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When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain: History's Unknown Chapters

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Obscure and addictive true tales from history told by one of our most entertaining historians, Giles Milton The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's th Obscure and addictive true tales from history told by one of our most entertaining historians, Giles Milton The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's the cook aboard the Titanic, who pickled himself with whiskey and survived in the icy seas where most everyone else died. There's the man who survived the atomic bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there's many, many more. Covering everything from adventure, war, murder and slavery to espionage, including the stories of the female Robinson Crusoe, Hitler's final hours, Japan's deadly balloon bomb and the emperor of the United States, these tales deserve to be told.


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Obscure and addictive true tales from history told by one of our most entertaining historians, Giles Milton The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's th Obscure and addictive true tales from history told by one of our most entertaining historians, Giles Milton The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's the cook aboard the Titanic, who pickled himself with whiskey and survived in the icy seas where most everyone else died. There's the man who survived the atomic bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there's many, many more. Covering everything from adventure, war, murder and slavery to espionage, including the stories of the female Robinson Crusoe, Hitler's final hours, Japan's deadly balloon bomb and the emperor of the United States, these tales deserve to be told.

30 review for When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain: History's Unknown Chapters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jelena

    This is the ultimate airport book. Seriously, for quite a while we kept coming across it in every single airport magazine store, until my boyfriend eventually bought it during some layover. It was the memorable title and a really fitting cover design that first caught out attention. Because we’re both that shallow. The episodes in “When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain” refer to both the big, official history and small, personal histories. Some of them are very well known and everyone This is the ultimate airport book. Seriously, for quite a while we kept coming across it in every single airport magazine store, until my boyfriend eventually bought it during some layover. It was the memorable title and a really fitting cover design that first caught out attention. Because we’re both that shallow. The episodes in “When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain” refer to both the big, official history and small, personal histories. Some of them are very well known and everyone has surely picked up those stories somewhere in textbooks, documentaries and online. I even remember my grandfather telling me some of them when I was little (I wasn’t a big fan of fairy tales and those were an alternative). But they are still interesting. Interesting as in unfathomable, bizarre, perplexing, insane, conceivable, touching… A mixture of pure insanity and genius, crazy chance and bad luck. My reactions went from tears, to angry disbelief (the surviving kamikazes), to disgust over human stupidity (the last fallen soldier in WWI). Though this is not only an airport book, but also definitely an airport read. A travel read, actually. All of those history bites are well researched and provided with a list of further reading material, in case you would want to turn the sketch into a detailed picture. But they are all really short, three, four pages, probably never more than five. None of them take more than two minutes to read, about a tenth of the time you need for a single comic issues. Those are basically historical finger sandwiches: pick one up between sips of coffee, while waiting for your travel companion to finish in the restroom, while queuing, in order or at random. It’s like reading really cool stuff on Cracked, but indefinitely more pleasant than fumbling around your phone. And I’d just love a complementary piece on science.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nik Krasno

    Feels like centuries ago, maybe when dinos were still around and I was just a kid in a good, old USSR we had a subscription among tons of other news-papers and journals to newspaper "Trud", which last column (the only one I read) contained curios/unusual/humorous events around the globe. This felt like a digest thereof. In a way, UK's Giles Milton can probably be paralleled with US' Ben Mezrich, as both try to offer an entertaining non-fiction, although latter usually has an economic bend. Anyhow, Feels like centuries ago, maybe when dinos were still around and I was just a kid in a good, old USSR we had a subscription among tons of other news-papers and journals to newspaper "Trud", which last column (the only one I read) contained curios/unusual/humorous events around the globe. This felt like a digest thereof. In a way, UK's Giles Milton can probably be paralleled with US' Ben Mezrich, as both try to offer an entertaining non-fiction, although latter usually has an economic bend. Anyhow, the book is 'cute' (may sound diminishing, but the word seems appropriate), a bit uneven - some stories are grandiose, while others very 'local'. A nice read, especially with big pauses in between sessions - each story is separate and no need to keep track, but not something existentially compulsory for all

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    Giles Milton goes through archives looking for interesting material that's been lost in the shuffle of history, and he does a fine job of unearthing some fascinating and horrifying dramas. The book is made up of two sections, twenty-five short pieces each, ranging from two to five pages. Content ranges from Hitler's GI issues (and by GI I mean gastrointestinal), health complaints and addictions, to the fate of Lenin's corpse; from adventurers and murderers and rough travel experiences to freak w Giles Milton goes through archives looking for interesting material that's been lost in the shuffle of history, and he does a fine job of unearthing some fascinating and horrifying dramas. The book is made up of two sections, twenty-five short pieces each, ranging from two to five pages. Content ranges from Hitler's GI issues (and by GI I mean gastrointestinal), health complaints and addictions, to the fate of Lenin's corpse; from adventurers and murderers and rough travel experiences to freak weather situations and war stories. From the devastation of a volcano eruption with a few freak survivors, to exploited people billed as 'freaks' and put on show in museums and fairs. Some of the stuff in here I'd read about before, or heard about on Radio Lab and such, but more than not the content was news to me. Sometimes Milton gets a little too silly and gimmicky with his titles for my taste, but all in all I found this to be a compelling read. Here are a few quotes to give you an idea of the content and tone (which varies greatly, but he does look for opportunities to bring out the humor and absurdity in these stories): The Blonde finally arrived in England in April 1826 with Ann and five others. Although deeply shaken by her ordeal, Ann was relieved to have survived a voyage that had killed fifteen of her traveling companions. And she remained surprisingly philosophical about having eaten her fiancé. ‘I think that I witnessed more of the heavy judgements and afflictions of this world than any other of its female inhabitants,’ she said. (161) It was the crowning achievement of his career. Gustav Eiffel was feted as a French national hero at the 1889 inauguration of his famous tower. Among the few who did not appreciate his Paris skyscraper was a fervent English patriot by the name of Edward Watkin. He resented the Eiffel Tower for one simple reason: it stood more than five times higher than Britain’s most celebrated monument, Nelson’s Column. And that, he felt, was a deep insult to national pride. Yet Watkin was not a man to nurse his grievances…(165) He reigned for more than two decades, an autocratic monarch with absolute powers over one of the most powerful countries on the earth. Emperor Joshua Norton 1 declared himself supreme ruler of the United States in 1859: his avowed intention was to restore stability and integrity to a country he felt was falling into ruin. Emperor Norton might easily have been dismissed as a harmless eccentric, were it not for the fact that he had a large number of supporters. Promoted by the newspapers of Fan Francisco, his decrees and proclamations soon became known across the entire nation. His reign began on 17 September 1859, when he issued a proclamation to the California papers: ‘I declare and proclaim myself emperor of these United States.’ He immediately called for a public meeting of representatives of all the different states in America, signing his declaration: Norton 1, Emperor of the United States. (He soon added Protector of Mexico to his title.) (168)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daren

    I enjoyed this book - probably more than I had expected to. To describe the book - it is a collection of very short stories taken from the archive searches - all with a weird, unexpected, or unusual element to them, which are arranged in loose chapters of similar content - for example - there might be 3 or 4 stories located in polar regions, or 3 or 4 stories about Hitler, or 3 or 4 stories set in Japan, etc etc They are very short - most 7-10 pages, some up to about 15 pages. This makes it ideal I enjoyed this book - probably more than I had expected to. To describe the book - it is a collection of very short stories taken from the archive searches - all with a weird, unexpected, or unusual element to them, which are arranged in loose chapters of similar content - for example - there might be 3 or 4 stories located in polar regions, or 3 or 4 stories about Hitler, or 3 or 4 stories set in Japan, etc etc They are very short - most 7-10 pages, some up to about 15 pages. This makes it ideal as a short burst, pick up / put down read. The stories are varied and interesting, there are twists, turns and surprises. There are some which are relatively well known (and this has been a criticism from other reviewers) - you hear them on those pop history game shows - like Stephen Fry's QI, or other fact based quiz shows - but most are new to me, and while there is certainly some sensationalism around the title, it is harmless promotion. Overall very good, and I will seek out the second book in Milton's series. 4 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    I call this a filler-book, one of those infotainment readings to use when my brain feels exhausted from... life, people and everything. It's interesting and funny. In previous review someone called it an "airport book" and I agree. I call this a filler-book, one of those infotainment readings to use when my brain feels exhausted from... life, people and everything. It's interesting and funny. In previous review someone called it an "airport book" and I agree.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    An unusually entertaining bit of pop history. This collects an impressive array of historical tidbits, many of which really do live up to the unknown in the title. I'm always impressed when a book like this has only one or two stories that I've even heard of, and that was the case with this book. And even the couple of stories that I was familiar with were engagingly written and had a couple of bits of information that I hadn't read before. It seemed well-researched to me, and I appreciated the An unusually entertaining bit of pop history. This collects an impressive array of historical tidbits, many of which really do live up to the unknown in the title. I'm always impressed when a book like this has only one or two stories that I've even heard of, and that was the case with this book. And even the couple of stories that I was familiar with were engagingly written and had a couple of bits of information that I hadn't read before. It seemed well-researched to me, and I appreciated the variety in subject matter.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt Stevens

    Really great little book. Some have banged on it because of the length of the stories or that you can find materials on the Internet. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's kinda the point of the book. Read some stories you haven't heard of, then if particularly interested, do more learning on the subject. Picking up a 250 page history book that says on the back it has multiple stories and expecting every detail might mean your expectations are over reaching, not that the authors information was under reac Really great little book. Some have banged on it because of the length of the stories or that you can find materials on the Internet. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's kinda the point of the book. Read some stories you haven't heard of, then if particularly interested, do more learning on the subject. Picking up a 250 page history book that says on the back it has multiple stories and expecting every detail might mean your expectations are over reaching, not that the authors information was under reaching.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    Short snippets of weird stories from history. Good "bathroom reading" as another reviewer put it...easy to read, kind of mindless entertainment. Some stories more interesting than others. Not a bad book to kill time on an airplane (where I found it) or when needing something quick and not necessarily engrossing. Short snippets of weird stories from history. Good "bathroom reading" as another reviewer put it...easy to read, kind of mindless entertainment. Some stories more interesting than others. Not a bad book to kill time on an airplane (where I found it) or when needing something quick and not necessarily engrossing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zezee

    As posted on Zezee with Books. The second nonfiction book I’ve read this year and it was quite fun. When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain is a history book about facts not commonly discussed. The book is divided into two sections, which are further divided into several parts, and are composed of short essays that are no more than 3- or 4-pages long. The book is a quick read, coming in at 261 pages, which includes lists of suggested readings for the topics covered. Most of the essays ar As posted on Zezee with Books. The second nonfiction book I’ve read this year and it was quite fun. When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain is a history book about facts not commonly discussed. The book is divided into two sections, which are further divided into several parts, and are composed of short essays that are no more than 3- or 4-pages long. The book is a quick read, coming in at 261 pages, which includes lists of suggested readings for the topics covered. Most of the essays are written in a light-hearted tone with jabs thrown at certain figures whose actions seem a bit comical. Other times, a serious tone is affected when the events and figures being discussed are placed in either inhumane or dire situations. I enjoyed reading this book. I picked it up by chance while visiting the library because the title caught my attention. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was glad to find that it is easy to read because of the short, snappy essays and that it’s quite entertaining as well. I also like that we are given some background details to better understand why an event occurred or why a person did something. Of the essays, these stood out the most to me: “When Hitler Took Cocaine,” which talks about Hitler’s cocaine addiction as well as the concoction of drugs his personal physician, Theodor Morell, fed him. The last sentence in this essay is pretty interesting: “It is ironic that the man charged with restoring Hitler to good health probably did more than anyone else to contribute to his decline.” “The Long War of Hiroo Onoda,” about a Japanese soldier who kept conducting guerilla raids in the jungles of the Philippines 29 years after World War II had ended. He didn’t stop fighting until his commanding officer, who was luckily still alive, visited him and told him the war is over, Japan lost, and he should stop. I love the opening sentence to this essay: “His home was a dense area of rainforest and he lived on the wild coconuts that grew in abundance. His principal enemy was the army of mosquitos that arrived with each new shower of rain. But for Hiroo Onoda, there was another enemy, one that remained elusive.” “Surviving Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” which is about Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who survived both bombings and later became an advocate against the use of nuclear weapons. He died in 2010 at 93-years-old. “Barking for Victory,” about a dog that served in the U.S. Army during World War I and advanced to the level of sergeant through combat. He was the only dog to do so. “Who Killed Rasputin?” which is, of course, about Rasputin’s death. It disputes all the myths surrounding it but I prefer the fantastical recollections surrounding his death. “The Last Eunuch of China,” which was an interesting read about the life of the last eunuch. Personally, I would have been pissed because it seems that soon as Sun Yaoting got his dick chopped off, the emperor abdicated his throne. That really sucks. All he wanted to do was serve his emperor. “When Lenin Lost His Brain.” It’s kind of gruesome but basically Vladimir Lenin’s body has been on display for almost nine decades somewhere in Russia. The corpse is missing its brain, which was removed to be studied. By the way, here’s an article about it that appeared in The Atlantic. “Into the Monkey House,” which is about Ota Benga, a pygmy brought from Congo and kept in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo in New York. “The American Museum of Natural History retains a life-size cast of Ota Benga’s head and shoulders. To this day it is not marked with his name or any indication that he was a human being. The label has just one word: ‘pygmy’.” “The Human Freak Show,” about Sarah Baartman, also known as the ‘Hottentot Venus’. She was brought from Cape Town to England to be paraded about to display her body: large buttocks and genitalia. I’ve known about both Baartman and Ota Benga before reading this book, but reading about them again really angered me, especially Baartman’s story. Even in death, she was still displayed. She was dissected and her genitalia were pickled to be displayed, along with her skeleton, in the Musée de l’Homme, France, until 1974. In 2002, Nelson Mandela asked that her remains be returned to South Africa for a proper burial. “Emperor of the United States,” about the dude who declared himself emperor back in the 1860s. It’s kind of funny. “The Man Who Bought His Wife,” was a really cool read that would make a great historical-fiction story. The short of it: Florenz Szasz, a Hungarian teen who was abducted and made a slave, was “sold” to Samuel Baker (quite an adventure there because he didn’t have the money to buy her), who became her husband and brought her along on his excursions in Africa. “Let’s Talk Gibberish,” which is about the use of Navajo language in World War II because codes sent in Navajo were impossible to break. Overall: ★★★★★ I almost listed all the essays in the book above. I enjoyed reading this book and I learned loads from it. So if you’re fascinated by history, would like to read some quirky stories about real people and occurrences, or would just like to try a quick nonfiction book, I highly suggest that you give this one a try.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    The subtitle to this book, “History’s Unknown Chapters,” is not accurate. I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t know about Hitler’s suicide or the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby? I have seen ENTIRE MOVIES about some of these supposed “unknown chapters.” I was familiar with a bunch of these stories (Unity Mitford, the last Japanese holdout from WWII, the discovery of Mallory’s body, the dude who survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and I suspect that anyone who reads much history will also find t The subtitle to this book, “History’s Unknown Chapters,” is not accurate. I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t know about Hitler’s suicide or the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby? I have seen ENTIRE MOVIES about some of these supposed “unknown chapters.” I was familiar with a bunch of these stories (Unity Mitford, the last Japanese holdout from WWII, the discovery of Mallory’s body, the dude who survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and I suspect that anyone who reads much history will also find that they know about a lot of these “unknown chapters.” On the other hand, I don’t want to go overboard. Not all these stories are well known, and some of these little pieces were new to me (eg, the pygmy who was displayed at the zoo like an animal, or the strange death of Alfred Loewenstein), and there were enough chapters that were new to me to make reading this book worthwhile. It’s just a fun collection of bite sized nuggets of history, and a nice book to buy on kindle and read in spare little moments when you don’t have time to read something more serious.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    I know the title of this book is odd, but believe me it is a book you can't put down. This book is chock full of obscure events in history. I learned so many interesting facts about both the infamous figures in history and the, up until now, stuff that was news to me. It's an easy read, I finished this book in no time. Now I have to get it back to the library so that the 65 other people who put a hold on it can enjoy it. I know the title of this book is odd, but believe me it is a book you can't put down. This book is chock full of obscure events in history. I learned so many interesting facts about both the infamous figures in history and the, up until now, stuff that was news to me. It's an easy read, I finished this book in no time. Now I have to get it back to the library so that the 65 other people who put a hold on it can enjoy it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lisk

    A Massa's Tavern Book Club pick. Short, interesting historical oddities. This may be the first book I've ever read designed for people with ADD. Great for jury duty or while watching a ballgame with a beer. A Massa's Tavern Book Club pick. Short, interesting historical oddities. This may be the first book I've ever read designed for people with ADD. Great for jury duty or while watching a ballgame with a beer.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cox

    A series of historical anecdotes. Very often over simplified for dramatic effect. Yup. That pretty much sums it up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    this was the first ever book i added to my goodreads want to read :') this was the first ever book i added to my goodreads want to read :')

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

    If I refer to this as a bathroom read, you’re likely to think I’m panning it. I’m not. But I remain convinced it’s a great bathroom read for those who engage in such behavior, and from my childhood memories of a “Reader’s Digest” or some other book tucked obscurely in a bathroom, I’m not convinced it’s all that uncommon. Maybe more so now since we’re using electronic devices to read with. So why am I labeling this a bathroom read? Because the vignettes are short and amusing. Essentially, the book If I refer to this as a bathroom read, you’re likely to think I’m panning it. I’m not. But I remain convinced it’s a great bathroom read for those who engage in such behavior, and from my childhood memories of a “Reader’s Digest” or some other book tucked obscurely in a bathroom, I’m not convinced it’s all that uncommon. Maybe more so now since we’re using electronic devices to read with. So why am I labeling this a bathroom read? Because the vignettes are short and amusing. Essentially, the book is a short collection of historical facts engagingly written. You’ll read not only about Hitler’s cocaine habit but about a man who survived both nuclear bombs on Japan and lived into his 90s. There’s an entertaining bit about a Japanese soldier who didn’t surrender from World War II until 1974; if you’re old enough, it will immediately bring to mind a “Gilligan’s Island” episode where the castaways find a similar soldier. If there’s anything wrong with this book, it is that the material won’t likely stay with you long. From now on, when I think of brain candy, I’ll put this book at the top of that list. It’s a fun read. It’s something you should do just to enjoy the experience. At under six hours normal speed, you’ll blow through it like a hurricane through a Lego rendering of the U.S. Capitol. In short, it’s quick, it’s fun, it’s largely forgettable. But it’s also highly readable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    3.5 stars! On Wikipedia's front page there's a short section called "Did You Know". Every single day Wikipedia publishes small little tid-bids of information, fascinating stories about small people, polished little gems of history that you probably have never heard of. I feel like this book was a giant collection of "Did You Know" and that's not a particularly bad thing. The book is divided into small chapters each one containing a small little story revolving a 3.5 stars! On Wikipedia's front page there's a short section called "Did You Know". Every single day Wikipedia publishes small little tid-bids of information, fascinating stories about small people, polished little gems of history that you probably have never heard of. I feel like this book was a giant collection of "Did You Know" and that's not a particularly bad thing. The book is divided into small chapters each one containing a small little story revolving around a wide arrange of true historical facts: fascinating tales of heroism, gruesome deaths, unexplained disappearances and even cool facts and zoology. Some of them were more interesting and others less, but I guess that's a major of personal taste. As a whole most of the stories were interesting, yet un-relating to one another. The writing isn't breathtaking and some of the stories are quite known but the book still managed to peak my interst enough numerous times, enough at least to have me approach my computer and invastige further. Until Next Time!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cupcakes & Machetes

    Typos, typos, typos! I don't know that anyone bothered to edit this book. Other than that, my notes while reading included such gems as; Hitler farted like a mother fucker Drunk baker survives the Titanic Chinese eunuchs and pickled genitals Emperor of the United States So if those intrigue you, give this a shot. My only complaint is that a decent amount of the stories really aren't "unknown." For example, the plane that crashed in the Andes Mountains and the survivors that were forced to eat the flesh o Typos, typos, typos! I don't know that anyone bothered to edit this book. Other than that, my notes while reading included such gems as; Hitler farted like a mother fucker Drunk baker survives the Titanic Chinese eunuchs and pickled genitals Emperor of the United States So if those intrigue you, give this a shot. My only complaint is that a decent amount of the stories really aren't "unknown." For example, the plane that crashed in the Andes Mountains and the survivors that were forced to eat the flesh of the dead. There isn't a single person I know who doesn't know about that.

  18. 4 out of 5

    William

    Very good, read by the author A lot of the stories I new of before, because I raised in a different age of information exchange. - people would actually talk to one another exchanging info and telling stories - we read daily news papers, and magazines - at the cinema newsreels would be shown - in the classrooms teachers would pass on bits because they weren't always controlled by religious dogma or teachers union - history and relative current events were more popular than fantasy and sci-fi All that s Very good, read by the author A lot of the stories I new of before, because I raised in a different age of information exchange. - people would actually talk to one another exchanging info and telling stories - we read daily news papers, and magazines - at the cinema newsreels would be shown - in the classrooms teachers would pass on bits because they weren't always controlled by religious dogma or teachers union - history and relative current events were more popular than fantasy and sci-fi All that said above, you can still find some nuggets today by putting away your wi-fi device and pick up something like National Geographic magazine while your in a waiting room.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    The title makes this book sound fun, or at least charmingly quirky, but it's a huge downer. The Great Big Book of Horrible Things (which details the 100 worst man-made atrocities) is an informative and actively enjoyable read. This book is not. I felt ill for a long time after finishing it (and it is compulsively readable). It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The title makes this book sound fun, or at least charmingly quirky, but it's a huge downer. The Great Big Book of Horrible Things (which details the 100 worst man-made atrocities) is an informative and actively enjoyable read. This book is not. I felt ill for a long time after finishing it (and it is compulsively readable). It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chickens McShitterson

    It was okay. Mostly stories of the bizarre and macabre, but a bit shallow for my historical taste. A sacrifice of depth and analysis for high-interest sacrificed quality here. That said, there are some pretty interesting tidbits of little-known history throughout.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Highly sensationalized stories that may or may not be unknown based on how well-read the reader is.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Preethi

    Spotted the book in the display at Frankfurt airport (Sidenote - if an airport bookstall could be that good in it's content and variety, the city bookstores must be awesome! No wonder that country is doing so good, and has such smart people!) and was immediately interested, thanks to the interesting title. The book is a collection of strange anecdotes from the Sidenote of history and are narrated well. Spotted the book in the display at Frankfurt airport (Sidenote - if an airport bookstall could be that good in it's content and variety, the city bookstores must be awesome! No wonder that country is doing so good, and has such smart people!) and was immediately interested, thanks to the interesting title. The book is a collection of strange anecdotes from the Sidenote of history and are narrated well.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erik Pillon

    Some of the most beautiful short pieces of unknown history. I bought this book while waiting my flight at the airport for killing time and I haven't been able to stop. Really recommended for casual reading. Some of the most beautiful short pieces of unknown history. I bought this book while waiting my flight at the airport for killing time and I haven't been able to stop. Really recommended for casual reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sunny Flynn

    A series of naturally flowing short stories - reminds me of those 1-2 minute Facebook videos that pop up from time to time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Some of the chapters get fairly gruesome.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Drake

    A delightfully bewildering collection of bite sized obscure historical anecdotes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alison Clark

    Really enjoyed it! Some of the stories I knew already but I really enjoyed the short story nature of the book. It would be really easy to put down & come back to later. Or it can be a quick read; I read the whole book on a plane ride from Philly to Las Vegas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ian S.

    A charming selection of quaint historical oddities

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    A quirky, yet at times fascinating, book of short true stories from history. The stories range from Hitler's cocaine addiction later in WWII to the probable fate of the dodo bird and many other strange stories in-between. The audiobook was read by the author in a slightly cynical, yet amused, tone of voice. I enjoyed the book as a sort of short, refreshing diversion after reading a more serious book. A quirky, yet at times fascinating, book of short true stories from history. The stories range from Hitler's cocaine addiction later in WWII to the probable fate of the dodo bird and many other strange stories in-between. The audiobook was read by the author in a slightly cynical, yet amused, tone of voice. I enjoyed the book as a sort of short, refreshing diversion after reading a more serious book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    A collection of shock-pop histories. Lots of vignettes centering around famous escapes, cannibals, weird history and extreme survival stories. I wouldn't exactly call it history's "unknown chapters." Most if the stories are pretty famous already or well known. Charles Lindbergh's baby, Sada Abe, the drunk Titanic survivor...etc. Although there was a lot of very interesting information, some of the vignettes were rushed or incomplete. I found myself asking--well, what happened to that guy who was A collection of shock-pop histories. Lots of vignettes centering around famous escapes, cannibals, weird history and extreme survival stories. I wouldn't exactly call it history's "unknown chapters." Most if the stories are pretty famous already or well known. Charles Lindbergh's baby, Sada Abe, the drunk Titanic survivor...etc. Although there was a lot of very interesting information, some of the vignettes were rushed or incomplete. I found myself asking--well, what happened to that guy who was mentioned and then dropped out of the story? How did he live his life after that? Interesting, great title, but probably could have used a little more QC before publication. Good for those who like info snippets or scintillating (word of the day lol) stories to tell their buds over dinner. Just...maybe not a polite dinner.

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