The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities

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9780393081923: The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities

A compulsively readable and utterly original account of world history―from an atrocitologist’s point of view.

Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White's epic examination of history's one hundred most violent events, or, in White's piquant phrasing, "the numbers that people want to argue about." Reaching back to 480 BCE's second Persian War, White moves chronologically through history to this century's war in the Congo and devotes chapters to each event, where he surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories. With the eye of a seasoned statistician, White assigns each entry a ranking based on body count, and in doing so he gives voice to the suffering of ordinary people that, inexorably, has defined every historical epoch. By turns droll, insightful, matter-of-fact, and ultimately sympathetic to those who died, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things gives readers a chance to reach their own conclusions while offering a stark reminder of the darkness of the human heart. 20 black-and-white illustrations and 4 maps

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About the Author:

Matthew White is the creator of the online Historical Atlas of the 20th Century. His data has been cited by forty-five published books and eighty scholarly articles. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Review:

“Genius.”
- NPR

“[White] doesn’t take sides so much as report the facts―and the death tolls. . . . Full of fascinating information about parts of the world little-known to most Westerners.”
- Washington Post

“White . . . gives voice to the suffering of ordinary people that, inexorably, has defined every historical epoch.”
- Military Review

“A fascinating read thanks to White’s keen grasp of history and his wry take on the villains of the past.”
- Christian Science Monitor

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Norton. 1 Cloth(s), 2012. hard. Book Condition: New. Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White's compulsively readable and utterly original account, an epic examination of history's one hundred most violent man-made events, ranked by deaths—or, in White's piquant phrasing, "the numbers that people want to argue about." Also the creator of the online Historical Atlas of the 20th Century, White reaches back to 480 BC's second Persian War and moves chronologically through history to this century's war in the Congo with a chapter for each event, providing hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories. 669. Bookseller Inventory # 61178

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Book Description Norton, 2012. Book Condition: New. Was the 20th century really the most violent? Have religions or tyrants, capitalism or communism, caused the most suffering? Meticulously researched yet suffused with dark hilarity, this sobering chronicle spans two millennia of human conflict and 100 of its worst atrocities, from Alexander the Great to Saddam Hussein. Built from startling facts and appalling statistics, it starkly illustrates Gibbon's assertion that history is 'little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind'. Bookseller Inventory # 223205

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