Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stupid History, by Leland Gregory

Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the AgesHave you ever gotten the impression that a lot of what you know about history is wrong?  Well, you would be right.  For example, Napoleon, not really that short.  Paul Revere, not the actual midnight rider.  And some things you do not know about history are just too ridiculous to be made up, like the fact that the first person ever punished in the stocks was the man who made them.  His crime?  Charging too much for his work.  What else about history is just plain stupid?

Filled with fun stories and nuggets of trivia, this book is just the kind that I love, one that does not take itself too seriously.  We always hear that what we learn in school is false, and this book cites many examples.  I love the fact that not only do we learn the truth, but for many of the stories, we learn why the falsehood was ever circulated.

The book has a lighthearted feel, though it does tend to be a little heavy handed with the puns and word play.  That, however, can be overlooked because of the solid content on nicely varied subject matter.  I read a couple of excerpts to my Hubby, and he loved it.  I think any good natured student of history will appreciate this book, along with many a retired history teacher.  There is nothing stupid about loving this book.