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The Pessimist's Guide to History: An Irresistible Compendium Of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres And Mayhem From The Big Bang To The New Millennium Paperback – June 20, 2000
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About the Author
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Updated edition (June 20, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 006095745X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060957452
- Item Weight : 1.07 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 1.01 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,483,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Flexner points out all the cataclysmic events that have been recorded throughout history from manmade problems to natural disasters. He gives insight that if you think things are bad today, you are wrong, things have always been bad. There have always been hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and other things which have wiped out large portions of humankind. There have been various diseases which have literally wiped out towns way before AIDS was known. There have been real life monsters that would make Charlie Manson look like a boy scout. If you ever feel we are going to hell in a hand basket, read this book for comfort.
His writing style is so easy going that even if you have never read a history book before, he will make you glued to this book and want to search out other sources to get the complete dirt on all of these historical facts.
This is not your typical school history book. No one is put on a pedestal and glamorized for the sake of political correctness or national pride. He looked the truth of history in the eye and called it like he saw it.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially for high school students who do not show much interest in history. This book could be the boost they need.
of history. It gives brief descriptions and facts regarding the black plague,the massacre of the waldensians,peasant uprisings,the eruption of mount aetna,the fire of Rome,anti-semitic riots etc.
The real horror or tragedy of such events is unconvicingly made light of by the author's humorous comments.
If the author or authors had a better talent for comedy or jokes then it would be more bearable but their sense of humor is bland to say the least.
For those who are not into heavy detailed historical accounts this book would be recommended.
I would consider this book more an example of pop history as oppose to a serious historical study.
For the morbid who are fascinated with death and disaster this would also be highly recommended.
Spanning facts from the Big Bang to the Oklahoma City Bombings, this book covers most of the horrible things that humans have done to each other, or that nature has done to humans (or vice versa). It's not a book to sit down and read cover to cover, by any means. However, for the history junkies like myself, it's the bathroom book to die for.
In short, I would recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in history and a sense of humor that has a bit of morbidity to it.