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You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters

Sort order. Sep 18, Jason rated it it was ok. So this is one of those books you'd probably never read on an airplane, but it makes for great toilet perusal.


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It's more or less a series of 3 to 5 page overviews of some of history's great foul-ups, missteps, and general bunglings, from the Trojan War to new Coke. View 1 comment. Apr 19, P Dreadful rated it liked it Shelves: historical-humour. It was not as funny as I had hoped it would be. Nevertheless, it is a well-researched piece and is extremely informative. For instance, it took more than 40 seconds for Titanic's crew to steer its starboard side away from the iceberg because it was cruising at a speed of 21 knots. In another instance, it was Thomas Austin's desire to hunt rabbits that gave rise to the Australian rabbit disaster.

Moreover, the topics selected were quite diverse - from Trojan horse to Idi Amin's rule - it covers p It was not as funny as I had hoped it would be. Moreover, the topics selected were quite diverse - from Trojan horse to Idi Amin's rule - it covers pretty much all the great follies in between. Jun 27, Greg rated it it was ok Shelves: historical. As with many books of this type, the spice is in the title, not the content. There really wasn't anything that was shocking, surprising, or really interesting for that matter, in this book.

Each piece was rather short, just a couple of pages, and was jammed with so many details and names that the main point was lost. Many of the stories probably could have been a book of their own at least a hefty chapter. If there had been more focus in each piece, the book might have been better, but as it i As with many books of this type, the spice is in the title, not the content.

If there had been more focus in each piece, the book might have been better, but as it is, I would not recommend this title. Jan 31, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: history. This is a fun book, even though it's not really new. It plots some of the great errors in history, from the Trojan Horse to New Coke, occasionally meditating on the effects of those errors.

For example, was the Russian Revolution given an assist by a young Winston Churchill? And why on Earth didn't Nixon burn the tapes? The chapters are short, and most of the stories are familiar, from William Harrison's rej Ahhh The chapters are short, and most of the stories are familiar, from William Harrison's rejection of a topcoat to the careless captaining of the Titanic. Nov 27, Dj rated it really liked it. An interesting look at things that have gone wrong throughout history. The Editor picks some really choice examples of things just going wrong due to poor decisions. There are some obvious ones of course.

Like the Titanic. But there are others that are much more insightful. Like Napoleon's choice of who he left in command of Paris and who he took to Waterloo. Some of the stuff in this book is probably something that is known by the reader, but since it has so much to offer there is sure to be so An interesting look at things that have gone wrong throughout history.

Some of the stuff in this book is probably something that is known by the reader, but since it has so much to offer there is sure to be something that is new. Maybe not eye opening, but new. A nice change of pace book. Meh, this book tried to be quirky and fun but it wasn't anything special. Most of the stories and events described in the book weren't that interesting and the writing whasn't that funny but rather messy. Jan 02, Dave rated it really liked it. A good book in this line of things, some tales I already knew but a lot unknow to me.

You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters by Bill Fawcett. | eBay

I would recommend this book. Jun 28, Sharon rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction.

This book is kind of a mixed bag. Most sections are by different authors, some more entertaining than others. I found I already knew a fair amount of the anecdotes from high school history courses. I was pretty disappointed in the "Africa" section. While most other stories were presented regardless of what country they took place in, Africa - a continent - was presented as one single entity with various weird stories mostly from the 20th century.

I felt like there were some of those passages that This book is kind of a mixed bag. I felt like there were some of those passages that merited their own sections and at least the same treatment as a story from Europe or America. It semmed kind of belittling. May 06, Martin Willoughby rated it liked it. If you don't know much history this is good.

If you do, it's a very quick read. Jul 05, David Sarkies rated it it was ok Recommends it for: People who like these books.

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Shelves: history. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine 5 July I used to really like these type of books but you end up getting to a point where accounts of people's stupidity simply cease to be a laughing matter. Mind you, one review of this book almost read like it was an advertisement — who would have thought history could be so funny? I guess the reason is that since the world can be such a harsh mistress at times that you have to take it in one of two ways: deadly serious and become overwhelmed by the Sometimes laughter is the best medicine 5 July I used to really like these type of books but you end up getting to a point where accounts of people's stupidity simply cease to be a laughing matter.

I guess the reason is that since the world can be such a harsh mistress at times that you have to take it in one of two ways: deadly serious and become overwhelmed by the horror of the situation and the powerlessness that you have to change it and end up driveing yourself mad; do the Monty Python thing and 'always look on the bright side of life'.

However, I guess there is a point where we need to stop laughing and actually take a stand. The whole concept of not being able to solve all of the world's problems is a true, but then sometimes even the minor things that you can do have an enormous impact upon people's lives. You may not be able to solve all of the world's problems, but you can at least do a little thing for somebody, or even a series of little things, which can in the long run make the world a better place in which to live.

Laughter is a good thing; in fact laughter is a very good thing. Somebody recently wrote on Facebook 'if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a smile is worth a thousand tears'. Sometimes that little smile that you give somebody, or that simple 'hello' and be the thing that changes somebody's day. All somebody having a bad day needs is for something to go right for them, just once, and it can change that person's day. Sometimes you are the person who can give that smile, or say hello. Sometimes all we need to do is to stand still and look around to realise that maybe the world is not as bad a place as it really is.

We don't need to go on a Rambo like rampage through the halls of a tyrant that is oppressing their people to change the world for the better, rather we simply need to stop and say hello to that lonely person. Dec 27, Cindy rated it it was ok Shelves: , non-fiction , history. This was a collection of really bad decisions.


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  • Some were more fun to read than others. There were a couple in there that were too long and didn't seem to fit the rest of the stories. And it was fun to get to a few things that I actually remembered. Nothing deep and meaningful, but a mostly fun collection. Sep 29, Jennifer rated it really liked it.

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    Very funny take on stupid things people in history have done. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. May not post to Germany - Read item description or contact seller for postage options. See details. Item location:. Gloucester, United Kingdom.

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