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Mostly Rapscallions: Salient Sillies About…
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Mostly Rapscallions: Salient Sillies About the Rich and Infamous in…

by P. J. Sullivan

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1241,148,617 (3.88)None
Irreverent revelations about some of the jokers in history's deck. The funny side of history, and none the worse for being true.
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PJ Sullivan's "Mostly Rapscallions," is a delightful read. Sullivan's satirical remarks and portrayals of some of history's "bad guys" reveal not only the dark aspects of human nature but the social, cultural, and political forces which allowed these sociopaths to gain influence and power in their respective countries. The book is a reflection of the author's research skills and attention to details. It is also a reflection of an incisive moral compass, the ability to spot evil and injustice in the nooks and cranies of the lives of some of the significant contributors to Western history.

It is not an exaggeration to say that PJ Sullivan's book makes history come to life. I couldn't put it down. Each of the biographies is exciting as well as instructive. I can't recommend this book strongly enough to anyone who is even remlotely cynical about the famous--or should I say ultimately infamous--movers and shakers of our civilization. The book is a validation of those of us with a cynical perspective towards the so-called successful people of our time.

Richard Sahn ( )
1 vote dicksahn | Jul 2, 2014 |
P.J. Sullivan's "Mostly Rapscallions" is the best humor book to come along in "years"! The comedy text's subtitle provides a capsule view of its contents: "Salient Sillies About the Rich and the Infamous in History." Sullivan's inspires heckling of history is reminiscent of the work of Will Cuppy's "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody" and Richard Armour's "The Classics Reclassified." Sullivan's text is also a fun shish kabobbing of academia, including laugh out loud footnotes, such as: "Bismarck slept with his hounds. I don't know where his wife slept. It's really none of my business," or "Ivan [The Terrible] must have lots of descendants alive today, but they don't seem to want to talk about him." History wrapped in humor is the only way to go, since you're laughing your way to intelligence ... well, maybe not you over in the corner. Regardless, Sullivan's satire is 5 STARS all the way. Wes Gehring ( )
1 vote WesGehring | Apr 29, 2014 |
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was so excited to get it in the mail along with a brief note from the author. I really, really wanted to love it. After all, interesting tidbits about some famous historical figures...what is not to love, right?

I hate to say I didn't love it. The author writes as if we are all historians and know exactly who and what he is referring to when he throws words around such as last names of figures I've never heard of, as well as references to historical events or political catch phrases of the time period in which the figures lived. In addition he uses foot notes which aren't necessary as foot notes. They contain some interesting tidbits of information, but there is no reason they could not have just been included as part of the text. It is almost as if he feels since the book is about history it requires foot notes.

I really wish I had loved this book. In the end, I couldn't force myself to read more than half of it. It does contain some interesting facts, but I didn't really enjoy it. ( )
  ABShepherd | May 15, 2013 |
This review was written by the author.
AUTHOR'S REVIEW
The premise of this book is that history can be fun, when viewed through the lives of the jokers who made it. Sure it can be boring in the abstract, when seen in terms of political factions or economic systems, of territorial boundaries or dates or battles; but on the human level, the up-close and personal level, it becomes a cavalcade of psychological case histories. Because historical personages were real people, as nutty as the rest of us. To understand them is to understand the world they created. Is there a more entertaining way to learn history? This is nonfiction, fact-based satire. Based on real facts, it is real history. These personages took part in real historical events: the Renaissance, the French Revolution, the Petticoat War, the Dreadful Decade, the porkless Thursdays of World War I. Lots of history here, between the laughs. As Edgar Johnson said, "Satire is enjoyable compensation for being forced to think." This book is ideal for multitaskers who would like to laugh and learn at the same time.

Printed in easy-to-read 12 pt. type for your reading pleasure. More than fifty illustrations. With footnotes that are admittedly unnecessary, but how could we do without them? Passed by the grammar police. Guaranteed free of those annoying split infinitives and dangling participles. And no cheap puns! Well, OK, a few. But hardly any! You probably won’t even notice them. Released in an updated third edition in April 2012. Read it now, while it is still legal. Recommended to readers who think history is boring. It doesn't have to be! Not recommended to grumps and grouches who have no sense of humor.
  pjsullivan | Aug 17, 2012 |
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The trouble began in 1455, when Alfonso de Borja became Pope Calixtus III.
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