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The Wicked History of the World [Hardcover]

Terry Deary , Martin Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 2006
In the best book ever written to prove history teachers wrong, pester parents and disgust grandmothers, you will find out the truth about the Rules of War and meet fifty of the most vicious villains of all time in a bonus feature pull-out. Want to know... --The ghastly fate of Captain Cook? --What smelly sport was played by Samurai warriors? --Who tried to kill her enemies with a cake made from poisoned bath water? ...then let The Wicked History of the World be your guide. History with the nasty bits left in!

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From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–A gruesome look at history from prehistoric times through World War II. Bad puns and illustrated facts abound, with the text ranging from discussions of laws including the Ten Commandments, laws of ancient Kings such as Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal of Assyria, Hammurabi's code, and Roman and Greek law. The section on Rotten Rulers includes information on the Shang dynasty in China, Roman Emperor Claudius, Attila the Hun, Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Transylvania, and Josef Stalin, among others. Several pages are dedicated to ancient Rome, with another section on Beastly Barbarians. A spread is devoted to the rules of war over the ages. Human sacrifices are covered in all their gory detail. Slavery, as well as the poor working conditions of the lower classes during the Industrial Revolution, is examined. Wars and massacres make up the last chapter, with an illustrated fold-out section at the end of Vicious Villains. There is a European slant to the coverage, but the ancient Middle East, Egypt, Asia, and the Americas are touched upon. While the scope is necessarily cursory given the limited number of pages, and therefore not useful for reports, readers are likely to be fascinated, and there is enough here to whet their appetite for more research. A great choice for reluctant readers.–Nancy Silverrod, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Terry Deary is the author of over 160 books. He writes both fiction and non-fiction to much acclaim, and also has a hand in the television, theatre, and radio worlds. His Horrible Histories series has sold twenty million copies worldwide, and his books have been translated into twenty-eight languages. Terry has won numerous awards, including Blue Peter?s Best Nonfiction Author of the Century in the United Kingdom. He was named a Doctor of Education by Sunderland University.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and informative Jan. 2 2012
Format:Hardcover
My 10 year old grandson watches the same titled TV program on BBC Kids and thoroughly enjoys it.He was thrilled when he got the book for Christmas. I read some of it and found it funny and very informative at the same time. What a way to teach children history.Horrible Histories: The Wicked History of the World
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my nieces & nephews but had to read cover to cover first! Jan. 31 2008
By Charlie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First of all, yes this book is gory, its history for goodness sake and fun history at that. This book is most definitely for kids, unless you have an unusually sensitive child. Parents wake up; sometime around age 7 kids are fascinated by gore. I remember that age vividly as we would all swap stories about the tidbits we'd learned of medieval torture practices or what "ring around the rosy" reeeally means. I was a sheltered kid by the way, I wasn't allowed to see anything rated over G till i was 10 and if i said "dang" i had to apologize for cursing, thus I say to those reviews, which state "not for kids," LIGHTEN UP! If they made a toy guillotine kit for kids every child would want one. Also, learning about our actual past is far more healthy an activity than teaching your child that say that fashion makes up their self-worth. (Clothes used to be considered a "boring gift" by kids and now i hear 5 year olds shunning other five year olds for their lack of designer styles or for being "fat") Kids have always played violent games (and while some video games are excessive this wasn't newly introduced with video games) playing cowboys and indians or war were common games in the past and no one batted an eye. Not to mention the kids who were in actual wars.
This book ups the ante by being educating and encouraging an interest in history WITHOUT glorifying violence. In fact the book emphasizes that we all run the dangers of being like our wicked past, and should learn from our histories and be better people. Why lie to your children about the past? I do not condone violence, nor do I think children should be exposed to graphic elements too early but I do not think this book does either. Ok rant over on to the book itself.

THIS BOOK IS SUCH GREAT FUN!!! So many random facts about so many cultures and time periods and to lighten things up there are the terrible puns and comic drawings. These funny accents keep the book upbeat. I read it cover to cover before I could part with it to send to my relative and promptly more for myself and my friends. It is mostly accurate as well, which is surprising since most of even my high school history books are filled with errors. (History was one of my majors in college) A few of the facts are debated lore and there is a jewish/biblical bit (plagues) thrown in that may offend a the more obsessive atheists. I am biased, but i do believe that history is essential to an understanding of the way our world works today. Even our Internet lines follow traditional trade routes, colonialism shapes world trade and our governments systems are based on so much ancient knowledge. This book does not explain all that but it does encourage kids to get interested and want to learn. As any teacher knows (I've been a teachers aid for many years and a tutor for underprivileged children), you need that hook to turn young minds to educational subject matter. I never understood why adults seemed to take all the interesting bits out of every subject we learn in school. Kids are so naturally programed to want to learn, and yet it seems that the educational system deliberately sabotages the process.
I grew up with facts like these as i read the classics: Shakespeare, Tacitus and other classic histories, the great British romanticist poets, and fairy tales in their original form (reeeeeally gross) and I cant say it did me any harm to my moral development or any real trauma (the Disney movie of Sleeping Beauty, which I watched at a sleepover, scarred me for years however). I am a straight A student who hopes to head into the peace corps (if I'm lucky) or other service occupations if not. My favorite extra curricular activity is rehabilitating injured animals. I did however end up a bit of a nerd.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History With All the Nice Boring Stuff Removed! July 24 2004
By James N Simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This picture book has sensational pictures and fairly detailed information on the subjects it covers. Learn how kids were sold to work in coal mines, as chimney sweeps and other stuff for next to nothing as well as medieval oddities and ancient rituals. Why some world leaders were disgusting or just outright mean. History's most evil leaders are covered from Adolf Hitler to Roman leaders. This is an excellent source for historical facts so you'll stand out at the next dinner party or if you're a bit younger ace that next school assignment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book Oct. 6 2011
By Anna Eisenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All the books in these series are great. Even though my son is already a teenager I still see him picking up the book once in a while. A fun way to present history and spark an interest to history with kids!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Histories, Truly Horrible in a FUN way! May 26 2011
By Amy L. Deschler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book for my 12 year old history buff daughter. She LOVES it and reads horrible things to me every day! It is a fun way to learn history.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History At It's Most Exciting April 26 2011
By Gaynor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We use these books as part of our homeschool lessons and my children love them. This series takes a subject that could be considered "dry" and make it come alive. My nine year old, "anti-history" daughter, reads them as soon as they arrive and can't wait to share what she has learned. Like good chocolate, it's hard to have just one. You will want to collect them all.
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