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Historical Heartthrobs: 50 Timeless Crushes-From Cleopatra to Camus Paperback – January 7, 2014
From Benjamin Franklin to Benazir Bhutto, Murphy introduces 50 historical crushes in chronological order. At first glance, the list seems to be a hodgepodge of politicians, authors, aviators, trailblazers, activists, movie stars, entrepreneurs, outlaws, guerrilla fighters, sensationalists, and so on. But similarities come out through the chapters, each of which includes a full-page picture with a vital statistics inset, a one-and-a-half-page Life Story, a one-column Story of His/Her Sex Life, a brief Why He/She Matters column, a Best Feature paragraph, a Heat Factor statement (including thermometer), and a Quotables inset. While the short biographical sketches are informative and interesting, it’s the titillating nature of the sex-life column should have teens tittering. The further reading section includes many similar books that could spark interest in historical scandals. Not a book to be read from beginning to end, but surely a tantalizing start for a beginning researcher. Grades 9-12. --J. B. Petty
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Top customer reviews
Author: Kelly Murphy with Hallie Fryd
Publisher: Zest Books
“One way or another, the 50 people in this book made other people swoon. Each entry explains why these people were sexy to their contemporaries and why they still matter to us today, sometimes for the better …” Kelly Murphy, with Hallie Fyrd’s assistance, writes in her book, "Historical Heartthrobs: 50 Timeless Crushes – From Cleopatra to Camus."
This two hundred and twenty-four page small paperback targets ages those interested in iconic men and women that captured the public’s attention during their era. After a two page introduction, fifty lives are discussed, ending with further reading and a thorough index. Using mostly black and white photographs and drawings, there are a few color depictions spread throughout the book.
At four pages each, the heartthrob listed starts with a full-page photograph with a small insert of vital statistics that include years living, country of origin, area of influence, and style of seduction. After a brief paragraph, a short biography follows, along with a summary of his or her sex life, why he or she matters, the best feature of the individual, and the perceived heat factor of one to five degrees. Colored boxes are added of quotes, highlights, or information.
Sometimes written with dry humor, Cleopatra is the earliest “hottie,” dating back to 30 B.C. Skipping to seventeen hundred years later, next are names like Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, and Lord Byron. As the years progress up to 2007, well-known politians, scientists, writers, entertainers, athletes, artists, and actors are mentioned, complete with photographs.
One reader may want to know more about the unsmiling Czarina Alexandra, the last empress of Russia who is only a one on the heat factor meter or Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete in the world at the time who scored a three on the meter. Names like Frederick Douglass, Annie Oakley, Nellie Bly, Coco Channel, and T.E. Lawrence were some of the high-five scorers.
For the novice, the historian or middle schooler doing a book report, this small table-top book would make a nice conversational starter as debates begin who were the heartthrobs of their day. A gift for the person who loves the past, this limited collection covering three thousand years briefly paints portraits of fifty famous figures that apparently swooned their admirers.
Thanks to Zest Books and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
Received for an honest review from the publisher.
HEAT RATING: NONE
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
The writing is funny and fresh, although serious when it broaches a heavier topic. This book may be the first to use words like "swagger" and "friends-with-benefits" in descriptions of people like Salvador Dali and Jane Goodall, but this updated language is effectively used to punctuate certain points, and is not over-bearing. The analysis of a heartthrob's "heat factor" takes not only more expected attributes into account, but also the philosophies and lifestyles of these luminaries. Just having nice cheekbones does not get you a 5 star rating, you have to back it up with progressive thinking and a life well lived.
'Heartthrobs' is a good read due in large part to the new take on interesting subject matter and the witty writing style. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new way to explore a diverse offering of history for the first time, or to dive back in to these topics in a new way.
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Historical Heartthrobs sums up famous people with appeal and great...Read more