Monday, September 15, 2014

100 of the Worst Ideas in History by Michael N. Smith with Eric Kasum | Book Review

A great book!  I flew right through it.  I love learning new fun facts to sprinkle into conversation!

The format is consistent throughout the book.  Each of the 100 worst ideas in history gets a two page spread outlining "The Bad Idea," "The Genius Behind It," when "The Brainstorm Struck," etc.  Here's a look at one of the ideas:

This was one of the "worst ideas" that I'd never heard anything about!  Apparently a governor of a small island city actually told the city's residents not to worry about the smoking volcano; they should stick around to vote for him the next day.  So they did.  And the volcano erupted and killed everyone.  Can you believe it?  

While you don't get a ton of information on each "Worst Idea," there is a really good bibliography in the back, broken down by idea.  So if you wanted more info on the crazy governor who is essentially at fault for the death of an entire city, you know where to look.

My only gripe with the book is that the authors seem to be left-leaning in their politics.  There were a few "Worst Ideas" in the "Politically Incorrect Politicos" section that lead me to believe this.  But oh well, this isn't a political book overall, so I can gloss over a tiny bit of opinion.

Ooh!  I also love how the book starts so very strongly!  I almost forgot, but then I was looking at the table of contents for the name of the political section.  I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just tell you that Worst Idea #1 is titled "The President's Scandalous Em-Bare-Ass-Ment" and falls in the section "Whopping Historical Foul-Ups and Faux Pas."  This one made me laugh out loud and so then I had to read the whole thing out loud to the hubby so he could laugh too.

This book is found in the grown-up non-fiction sections of bookstores and libraries, but it has no foul language (outside of the title of the first Worst Idea) and only one Worst Idea that mentions sexy time (with no details; it's about historic prostitutes), so I'd definitely feel ok handing it to a teen too.

I give this book two thumbs up and definitely recommend it to others.

*I checked out my copy of 100 of the Worst Ideas in History from my public library.

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