Editorial Reviews. About the Author. The jokes, wacky anecdotes, and inane quotes in Leland leondumoulin.nl: Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Through the Ages eBook: Leland Gregory: Kindle Store.
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- Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages
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Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages
Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Stupid History by Leland Gregory. Why exactly is Paul Revere revered? Was the lightbulb really Thomas Edison's bright idea? If it would shock you to learn that Benjamin Franklin didn't discover electricity, you'll appreciate this take on hun Why exactly is Paul Revere revered? If it would shock you to learn that Benjamin Franklin didn't discover electricity, you'll appreciate this take on hundreds of historical legends and debacles.
Historians and humorists alike may be surprised to learn that: He asked for an open window. With these and many other stories, leading humorist Leland Gregory once again highlights both the strange and the funny side of humankind. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Stupid History , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Dec 06, Sean O'Hara rated it did not like it Shelves: The title doesn't lie. This is a book of stupid, easily disproven trivia, often with an absurd Amerocentric or Eurocentric slant.
Luckily ancient cultures were smart enough to design -- get this -- chariots with room for passengers. Gregory claims Hollywood invented this "myth" -- apparently in his world, Homer was a script writer, considering the numerous examples of chariot battles in the Iliad. The evidence for this claim -- why she was acquitted. Maybe he means that they're descended from a species that is now extinct, but then so are humans.
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But the story was wrong. It all started when someone, now believed to be a German secret agent, called the French and American intelligence offices to report that Germany had signed an armistice The war did't officilally end until June 28, , with the signing of the Treaty of Versaille[sic]. Fighting on the Western Front ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, -- this is the event commemorated in America as Veterans Day, and known in the rest of the world as, yes, Armistice Day.
The news report was three days premature, not seven months. And the treat of Versailles didn't end the war -- it set the terms of peace between Germany and the Anglo-French alliance. There were many more powers involved with the war, and as many treaties ending the conflicts between each country. By doing so, the Soviets were able to partake of the spoils of the Pacific war without actually having to fight in it. But far more importantly, the Soviets did fight against Japan in the week between their declaration of war and Japan's surrender -- and in fact, many historians argue that their entry into the conflict was as important to Japan's capitulation as the nuclear strikes.
A quick google turns up lots of references to the story but no original source -- a classic hallmark of an urban legend.
Too bad no one knows what happened to Claudius -- most historians agree he was murdered, but how, or even where, is a matter of conjecture. Gregory's account is based upon just one of the contradictory versions found among ancient sources. The United States delared war the very next day but, not wanting to be outdone, had the date of the declaration of war read April 21 instead of April The tale is based upon the fact that in inauguration day fell on Sunday and Zachary Taylor decided to delay his oath for one day.
Okay, if Taylor didn't become President on March 4, because he didn't take the oath, how did Atchison become President if he didn't take the oath either? A careful reading of the Constitution will show that Taylor did in become President on March 4, but couldn't exercise his powers until he took the oath the next day. Land battles are usually named for the strategic objective or a notable landmark in the vicinity. Nukes are finicky devices -- if they don't go off in a very particular way, there will be no nuclear reaction.
No, it's a direct translation of a French term meaning, "flea market. Close -- that happened in WWI. Ho, ho, ho, those stupid darkies and their savage ignorance. Gregory must imagine Menelik as something out of a Tarzan movie -- a guy in a loincloth and necklace of bones presiding over primitives from his grass hut. A little googling shows how stupidly offensive this story is. The story is normally attributed without source to Frederick the Great, but Gregory pins it to Napoleon -- during his campaign against Russia. Because it's not like the quartermasters had anything better to do than sew superfluous buttons on hundreds of thousands of uniforms.
The problem is, he was measured based on the old French system of pied de roi If Gregory's facts are correct hah! Most of the trivial historic oddities I already knew. A handful were uncommon but in poor taste I put it down to 'guy humor' and moved on. Very light quick read, perfect for wasting time on a muggy summer evening. I thought a book published just four years ago, in the 21st century, would have been transferred to ele 2. I thought a book published just four years ago, in the 21st century, would have been transferred to electronic format with fewer errors.
The errors I cringed upon while reading looked like typical OCR optical character recognition errors missed by the software requiring human intervention from scanned hard copy. I find that inexcusable since the book most likely existed as an electronic document before printing to paper. Even more inexcusable if these same errors occur in the print book. Jun 14, Benjamin Sobieck rated it liked it. How much does a typo matter to you? If it's in fiction - and the writing is otherwise top notch - my response is, "Who cares? Does it change how you view the information? That was the boondoggle "Stupid History," by Leeland Gregory, presented.
I don't want to be a jerk and say something like, "I'm glad it was free. For all I k How much does a typo matter to you? For all I know, it wasn't the author's fault. He probably burned himself out on research and passed the editing to a third party, who did a shoddy job. I don't know that's the case. I do know one thing: The historical trivia was entertaining to read. The quick entries about, well, stupid history trivia make essential reading for a Walking Encyclopedia of Worthless Information like me.
Or if you hang your e-reader next to your toilet paper - unlike me.
However, the information may be rendered extra worthless if it's not accurate. The numerous typos throughout "Stupid History" force me to consider this. Much of the trivia I'd heard before, and I knew was accurate.
As for the rest, that's up to you, dear reader. You might end up learning some "stupid history" yourself. Extremely funny and completely butchered my knowledge in history. Aug 25, Nate rated it it was ok. Pretty entertaining, and I'm a sucker for tales of historical misconceptions, but there are a few glaring problems with this book. First, a couple of tales that he presents as "fact" are misleading. For example, an early tale in the book states that Lizzie Borden, famous axe murderer, was actually unanimously found innocent by the jury, implying that the famous rhyme about her is just a historical misconception.
However, there is a big difference between a "not guilty" verdict and actual innocenc Pretty entertaining, and I'm a sucker for tales of historical misconceptions, but there are a few glaring problems with this book. However, there is a big difference between a "not guilty" verdict and actual innocence.
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It is widely believed that her defense attorney was able to manipulate the sexist views held by jurors of the time to play into their view that there was no possible way this sweet young woman could have committed the crime. The judge also excluded her unsuccessful attempt to purchase cyanide shortly before the murders, and her entire original inquest testimony. At the time of her arrest, police noted that she was eerily calm and did not seem to exhibit any shock or sadness at the brutally axe-murdered bodies of her parents.
In short, at best her guilt is questionable, and it's certainly interesting that a jury found her innocent, but to present that verdict as a "look, she was actually innocent" tale is such an incomplete picture that it's dishonest. Second, another of his supposed "facts" is in reality just a conservative rant about the Constitution disguised as fact. He states that there is no separation of church and state because that specific phrase does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, gives his own opinion on the policy justification for the establishment clause, then states that "no one, not even the courts, takes the time to read it.
Clearly the members of the Supreme Court analyze and interpret the Constitution without even bothering to read what it is they are interpreting and Leland, a comedy writer, understands the Constitution better than they do. He's not a lawyer, he doesn't understand constitutional law, and he needs to knock it off with the backseat lawyering. The question of how far the language "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" should go is a thorny and controversial one, but no matter what your view, you can't just take your viewpoint in his case, a strict constructionist one and state it as fact.
Aside from that, through the interpretation of the Supreme Court, the Constitution gives a whole lot of rights that are not explicitly stated, and in all likelihood were not contemplated by the founders. That whole "implied rights" thing, like the right to privacy, which came out of Griswold v. Connecticut and served as the basis for Lawrence v. Texas and Roe v. Whether you agree with them or not, under current US law, the Constitution does in fact provide us with these implied rights, even though the Constitution doesn't explicitly set them out.
Third, he doesn't cite authority. Considering his track record with the above tales, and the fact that he retold well-known urban legend calls as actual calls in some of his other books, I don't really trust all of his unsourced and unlikely stories as fact. Despite all this, it's an entertaining book, and the majority of it is probably true, hence the 2 stars rather than 1.
I would just recommend taking the tales with a grain of salt unless you have the time to think about and verify them with your own research. Jun 21, George rated it it was ok Shelves: View all 3 comments.
Jan 19, Anna Ligtenberg rated it it was ok. ISBN - I love history. I love books that correct long-standing beliefs that are not true. That should put this book right up my alley. I'm inordinately sad that this book stinks. Short paragraphs refute popular historical myths, share amusing anecdotes and trivia and are riddled with puns. There are one- and two-sentence notes, as well, generally a sort of page-filler. History books like these are usually about things that happened in… you know, history.
There are some items in this book that are, pretty much, last week. Those items are more a matter of interpretation than established fact, so there's not a lot of debunking room. On the older items, those that "refute popular myths," there's just too little substance here. Not only does the original story and the "correction" take up FAR less than a full page in a small book, but there's nothing here to back up author Leland Gregory's assertions.
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I've been able to fact check a few things online and in books but, seriously, isn't citing sources Gregory's job? Gregory does, however, do a fairly good job of repressing his own politics. The "amusing anecdotes" are far more on target. Though they, too, would benefit from more text and some sourced, they're just amusing enough to make it as they are. The title is a fair warning to all, this is in fact stupid. I'll accept that this is a bias opinion because I knew most of these "tales" already but it has it's problems.
Some of the entries in this book aren't even tales, they are just random facts that have nothing to do with history. Another weak point is the fact that their are no sources listed anywhere in this book, I understand that people can have a plethora of information on their own but it would have helped the creditability of this a The title is a fair warning to all, this is in fact stupid.
Another weak point is the fact that their are no sources listed anywhere in this book, I understand that people can have a plethora of information on their own but it would have helped the creditability of this a lot more. Also there were quite a few spelling errors that were repetitive and drove me crazy and the longer you read the more the author begins to insults everything.
The positive is that each entry is short and too the point, so it catches you're attention and doesn't bog you down with tons of information. It's also a fairly quick read if you like history. I liked this book. I'm a big fan of stupid random trivia. Some of the facts in this book are things I had read before but it was a very interesting, quick compilation of those strange facts. I'm reviewing the ebook version here too, and I have to say that this edition of the book is horribly converted. There are typos all over the place, bad OCR recognition in other places and at one place or another the conversion is so bad that I couldn't even figure out what was trying to be said.
It was defini I liked this book. It was definitely worth it's Free Friday price tag but I may have bristled had I paid anymore than. Do yourself a favor and borrow it from the library or a friend via LendMe, if that's possible. Yes, I did read the whole thing. I found it rather, well, stupid.
The tidbits of history were ok, I learned a couple of neat things. However, the humor the author attempted was over done and rather lame. Someone should have taught his editor that when you mean 2 things, you spell it as 'two' not as too. Also, a 'v' should not be replaced with 'u'. So many errors, it was hard to read. I don't know if these errors are a p Yes, I did read the whole thing. I don't know if these errors are a part of the paperback edition as I read the ebook one. There were no footnotes, citations, or sources.
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Anyone could make this stuff up. For some of the Stupid History is a collection of little known, bizarre facts about history. The information is interesting and fun. My one dislike about the book is that no sources are provided. We have to take the Was the lightbulb really Thomas Edison's bright idea? If it would shock you to learn that Benjamin Why exactly is Paul Revere revered?