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An Underground Education : The Unauthorized…
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An Underground Education : The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to… (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Richard Zacks

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827910,945 (3.88)13
Member:xydexx
Title:An Underground Education : The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew About Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human
Authors:Richard Zacks
Info:Anchor (1999), Edition: 1st Anchor Books Ed, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:reference

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An Underground Education: The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew About Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human Knowledge by Richard Zacks (1997)

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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I'm a great fan of books chock full of weird facts which leads to the hassle that any chock full of weird facts book I now read will inevitably have weird facts I've already read somewhere else.

And so it is with "An Underground Education", where large swathes of the text come of no surprise to me. Of course, this is not necessarily the fault of Zacks; the book was published in 1997 so no doubt some of the material was fresher then. The book is your usual collection of odd stories and facts, backed by some strange images I hadn't seen before. And there was still enough astonishing bits of history included that was new to me (the recollections of a former New Orleans child prostitute one particularly eye-opening example) to make it worth the read. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Sep 22, 2017 |
I'd check the sources, but intriguingly fun! ( )
  Christina_E_Mitchell | Sep 9, 2017 |
It is what it is: a collection of strange and/or unseemly facts (and a few not-so-facts) about the history of nearly everything. It was an entertaining and interesting read and there was quite a bit I wasn't familiar with that is great supplemental information to my other knowledge of history. But, Zacks gets 3/5 for his obsession with sexual perversion (surely there's more interesting and unknown information in history than just weird sex acts?), for his constant negative references to some vague yet ominous entity he refers to as "the Church" but whose actions were perpetrated by a great variety of different groups, for repeating several times some long-dismissed myths as if they were facts, and especially for seemingly being incapable of understanding the overarching movement of history in favor of piecemeal and patchwork (in other words, for lacking aptitude for abstract thought in favor of the specific and literal). Other than that it's a pretty good book... ( )
1 vote davidpwithun | Sep 16, 2011 |
Let me tell you: the first story I told out of this book, about the KKK originally being a pyramid scheme to bilk racists out of their $$$ while also cleverly holding major interests in custom white sheet manufacturers, was flatly disbelieved by a bunch of the most revisionist-beliefy people. The "[b:Lies My Teacher Told Me|296662|Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong|James W. Loewen|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71BRY08379L._SL75_.gif|15653]" guy would probably ask to switch his airplane seat away from this guy--the marks of a truly excellent book of facts. ( )
  damsorrow | Jun 11, 2009 |
The subtitle is a great description for a book full of unusual and little-known tidbits such as this: Isaac Newton's famous humble-pie quote "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" was actually written to a dwarf scientist named Robert Hooke and clearly meant as an insult.

Fun and entertaining and informative. ( )
2 vote avanta7 | Apr 22, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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For cigar-chomping, sleigh-riding Herman Zacks (1907-96)
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I flunked nude figure drawing in college, and that was the most liberating moment in my education.
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His (Dr John Kellog) colon therapies, including corn flake enemas, were world famous.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385483767, Paperback)

Forget the history you were taught in school; Richard Zacks's version is crueler and funnier than anything you might have learned in seventh-grade civics--and much more of a gross-out, too. Described on the book jacket as an "autodidact extraordinaire," Zacks is also the author of History Laid Bare, making him something of an expert guide through history's back alleys and side streets. There's no fact too seamy or perverse for Zacks to drag out into the light of day, from matters scatological and sexual to some of history's most truly bizarre episodes. Curious about ancient nose-blowing etiquette? What about the sexual proclivities of Catherine the Great? Throughout chapters such as "The Evolution of Underwear" and "Dentistry Before Novocaine," Zacks proves a tireless debunker of popular myths as well as a muckraker par excellence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Fascinating facts, stories, photos, and images guaranteed to make you laugh, gasp in wonder, and occasionally shudder at the depths of human depravity."--Jacket.

(summary from another edition)

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