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

Rick Beyer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 23.99
Price: CDN$ 17.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

March 6 2003

History isn't always made by great armies colliding or by great civilizations rising or falling. Sometimes it's made when a chauffeur takes a wrong turn, a scientist forgets to clean up his lab, or a drunken soldier gets a bit rowdy. That's the kind of history you'll find in The Greatest Stories Never Told.

This is history candy -- the good stuff. Here are 100 tales to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy: more than two thousand years of history filled with courage, cowardice, hope, triumph, sex, intrigue, folly, humor, and ambition. It's a historical delight and a visual feast with hundreds of photographs, drawings, and maps that bring each story to life. A new discovery waits on every page: stories that changed the course of history and stories that affected what you had for breakfast this morning.

Consider:

  • The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer
  • Some Roman officials were so corrupt that they actually stole time itself
  • Three cigars changed the course of the Civil War
  • The Scottish kilt was invented by an Englishman

Based on the popular Timelab 2000® history minutes hosted by Sam Waterston on The History Channel®, this collection of fascinating historical tidbits will have you shaking your head in wonder and disbelief. But they're all true. And you'll soon find yourself telling them to your friends.


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Customers buy this book with The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Music History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy CDN$ 15.67

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Product Description

Review

“Full of tasty morsels…A delightful book to arm one for the next dull cocktail party.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Surprising…the essentials of fascinating stories are here.” (Dallas Morning News)

“100 stories you haven’t heard will delight in knowing.…Lively, offbeat and surprising in quick-hit snippets.” (Denver Rocky Mountain News)

“History like you’ve never read it before…Amusing.” (The Tennessean)

About the Author

Rick Beyer is executive producer of the Smash Entertainment Group, which has produced numerous documentary projects for The History Channel®. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The early Romans used the moon as a measure of the months. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd usually buy Aug. 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I don't usually veer into the land of "interesting facts" books, choosing instead to buy some tried and true bestseller like "Angels & Demons" or "The Bark of the Dogwood" instead. So it was with trepedation that I purchased this book. Boy, am I glad I did! This is fantastic! Forget what you learned (or didn't) in school--this is the way to go. Some really, really fascinating things in here and you can astonish your friends and family with these juicy tidbits. Informative and well written, this book also makes a GREAT gift.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure History 101 April 22 2004
Format:Hardcover
This was an interesting book and a quick read. However, each item only has one page (one side) of information, and this book would have earned a five star review from me if only the content was a bit more fleshed out. Still, a great book for the beginner trivia buff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 200 Pages of WOW! Jan. 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
In the past, I have typically not been one for advocating the idea of revising history as we know it, but this book has caused me to wonder if the lessons from the past that have been taught to so many of us have amounted to a series of partially distorted articles, at best, or a pack of lies, at worst.
In one account, there was a leading nineteenth-century American literary figure who wrote a fictional work on one of the most famous explorers from the late 1400's. It portrayed this particular individual as mainly a visionary who overcame the superstitions of his time in order to make great discoveries. Though this picture might be partly true, a key issue brought forth was entirely fictional. Nevertheless, this particular book became very popular as a required reading for schoolchildren and over time, because of the heroic elements espoused, the tales were so popular that people wanted to believe them to be factual. Since then, this author's version of this explorer's events "would long endure in the national consciousness" and be immortalized as history as it actually happened. Talk about a paradox: to be regarded as someone who would go down in history as someone who overcame myths in such a way that it, itself, is another myth. Sheesh!!
Though many a fact finder might wish that this particular legend could be isolated as the only fairy tale that has been misconstrued for truth, The Greatest Stories Never Told reveals to the reader that this is not so. There are other accounts that show that our significant historical events are not always due to forthright purposes set out by forthcoming, stout individuals. Sometimes random elements come into play à la The Butterfly Effect that can have a significant impact upon the outcome of a war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating facts Nov. 25 2003
Format:Hardcover
A very entertaining collection of stories of unusual events and people from history. Arranged chronologicaly, starting with the Romans who stole time, and proceeding through such enthralling tales as the man who didn't discover America because he wanted to get home,and king Edward II' valiant but futile attempt to ban soccer (now I know why he was murdered, it was enraged footer fans). Some cherished myths are briskly disposed of, like the notion that medieval people thought the world was flat, and we learn that the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock because they'd run out of beer. A few of the stories in this book were known to me already, most weren't. At $12.57, that's only about 12 cents per fascinating fact, cheap at the price I would say. Who would you say was the most unlikely person to have saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son? If you don't know already you need to buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The overlooked past brought into the spotlight Sept. 8 2003
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!! July 6 2003
Format:Hardcover
A fantastic collection of historical trivia. I found myself saying "wow, I didn't know that," as I turned each page. Great watercooler or dinner party conversation starter, but avoid the urge to reveal the juiciest tidbits as you're recommending the book to friends and family...it's harder than you think! The stories are fascinating! Makes an excellent gift for all ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!! July 6 2003
Format:Hardcover
A fantastic collection of historical trivia. I found myself saying "wow, I didn't know that," as I turned each page. Great watercooler or dinner party conversation starter, but avoid the urge to reveal the juiciest tidbits as you're recommending the book to friends and family...it's harder than you think! The stories are fascinating! Makes an excellent gift for all ages.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, interesting, short and sweet Stories
I thought this was the coolest book of unknown facts written (my favorite was Mrs. Satan).There is one item that seems to need further investigation though. Read more
Published on July 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Starting Book
If you are starting your love affair with history, this is the book for you. The "tidbits" of history will take through the span of general history and will help you decide your... Read more
Published on May 18 2003 by Joseph Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest stories never told... told
It is an interesting premise for a book - that many of the events we choose to enter into histories are created by the same forces creating more ordinary events - the Gods, or... Read more
Published on April 28 2003 by R. Aldrich
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, eye-opening, un-put-down-able treat
If you are a freak for interesting tidbits about our kaleidoscopic world, this is a book I'd wager you'll read from cover to cover. Read more
Published on April 27 2003 by Shashank Tripathi
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone in this friendly and fun book
This is not a coffee-table book, it's a briefcase book, a bathroom book, a bedside book, a stuck-in-traffic book. Read more
Published on April 5 2003 by C. B. Hurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Quirky
I always hated history in school -- and I hardly ever watch the History Channel -- so I approached this book with great trepidation. Read more
Published on March 31 2003
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