [it] provocative." -- Time Out New York, Nov 27-Dec 4, 2003

"full of things "they" don't want you to know" -- New York Times, Nov. 13, 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Russ Kick is the editor of Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide to Media Mirages and Establishment Lies, Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies, and You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. He is the author of 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know and The Disinformation Book of Lists.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 185 people found the following review helpful By J. Arendt on July 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for earth-shattering news, this is not the book for you. While there were a couple of eye openers, most of the information is well known if you've kept up on current events.

Some information is noteworthy. The fact that people are killed or injured from prescription medication is not news. Tragic? Yes, but it's not a secret. It is something that has been studied and needs to be addressed.

Some information is pointless. Carl Sagan was a pothead? Why am I not supposed to know that? More importantly, what's the significance of that? Drug and alcohol use is hardly a rarity among great thinkers.

Some information is questionable. Someone in the goverment considered biological warfare in Afghanistan? I'd be surprised if someone didn't at least think of that. Creativity is not bad in itself, but the execution of the idea may be. Considering that Rumsfeld and Rice put the kibosh on the idea, I'd say the government acted correctly, and thus, no shocker here.

There are definitely a few winners in here. Not a great book, but okay to have in the bathroom for some short reads.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "she-netdotcom" on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
No, it's not a book that's majorly in-depth, and it won't reveal anything new to anyone at all seriously interested in things the mainstream media doesn't tend to tell us, because they'll know most of the facts already. But that isn't really the point of the book, is it? It's 50 things that most people - the most people who mostly get their information from the mainstream media, that most people - don't know about.
And some of them are pretty darn important. Like the US making plans to provoke terrorist attacks as part of the war on terrorism; juries right to judge the law, not just the fact; the obligation (or rather non-obligation) of the police; medical error and prescription drug death rates (amazingly high).
Other facts are more amusing and interesting than they are important, but even the entries that seemed rather obvious to me (the rather duh fact that advertisers exercise massive control over the media, for instance) contained interesting figures, facts and research.
If you've already read up on these kinds of topics, this book isn't going to add anything much to your knowledge. But it's a great little book to have sitting in your bathroom or on a table in a waiting room for other people to leaf through!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kobs on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Russ Kick has written a fun little book that combines the "truthiness" of tabloid journalism with paranoid conspiracy theory in 50 little bite-size chunks. It's a blast to read if you don't take it too seriously.

Some of the "secrets" disclosed in Kick's book are pretty tame and obvious. For example, some African-Americans did indeed fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The Germans did use IBM computers to keep track of many concentration camp inmates. And of course, the government is known to lie, dissemble and distort the facts about just about anything when the political pressure is on.

On the other hand, Kick himself is way off base on several counts. His technique is pretty easy to decipher: Take a little known fact from the history books and blow it up into a massive "revelation" meant to shock and astound the reader. Examples include:

-- The police aren't legally obligated to protect you
-- The Supreme Court is wishy-washy on the use of illegal drugs
-- Many early feminists opposed abortion (for different reasons)
-- One of the Popes wrote an erotic book
-- Some environmentalists strongly support nuclear power

When you really dig into the details, you'll find that most of these claims either half-truths or overly inflated trivia. Nevertheless, "50 Things" is a great conversation starter and you can read the entire book in about an hour. Good for grins, if nothing else.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Russ Kick, 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know (disinfo,com, 2003)

Don't you love books like this? Their titles promise you the secrets of the universe (which universe, of course, depends on what you're reading into the title), but what they deliver is invariably not what you were looking for. Expect the same here.

When he's on his game, Kick does deliver some interesting and relatively obscure data to the reader. When he's not, which is unfortunately all too often, he hands us stuff that's been on at least a thousand trivia lists circling the internet at any given time. Combine this with Kick's obvious slant towards some of his subject matter, which is so predictable it's almost stereotypical, and you get a book that, despite its slimness, can be wearying at times.

Good to pick up and riffle through once in a while looking for something random. Not a keeper, though. ** ½
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this little book in a package of discount books I received a little while ago. I didn't know anything about it and I wasn't aware it was a sequel to another book I hadn't even read when I flipped through it and began reading. It turned out to be a fun way to spend an hour or so.

I like "trivia" books like this one. Of course, the conceit behind this one is that we're being told "things we're not supposed to know." Some of the claims made here are debatable but there are also many interesting items: ten percent of the population weren't fathered by the man they think is their father, fetuses masturbate, the Declaration of Independence contains a racially derogatory remark, Audubon killed all the birds he painted, etc.

The book fails a bit by a tendency towards repetition (especially in 9/11 & war in Iraq info) which makes it seem a bit padded. Maybe this is because it's hard to reach the same heights in a sequel but, since I haven't read the original, I can't judge. Still, there's enough good stuff here to make it worth the investment of the time it takes to read it.
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