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The Greatest War Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Military History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy Hardcover – November 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Beyer is the author of the popular Greatest Stories Never Told book series, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been seen on The History Channel, A&E, and National Geographic Channel. He is also an accomplished speaker who inspires and entertains audiences around the country. He lives with his wife in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060760176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060760175
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I first bought this book for my dad who is total military history buff. But I happened to start reading it myself and was completely taken in by these stories. I'm the last person you'd ever find reading a book about the history of war. But I couldn't put it down. Each story--just two pages--are utterly intriguing, juicy morsels of fascinating information. There's also a tremendous amount of humor in the book. I read it from cover to cover and then passed it on to my dad. My dad is the kind of guy who owns virtually every book ever published on the subject of military history. Because he knows so much, I thought maybe he wouldn't dig this kind of approach. Boy was I ever wrong. He couldn't stop reading his favorites out loud to me--which was essentially the entire book. Bottom line: this book is one of those few gems that is so well done and so interesting that it will appeal to high school kids, retirees, men, women, etc. I went out and bought Beyer's first book after finishing this one and it's just as wonderful. If you're looking for a gift that's educational but fabulously entertaining, you can't go wrong with these.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first saw The Greatest Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer, I bought numerous copies. They made great gifts for my college nephews, cousins, father, brother-in-law, etc etc. including one I keep in my guest bedroom for visiters. It was perfect.

Now when I first heard the title of his new book, I was a bit hesitant. I am so not into military history I thought, so I only got a few copies to give away. BUT...then I started reading.. One, the book is perfect for when you only have a few minutes at a time to read a couple of pages. AND THEN these are tidbit of tales that do astonish and stupefy. I certainly might not have heard of the female Lawrence of Arabia, or that Santa Anna of the Alamo story had something to do with the invention of chewing gum. And now I need to order more copies including another one for me, as my friend took mine away when she started reading it in the car.
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Format: Hardcover
This little book might be called a bathroom reader of military trivia. Just some of the little tidbits to be learned include: America's Worst General (Commander in Chief of the Army in 1796), the American traitor who led the American Army to victory at Saratoga, the origin of the song Taps, the word Bazooka, the Battle where 32 american soldiers and more than fifty wounded and there was no enemy, the invention of G.I. Joe.

I could go on, there are a hundred tales here, but you should be able to get the idea. One thing though, like with peanuts, after you read one, you're unlikely to be able to put the book down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a social studies teacher and my jaw dropped reading these short tidbits on historical events -- this is such a great writer in easy-to-understand language. My students love it when I tell them stuff like this you'll never find in a textbook.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The biggest problem with this book is the title. Virtually all of these stories have been told before! And Beyer lists these in his extensive sources at the back of the book. I'll assume he didn't give the book its title but that was History Channel marketing.

Now about those one-star reviews.

Yes, it's a bathroom reader and there's nothing wrong with that. The entries are each a quick read on the left page with ancillary points of interest on the right. The fact that many of these points may be known to history snobs (see one star ratings) doesn't mean that they're known to all or a great reminder of events perhaps forgotten. To rate it one star because you're a know-it-all? Yeesh. How about at least giving credit to the writing and presentation.

I'm reminded of a quote" “To be with people who see without perceiving, hear without listening, talk without thinking, listen without clapping, often copy, seldom praise, and never admire, has an effect upon me that is almost physical.” ( Margot Asquith, Lay Sermons, 1927)
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Format: Hardcover
This book is highly entertaining and is chock full of interesting facts. It is so interesting that it answers many questions that you never thought to ask like "how did the bazooka get its name?" Nothing deep, but a pleasurable read. I found my self wanting to share many of the stories with friends and family. A quick read and worth the time.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is full of interesting little tidbits that are only a page spread long each, perfect for the coffee table or bathroom. It's great for whetting your appetite for a particular historical event, which, in my case, usually sends me to other books or online to find out more detail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave this book to my brother for Christmas. He's a dyed in the wool military history buff and has been since he was a kid. He'd not heard most of these stories and kept laughing and reading it aloud to us while we opened our own presents. His favorite was the Domino's War Theory; the local Domino's Pizza in DC had a huge spike in late-night pizza orders right before the invasion of Granada and the Gulf Wars.

Very accessible and lively.
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