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Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong by…
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Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong (2011)

by Emma Marriott

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Bit daft, which i suppose I should have expected. The theme interests me: that half of what we learned at school is rubbish. But this is a mixed bag. in some cases more a matter of opinion than of fact, e.g., was Rhodes a villain or an imperial hero? clearly both. Some of the "mistakes" are far-fetched conspiracy theories, e.g., Roosevelt connived at `Pearl Harbour so as to get US into the war.and then there are a good scattering of typos and plain errors which just confuse the issue. some interesting points all the same, e.g. The Brits it wa who handed Vietnam over to Ho Chi Minh, before being overruled by the Americans who gave it to the French. Thanksgiving was institutionalised by Lincoln in the hope of uniting the nation.And George III didn't have porphyria he had bipolar. the analysis of the Spanish Armada seems to me plain wrong: every schoolboy knows the English din't destroy the Spaniards, but they sure sent the packing, and that made a real difference. ( )
  vguy | Nov 29, 2016 |
If you know the British television series, QI, then the best description of this book is QI history. The purpose of this book is to debunk all those universal facts of history; e.g. Australia was established as a penal colony, Watt invented the steam engine, Mussolini made the trains run on time.

The writing style is entertaining and one hungrily devours this book and, if you are anything like me, tit bits will stick in the memory and one will, regularly, return to establish the true facts upon some matter where one's knowledge has been stood upon its head. I have only awarded it four stars because, like the aforementioned television programme, some of the history is pretty obvious such as Watt and the steam engine. Most rational people know that Watt was not the only person working upon the idea of steam power - he just happened to create the first practical example.

Despite this little criticism, the book does contain many truths, which I thought that I knew, and which turn out to be erroneous; sadly, Lincoln was not a champion of black rights, Queen Mary was not a ruthless persecutor of English Protestants, to name but two. Reading items, such as this, leads one to question one's perceived knowledge base, and that is no bad thing. A well researched and entertaining book. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Sep 20, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emma Marriottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bjezancevic, AnaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinder, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodroffe, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The chronicles of history are littered with myths and legends, misinformation, falsehoods, embellishment, wild exaggeration, and a great deal of confusion.
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This lively book debunks pervasive historical myths and corrects what you thought you knew about the past. History.

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