The Pessimist's Guide to History: An Irresistible Compendium of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres, and Mayhem - from 14 Billion Years Ago to 2007

The Pessimist's Guide to History: An Irresistible Compendium of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres, and Mayhem - from 14 Billion Years Ago to 2007

Doris Flexner, Stuart Berg Flexner


The vintage irreverent examine the past—now up-to-date with much more appalling evidence!

Fourteen billion or so years in the past, the large Bang exploded—and it's been downhill from there. for each excellent discovery all through heritage, there were 1000's of devastating epidemics; for each benevolent despot, one thousand like Vlad the Impaler; for each cup half-full, a bigger cup half-empty. This mesmerizing, enlightening, and devilishly wonderful chronicle of mess ups and dastardly deeds brings to mild the darkest occasions in historical past and the main abysmal calamities to strike the planet . . . to this point.

88 BC: Mithridates VI Eupator offers an early instance of genocide via massacring 100,000 Romans.

1347: Saint Vitus' Dance Epidemic shimmies throughout Europe like a dangerous disco fever, leaving its sufferers twitching, uncontrollably jumping, and foaming on the mouth.

1888: Jack the Ripper stalks during the darkish alleys of Whitechapel, England, turning the world's oldest occupation into the world's most deadly one.

1939: A Swiss chemist wins a Nobel Prize for constructing DDT—and the surroundings will get one other nail within the coffin.

2005: storm Katrina devastates the Gulf Coast. In a vintage double whammy, the govt. reaction additionally devastates the Gulf Coast.

and masses, even more!

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