Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Bad History: How We Got t... has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong Hardcover – 8 Sep 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£9.99
£0.01 £0.01
Paperback
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong + All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To + An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge)
Price For All Three: £25.92

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (8 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843176173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843176176
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Emma Marriott is a freelance writer and editor whose previous works for Michael O'Mara Books include I Used to Know That: History, Bad History: How We Got the Past Wrong and The History of the World in Bite-sized Chunks.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a big history fan and do quite a lot of reading, so I liked the idea of this little book by Emma Marriott on the history that we get wrong. History of itself is oft times written by the victors and so it is normally, out of political necessity, part propaganda anyway. Being British we often turn defeats into victories (Dunkirk for example). Or we big up the things that look good as a smoke screen to down play the bad. Most junior historians know of the British victory over the Zulus at Rorkes Drift when a handful of the 1st and 2nd/24th Foot fought off thousands of Cetshwayo's warriors; the massive defeat of Lord Chelmsford's rear column at Isandlwana the day previous is often forgotten.

This is the type of thing I was hoping to get, but this is somewhat dumbed down and is aimed more at the `historical virgin' than anyone seeking very much enlightenment. So we find out that the old American `Wild West' was not that `wild' based on recorded crime figures; however records were not always kept. Australia was not established as a penal colony; well no it was only after US independence and a failed attempt to set one up in Africa that Australia was chosen. Mussolini did not make the trains run on time and Petain did collaborate with the occupying German forces through his offices in Vichy France.

There is a load more besides and the book of itself is really well written and effortlessly accessible. There are some thirty one different subjects that deal with things from the Irishness of St. Patrick to the real victors in Indochina after WW2. I would have liked to know more and to have greater depth into all of the arguments. However, that was never the intention of this book and to criticise Marriott for such is both churlish and un-gallant.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TheLibrarian on 18 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bad History is a book that attempts to explain the truth behinds those `facts' we have all heard (e.g. Mussolini made the trains run on time). There is a short essay written on each topic. I did enjoy reading this book. If you enjoy QI this will certainly appeal to you. I found some of the essays really interesting (e.g. the one about the level of violence in the Wild West genuinely taught me something I didn't know). There are a couple of problems with this book though. Firstly, each essay is very short (about 4 pages) so it can be a bit frustrating if a subject interests you. Secondly, if you have a decent general education (or watch a lot of QI!) you are probably going to know a lot of this anyway. I only have an A-level in history, but there wasn't much in this book that really surprised me. I think it is a well-written book, but I am not really sure whom it is for. It would have worked brilliantly as a column in a Sunday newspaper, but I can't imagine who would buy this because you can read it in an hour and it's not the sort of book you would need to read again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. C. Clubb VINE VOICE on 20 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's quite disappointing to see how much flack this excellent little book has received. I was under no illusion that the book I was about to read was going to be a light read. The book's title does imply that it is to be considered to be in the same category as Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science" and Phil Plait's "Bad Astronomy". Despite both of these books being written for a lay audience they were not shot in details or text. Emma Marriot's slim collection of short essays might be with Goldacre and Plait in sentiment, but the work isn't intended to educate the reader in good historical research. However, it does provide examples of what good research achieves and how good historians view the past. Unfortunately I think many history buffs were looking forward to a heavily cited and in depth analysis of historical myths and a debunking of pseudohistory; not a book strictly for academics, but nevertheless one with a scholarly appeal. Recent years have seen some good academics, like Richard J Evans take on the postmodern anti-historical wave and others like David Aronovitch, Kathryn S. Olmsted and even sceptical scientist Michael Shermer produce sterling investigations that both debunk and seek to understand the nature of conspiracy theory.

Although such books are sorely needed in history writing - I think way too many academics underestimate the impact of conspiracy theories and pseudohistory - a book like this is arguably more needed. As Damien Thompson pointed out in "Counterknowledge", more pseudohistorical books are finding their way over from the "New Age and Spiritual" section and into the "General History" section.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Apollo 11 VINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a great book. While initial investigation might suggest this is one of those books that gathers minor but otherwise trivial facts together (the kind of book that fills a gap in someone's Christmas stocking, or takes up residence in the bathroom), Bad History is actually far better than that. Moreover, given its borderline-heavy subtitle, "How we got the past wrong", the book is hugely accessible and entertaining.

For the sake of an easy comparison point, I'd align this book with Qi: it's got the same informed but no less entertaining slant on history, and (importantly) recognizes that people are most engaged when the balance between enlightenment and entertainment is met. Therefore, Bad History includes short articles, such as "The American West was a Wild and Dangerous Place to Be", Benito Mussolini Made the Trains Run on Time" and "The Suffragettes Secured Votes for Women in Britain". Each are roughly three-or-so pages long, rendering them more than mere (as Alan Bennett decried in History Boys) "gobbets", but also ensuring they don't outstay their welcome. The text is also well balanced: neither too starchy nor too irreverent.

A great book and one which deserves to sell well. Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback