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You Did What?: Mad Plans and Incredible Mistakes
 
 

You Did What?: Mad Plans and Incredible Mistakes [Kindle Edition]

Bill Fawcett

Print List Price: 8.99
Kindle Price: 5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

History has never been more fun than it is in this fact-filled compendium of historical fiascoes and embarrassingly bad ideas.

Throughout history, the rich and powerful, and even just the dim-witted, have made horrifically bad decisions that have had resounding effects on our world. From kings to corporate leaders, from captains to presidents, no one is immune to bad decisions and their lasting legacy. The fiascoes that litter our history are innumerable ... and fascinating in their foolishness. This witty collection of historical mayhem chronicles unwise decisions from ancient Greece to modern-day Hollywood and everything in between. Learn such lessons as:

  • Never trust Greeks bearing gifts of large wooden horses.
  • Avoid building elementary schools on toxic waste dumps, even those with sweet monikers like Love Canal.
  • Rabbits multiply like rabbits Down Under.
  • Even if you use brightly colored paint on the boats, it's quite easy to misplace an entire country's navy.

With more than forty-five chapters of mind-boggling flubs and follies, fans of history, trivia, and those who just want a good laugh will adore this intriguing and fun read.

Synopsis

Throughout history, the rich and powerful, and even just the dim-witted, have made horrifically bad decisions that have had resounding effects on our world. From kings to corporate leaders to captains to presidents, no one is immune to bad decisions and their lasting legacy. The fiascos that litter our history are innumerable...and fascinating in their foolishness. This witty collection of historical mayhem chronicles unwise decisions from ancient Greece to modern day Hollywood and everything in between. Learn such lessons as - never trust Greeks bearing gifts of large wooden horses, avoid building elementary schools on toxic waste dumps, even those with sweet monikers like Love Canal, rabbits multiply like rabbits Down Under, and even if you use brightly collared paint on the boats, it's quite easy to misplace an entire country's Navy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060532505
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (13 Oct 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC2808
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good light reading for the amateur historian 7 Oct 2004
By C. Bedford Crenshaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Personally, I enjoyed the book. There was much I learned from this book. I knew very little of the Galveston Hurricane. I did not realize that "New Coke" is still made in certain parts of the country. I never realized that Napoleon's big mistake at Waterloo was in having the wrong adjutant in charge. Or how the Kaiser's hatred for his mother helped in causing World War 1. This and many more interesting tidbits are top be found in this book. The only problem with this book is that most of the entries are fairly modern.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By turns maddening and fascinating 23 Sep 2004
By Jean E. Pouliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading this terribly uneven book was the most irritating experience I've had in a long time. Its title seemed to indicate a tongue-in-cheek approach to history's gaffes and goofs, in the vein of "The Darwin Awards". Instead, the reader was often treated to rather ordinary recititations of history. The tale of Watergate was told in a straightforward style without entertainment value. The barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire were a dull, unfunny and undetailed summary (in only 7 pages !) of 400 years of Roman history. Other stories held my interest better, not due to the writing but because of the unfamiliar subject matter. The story of Ferdinand de Lesseps' first attempt to build the Panama Canal was an example. But even this tale, which tried to poke fun at de Lesseps' folly, just wasn't funny.

The book, subtitled "Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters," is less about the folly of human beings than about the unexpected (but not mad) turns that human activities take. Who knew ahead of time that aspirin would have value while heroin would become a social scourge?

I'll say this for the book: as annoying as it was, I kept coming back to it until I finished it. That's worth 3 stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but Entertaining 18 July 2005
By joedriver252 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"You Did What?" is a collection of tales of decisions that were at best foolhardy and at worst disastrous. Various authors contribute to this work, and the quality of the chapters varies as a result (there are quite a few examples of bad grammar and poor sentence structure throughout the book). Overall, the book is entertaining. Different subjects of varied historical significance are covered, from the Trojan Horse debacle and President Harrison's refusal to wear a coat at his frigid inaugural, to the "Heidi Bowl" and the bad career decisions of several TV actors. This is a quirky book that's rather light on any deep historical information or insight, and the mistakes in writing can be disconcerting. Overall, though, it's worth checking out for some lighthearted reading.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but at least one glaring mistake 29 Jan 2005
By Thevanx - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
On page 219, Thomsen writes that Ronald Reagan divorced Jane Wyman, "everyone's favorite mother from 'Father Knows Best'."

Maybe he meant Jane Wyatt, who WAS the mother on 'Father Knows Best' or maybe he misplaced Jane Wyman, who was certainly no one's favorite mother on 'Falcon Crest'. The similarity of these actresses ends with the similarity of their names. Their appearance and acting would not be confused by even a casual inspection. This is an error which could easily have been avoided with only the slightest effort at research, which was evidently not done.

I found the book quite entertaining and enlightening until I got to that page. A simple, avoidable error like that one makes me question the credibility of the rest of the book.
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok until the racist screed in the middle 24 Dec 2013
By H. Winston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Many of the stories are interesting, though the writing varies from author to author. However, for some inexplicable reason, in the middle there is a collection of essays grouped into "Africa" - wheras all the previous ones were about one particular problem or series of related bad decisions. Unbelievably subtitled "Why Darwin was wrong" it's a group of jokes mixed with real stories of dictators all interspersed with commentary that only people in Africa could be that stupid. The editors and publishers should include them letting that section into this book if they publish sequel.
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