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The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy [Hardcover]

Rick Beyer , Richard Beyer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.44
Price: £11.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy + Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things + Book of Secrets
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Torch (Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060014016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060014018
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 18.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 511,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible book 21 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover
This book is for children, it is not a good or interesting read for adults. Bought it as a xmas present and will not be giving it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for avid reader 31 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Terrific book for someone who loves to soak up info and read a good yarn. Thanks it was the perfect gift!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  105 reviews
96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The overlooked past brought into the spotlight 9 Sep 2003
By J. J. Kwashnak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Beyer is an author who is dedicated to making history interesting and fun, which he does so well in this collection of one page stories. I found the book especially interesting because of the background work the author had put into his research (the imprint of the History Channel did not hurt either) which raised these tidbits above the normal trivia, or potential urban legends. Beyer highlights some things that should not be lost in the mists of history, and points out historical facts that may be glossed over in many other history books. There is nothing earth shattering here, but more than a few will make you scratch your head, or share with others in conversation. A great book for dipping your toe in history - each story is about a page of text and is well illustrated. There is just enough to get you the interesting point without boring you. It's a truly fun and fascinating book.
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone in this friendly and fun book 5 April 2003
By C. B. Hurst - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a coffee-table book, it's a briefcase book, a bathroom book, a bedside book, a stuck-in-traffic book. It's a book for dads and kids, a book for teachers and students, a book for priests and ministers (great sermon material!), and a great gift for practically everyone. My personal favorite involves what Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp were doing during the 1920s--I won't give away the story but Wyatt was in Hollywood and Bat was in Manhattan! It's clear that the author is not a student of history, he's a lover of history, and the enthusiasm and excitement with which he approaches his subject comes through on every page.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Quirky 31 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I always hated history in school -- and I hardly ever watch the History Channel -- so I approached this book with great trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself paging eagerly through the well-written, highly entertaining historical vignettes (each one takes up a mere two pages, perfect for subway reading). Some of them made me laugh out loud; once I had to fight the urge to turn to the stranger next to me and ask if he knew what had killed Atilla the Hun. (I'm not telling.) Although not written for kids particularly, this is also a great book to share with older children . . . especially those who complain that history is dull.
138 of 163 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At least one story told wrong 27 Feb 2005
By Brien Louque - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm an avid reader of history, as well as processing a degree in the subject. So imagine my surprise when, after receiving this book from a friend of mine for Christmas, I read the erroneous account of the Children's Crusade of 1212. I had done research on this topic, so I was horrified to read the completely inaccurate account of what occurred. Had the author not read any historical analysis on the subject from the last 50 years? If he had, he would have realized that there were actually two crusades - one consisting of mainly French people led by Stephen of Cloyes who, when told to turn back by King Philip II, did so. That ended that crusade. The other one, led by a shepherd from Germany named Nicholas, led a group across the Alps into Italy. Some left for home while others continued on to Rome. It's interesting to note that in Rome, many received dispensations from their crusading vows because these "children" were either too old or because they were pregnant. Perhaps until relatively recently, people believed in the Children's Crusade because it represented a morality play or because some historians gave too much credit to chronicles (like Chronica Albrici monachi Trium Fontium) which were written long after the crusade supposedly occurred, rather than relying on more contemporary sources. Nor did they realize that the latin word "pueri" used in the chronicles can have several meanings (such as unmarried men rather than children).

In the final analysis, you just can't rely on books like these to really teach you history. The best you can do is read what they tell you and then try to verify it. If only the author had bothered to check the History Channel's own account of the Children's Crusade on their website, or perhaps read the excellent paper done by Peter Raedts in the Journal of Medieval History, or even just checked out the brief but accurate entry online in wikipedia. The book gave two pages to this event, and sadly got it completely wrong.

For this gross oversight, I am compelled to give it one star. Readers of history, never just believe what you read - verify.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "History would be a wonderful thing,if only it were true" 18 Nov 2004
By J. Guild - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a fun little book for anyone from 8 to 80,who likes to read history.It is more like the kind of stuff you see in Ripley's Believe it or Not,Strange but True,Interesting Facts,etc.There are 100 stories covered in 200 pages and half of that is pictures.One can skip through this book in an hour or two without difficulty.I guess most people would find it just a light read;but there is a real good reference section for anyone who wants to see the source or basis of any of these stories.
Stories are from all over the map and cover from B.C.to the present time .Some of the things you'll find:

Saint Patrick was an Englishman by birth.

The music for "The Star-Spangled Banner" was from a popular
English drinking song.

Where did the term "boycott"come from?

Did you know a US Warship fired a torpeo at another Warship carrying President Roosevelt, missing it by about 100 yards.

How a dead man duped Hitler.

And that's just for starters!

Oh Yeah, My title was a statement made by Tolstoy;who knew a thing or two about history.Then again,who knows,maybe he didn't say that at all.
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