Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Dangerous Book of Heroes-Conn Iggulden & David Iggulden

The Dangerous Book of Heroes
Conn Iggulden & David Iggulden
Morrow, Apr 2010, $26.99
ISBN: 9780061928246

The 36 biographical shorts are entertaining and insightful, but limited in scope as most of those highlighted are British males. There are several American entries (Washington, MLK, Helen Keller, Apollo 11, Sitting Bull, Iwo Jima and Flight 93, etc) and three other females (Cavell, Nightingale, and the SOE). Overall the selections seem reasonable though Anglo-American focused although one must question labeling heroes those who massacred their opponents with no regard for collateral damage of the innocent like Cromwell and the pirate Henry Morgan; though in fairness they do push forward the British Empire. The fun for an American audience is not rationalizing the brutality of a “hero”, but in observing how British authors place their spin on United States’ legendary heroes like Washington and Keller.

Harriet Klausner

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