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Unsolved Mysteries of History: An Eye-Opening Investigation into the Most Baffling Events of All Time by [Aron, Paul]
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Unsolved Mysteries of History: An Eye-Opening Investigation into the Most Baffling Events of All Time Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

"Historians make great detectives," says Paul Aron, "and history makes for great detective stories." In Unsolved Mysteries of History, Aron’s second ingenious primer on the art of historical detection, he proves that history has all the twists and turns, intellectual challenges, and surprise revelations of a great mystery story. From the origins of mankind literally to the present, here are the twenty–five most intriguing mysteries of all time.
  • Were the Neandertals our ancestors? Or did modern Homo sapiens wipe them out?
  • Why did the pharaohs build the pyramids? And if they were, in fact, tombs, why is it that nobody found any bodies?
  • If Gutenberg invented the printing press, why did Johannes Fust sue him . .. and win? And why was it Fust’s name that appeared on the first printed books?
  • Did Columbus discover America by accident? Or was he looking for a New World all along?
  • How could Shakespeare, the uneducated son of a small–town glove–maker, have written with such familiarity about law, the classics, and court life? And if he didn’t write the plays, who did?
  • Could the Titanic have been saved? Why did the Californian, just miles from the sinking ocean liner, not go to its rescue?
  • Did Hitler murder his niece? And was he her lover?

For each mystery, Aron re–creates the decisive events surrounding them and presents the latest discoveries and debates. Open Unsolved Mysteries of History and join the fray.

From the Back Cover


"Aron has produced a fascinating and judicious description of historical mysteries from the Neandertals to Gorbachev. His entertaining account of historical controversies will leave every reader the wiser about the past." Jack F. Matlock Jr., former U.S.Ambassador to the Soviet Union"With unerring good sense and in well–paced prose, Paul Aron solves as best he can the major who–done–its, did–it–happens, and did–it–have–to–happens of world history. Unsolved Mysteries of History should keep readers engaged well into the night."
Adam Potkay, Author, A Passion for Happiness"Intriguing, fascinating, and well–written." Robert Smith Thompson, Author, A Time for War


"Stimulating and pleasurable, fair and objective . . . recommended for both the history buff and the fan of true–life mysteries." Kirkus Reviews

"A welcome gateway for historical exploration." Booklist

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4614 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (18 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001Q9F3BU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,701 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Excellent as usual from world of book, delivery and book as advertised. Great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9aeeeb34) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aee08dc) out of 5 stars Opinion v. Research 2 Dec. 2004
By Barbara One - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If only the author had came clean and offered his book up as "possible" solutions or alternatives or opinions instead of trying to convince his readers that his "findings" were the results of forensic research data analysis or anthropological findings/discoveries untold for centuries. He plays on the minds of the gullible. For example, Jesus faked His death? Good one! Dogs ate His body? And did not leave any trace of their deed? I guess dogs were different back then. It was sad to read other reviews of readers who said they enjoyed the indepth analysis and pro and con discussion the author provided. Personally, I can get the same type of reading in line at the grocery store reading the front page of the tabloids! This book had as much credibility as those rags do too. Beware!
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aee0a2c) out of 5 stars Lack of care killed this book for me 22 Feb. 2001
By Miriya Tsukino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book as a whole-seen it done before, nothing to write home about.
My real issue with this book was how he "solved" the "mystery" of Richard III and the Princes. *Especially* since he singled out Richard in the introduction of the book. Like about 90% of all authors who discuss Richard and either don't bother to do research or don't give about whether they're accurate or not, he uses the bones found in the Tower as proof positive that Richard had the boys murdered. If the author had bothered to do *real* research or even cared to look into the subject some more, he would have noticed the last forensic tests conducted on the bones were in the *1930s*, when the science of forensics was *nowhere* near what it is today. Those tests couldn't say with any certainty what *age* the bones are, what *year* they came from or even what *sex* the bones are. Those bones are also not the first ones found at the Tower. (it was in use for centuries before Richard's time)
So, tell me again how those bones indicate Richard's guilt, for when all we know, they could be female.
He backs up the bones, if I remember correctly, with the dubious authority of Sir Thomas More's "History of Richard the III", which is riddled with obvious errors. (like saying Edward VI was 53 when he died, when he was just days short of his 41st birthday) These errors have pretty much destroyed the work's reputation among serious historians, some who now believe the work was a huge parody or a disguised attack on Henry VII. This lack of care pretty much killed the book for me-I threw it down in disgust after that chapter. It also makes me wonder just how much research he did into the other "mysteries" he covered.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b152900) out of 5 stars Coffee Table book with some good stories. 12 Dec. 2009
By John J. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To be fair this book was never meant to be a in depth study on histories unsolved mysteries. It basically takes 25 stories and gives them a few pages each of basic information. Somewhat like a long wickepedia insert. There are a few cool stories such as who wrote Shakespeare's plays. But even that has been done in many other books. This book is for the person who does not read much into the weird or alternate histories. If you just want a fun easy to read book about some of the stranger moments in history then its a good buy.
HASH(0x9aee0be8) out of 5 stars History as Detective Stories 20 Feb. 2014
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Unsolved Mysteries of History

Paul Aron is an award-winning reporter for the “Virginia Gazette” and an editor at Anchor Press and Simon and Schuster. The table of contents lists the 25 chapters, and the index. It covers many historical events from the Neanderthals, Stonehenge, and the legend of Theseus , to Freud, the ‘Titanic’ and the Romanov dynasty. Reporters show up after an event, and reconstruct it from eyewitness accounts. Historians perform similar actions. So read these stories and be entertained. Each chapter has references for more information.

Chapter 1 discusses the relationship between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon humans. Varied theories conflict, and show that scientific belief is as constant as a weathervane. Chapter 2 explains the controversy about Stonehenge. If it was built to record the times of the year, Gerald Hawkins’ book explains his findings. If the pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs, why do they lack a body (Chapter 3)? The different accounts of the four Gospels is typical of eyewitness accounts when there is no collusion to get their stories straight (Chapter 6). Using the Nazca lines to record the solstices of the year makes sense (Chapter 7). Extra lines could have been added to conceal the secret. Chapter 9 asks why the Mayan civilization collapsed leaving no traces of a disaster. It seemed due to “endemic warfare”, drought, and disease.

What “sign” was given to the Dauphin by Joan of Arc (Chapter 11)? Joan was condemned in 1431, but posthumously rehabilitated in 1456. There is no mention of Giles de Rais (“Bluebeard” and his sponsorship of Joan. Could some magic trick have impressed Charles and then raised the morale of the French troops? Chapter 13 discusses Richard III, the last Plantagenet. [Is he missing the tips of two fingers in that portrait?] If he murdered the two Princes in the Tower that would follow the royal habits of those times. Chapter 14 discusses whether Columbus expected to discover a New World. Aristotle and Seneca discussed sailing west to the Indies. Chapter 15 teaches the unreliability of eyewitness identification, even in a small town. Chapter 16 tells of the Casket Letters, an example of forgery for political purposes. But Mary Queen of Scots wasn’t fit for the throne (her bad judgment). Chapter 17 considers whether the little known owner of a theater company was the true author of all those famous plays. It shows how those with a point of view can find evidence for their positions. Was Captain Kidd a pirate or a political pawn (Chapter 18).

Chapter 19 discusses Mozart’s death and his ‘Requiem’. The movie ‘Amadeus’ was Hollywood History. Chapter 20 tells of the faulty basis for Freud’s “science of psychoanalysis”. Did Freud invent the memories recovered from his patients (p.164)? Is the popularization of Freud’s theory meant to distract from the science of Pavlov? Chapter 21 asks if the `Titanic’ could have been saved if it didn’t speed through the ice field. Why didn’t they have enough lifeboats? Blame was given to the captain of the ‘Californian’ for not going to the ‘Titanic’, even though it would have been too late. Chapter 22 explains why none of the Romanovs survived. Chapter 23 tells of a young woman found shot in her uncle’s home with her uncle’s pistol. Was it suicide? Her uncle’s alibi was a speeding ticket, but there were rumors about their relationship, and the uncle’s strange sex life. Did this affect the uncle? Chapter 24 discusses Rudolf Hess’s surprise flight to Scotland. Most likely the British Secret Service lured Hess to embarrass Hitler, just weeks before Hitler attacked Russia. Chapter 25 discusses the August 1991 attempted coup in Moscow and what Gorbachev did or didn’t do. Did Gorbachev stand aside and plan to profit from the success or failure of this coup?
HASH(0x9aee0e04) out of 5 stars The Mysteries Remain Unsolved; Nobody Knows 1 Oct. 2013
By David Carlyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Paul Aron writes twenty-five short stories about unsolved mysteries. His writing leaves most of them unsolved, but number seventeen, "Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays" is the exception. Mr. Aron goes through various theories scholars have proposed, and then all but asserts William Shakespeare wrote them.

Aron might have made number 6 more interesting than any other, "Did Jesus Die on the Cross?" He doesn't do it, however. During most of the essay, Aron recounts theories proposed by liberal scholars, and none agree with the Bible about the title question; he briefly mentions that some believe the Bible about it, but perhaps leaves it those in the latter camp, like me, to emphasize the idea. Thus, many of us say yes, He did die on the cross, others say no, and Mr. Aron doesn't declare himself, as he doesn't in twenty-three of the others.

I can mention one more, number twenty-one, "Could the Titanic have been saved?" The author writes of another ship, not far from the Titanic, possibly able to take the passengers off, but because both the captain and the radio operator went to bed, the other ship did nothing. Aron describes the debate, and concludes the other captain should have tried, but admits he might not have succeeded. Aron writes a five-star book. David Carlyle, "Another Land."
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