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THEY WENT THAT - A - WAY: HOW THE FAMOUS, THE INFAMOUS, AND THE GREAT DIED

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster (1988)
  • ASIN: B004HKVHXI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Barnes on November 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I passed up this book at a bookstore thousands of times, but finally took it off the shelf and saw the very fine print of the subtitle: "How the famous, the infamous and the great died". Not the topic I had expected! I love trivia, so my interest was piqued.
From the dust-jacket flap:
"Here, for your entrancement and enlightenment, are exits made by 175 people famous during the past 3,000 years".

The book covers people from John Jacob Astor IV to 'Mama' Cass Elliot and Ivan the Terrible to Virginia Woolf. Don't know who the person was? Forbes does briefly discuss how the person became famous (or infamous) and sometimes adds in some deliciously odd twists that occurred during the person's life. He then, of course, tells you about their (often) bizarre or ironic deaths.

Forbes speaks in language that is colorful and he keeps you so interested that you want to read it from front to back even though you could really pick up the book and turn to any page to learn something that you didn't know before. I enjoyed it immensely.
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Format: Paperback
They Went That A-Way is a collection of over 150 1-2 page sketches of famous personalities, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Each sketch contains a short summary of the person's life and accomplishments, then a description of how they met their end. The book is well done, however I found it a little depressing, as the majority of the personalities were dysfunctional, dying from alcoholism, drugs, or suicide.
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Format: Hardcover
They Went That-A-Way

Malcolm Forbes is the editor-in-chief of `Forbes' magazine. He served in the US Army during WW II and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Jeff Bloch is writer and former reporter for `Forbes' magazine. This 329 page book from 1988 provides a short account of the death of 175 people who were famous for one reason or another over the last 3,000 years. Why should you read this book? For the same reason you browse the weekly tabloids at a supermarket checkout counter or watch "reality TV". The names are listed in alphabetic order in the `Contents' and the `Index'. They don't say how they selected these people. I will list a few of the names.

) Saint Thomas Aquinas is the most important theologian and philosopher in the Roman Catholic church. He was hurt on a journey to meet the Pope and died in a nearby abbey in 1274.
) Bobby Driscoll became a child star for Walt Disney. He got hooked on drugs and became unemployable. He was found dead in 1968, another homeless junkie.
) William C. Durant bought independent car makers to create General Motors in 1908, and later started Chevrolet. He sold his holdings after the 1929 crash. A series of strokes led to his death.
) James Garfield was the compromise Republican candidate for President in 1880. He was murdered by a disappointed office-seeker. This led to civil service reform.
) Ulysses S. Grant has one of the most corrupt presidencies. Bad investments caused a loss of his fortune. To support his wife and children he began to write his memoirs before he died of throat cancer .
) Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. He insulted Aaron Burr in a dinner party conversation that was published, and was challenged to a duel. Hamilton's apology was not accepted.
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Format: Hardcover
Enjoyed this collection of short essays on people in history, how they lived and died. The writing makes you wanna read on and on, discovering more about people you thought you knew or knew of. I caught myself putting off doing chores as I finished one story only to find myself engrossed in the next. An interesting mix of classical greek figures, world leaders, inventors, explorers, hollywood celebrities and more.

Good writing that says more in a page or two about an individual than some biographies I've read (I'm joking of course.) If you like little historical tidbits about famous and infamous persons of the past, "They Went That-A-Way" sure takes you down that road.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a compilation of how people died & there epitaphs. It was well written & entertaining. I would recommend this book & just wish it wasn't so hard to find
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book in my dad's old books collection not too long ago, and its a good work to read. It introduced me to such personalities such as Primmie Niven, Carole Lombard and Huey Long (hey, I'm 23 they were way before my time). Forbes gives great detail and he makes death look interesting, not something to be look forward to. I can tell he had fun writing and researching this book and if Malcolm were alive today I'm sure someone would write a sequel to this book. Perhaps the sequel would have Princess Di (another monarchy figure), Kurt Cobain (Jimi and Jim of the 90s), Dr. Atkins (the so-called revolutionary diet hero dies from a fall) and maybe Malcolm himself. I always read at least one or two biographies in the book before I go to bed.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a must-have on your bookshelf. From the famous to the infamous, here are the sad, surprising, strange, or sordid ends that have befallen well-known names from the past. The breadth is impressive for a small book, and there are a few names that may not be familiar. You'll receive a brief biography for each alphabetized entry and a summary of the events that led up to their death. Minor quibbles are lack of citations or references and a general tone of innuendo. It's not a classical historical reference, but rather a maudlin set of stories that would probably be difficult to track down yourself. And so it is all democratically minded, we will all go that-a-way...one day.
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