The Mental Floss History of the World
Erik Sass and Steve Wiegand with Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur
Harper, Oct 27 2009, $14.99
This is a fun way to look at the history of the world (in 400 pages) as the mental Floss crowd provides their irreverent glimpse back in time and for a few pages the Great Bush Recession. With twelve chapters divided by eras, an appendix on Oh Canada and of course that Great Bush Recession, readers get a taste of chicken beer historical trivia. The reference tome includes chronological and locality asides, but mostly focuses on the who’s who of the past and who they are doing it to; and not just Europe and North America; as Chapter 4 aptly represents the book with its “There’s No Place Like Rome (Except China, Persia India, Mexico and Peru). Amusing and hip even when discussing pestilence, disease and war like how the great plague limited the great Justinian or that six battles on the western front in WW I resulted in at least 250,000 dead or there is a bit of land beyond the Hudson. Whether it is invoking divine approval by Sumerians, Persians, or Americans, this is an engaging look at the world’s historical foibles even during critical pivotal points missed by that much by the Third Estate (some things remain the same whether the coverage is the French Revolution, Imperialism in Africa or The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars). The Mental Floss History of the World provides as Paul Harvey would say “the rest of the story”. Did Abraham really give up that beach front property to his nephew?