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History's Greatest Lies

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  135 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The true stories behind historical events give readers a fascinating new look at our past. The revelations shock and amaze by exposing veiled motivations and convenient inaccuracies in well-documented actions by established leaders that often have a continuing effect on the world. Each of the fifteen chapters points out a myth that is held as a common truth in history and ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Fair Winds Press (MA)
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April Helms
Aug 31, 2014 April Helms rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
This is an entertaining read for history buffs (and perhaps for reluctant readers). Weir goes into several oft-repeated historic tales and exposes the lies- then tells the truth (or, in a couple cases, as close to the truth as we can know). For example, that story about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? Didn't happen (for starters, the fiddle didn't come into existence until more than a thousand years after Nero's death). Indeed, while Nero was no great emperor (in fact, he was probably the worst ...more
Dale Pearl
This turned out to be an interesting read but I question Mr. Weir's claims on a few of histories lies. John Dillinger wasn't killed in 1934. Really? First time I ever heard this one. The American brief war with the Philippines was a holy war? Again, first time hearing this one.

Though it was entertaining, I will add this one to my fiction collection. Some amazing artwork to go along with the stories in an effort to persuade the reader I will give him that.
Robert King
Mar 19, 2014 Robert King rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical readers
I really liked this book and thought it was a fairly good read. The book is about how some "truths" told to people by history textbooks, famous people, etc. were actually false or misinterpreted. The author covers a wide range of different time periods and topics including the Great Fire of Ancient Rome, the Horrors in the Bastille and the Shoot out at OK Corral (Earp Gang vs. the "Cowboys" Gang).
The author had a fairly good style and voice in the book, using a plethora of words and phrases, bu
...more
Steven Peterson
Jun 25, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an intriguing thesis: We have been led astray often by false views of history. This is boldly stated at the outset of the volume (Page 6): "History lies? Well, maybe sometimes it exaggerates, or oversimplifies. . .This book is a sampling of historical lies and myths--the evil and the innocent, those aimed to glorify the teller, and those used to demonize his opponents."

Perhaps the best way of proceeding is to mention some of the examples, and let readers of this review decide if t
...more
Micaela
Jan 28, 2016 Micaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book actually lives up to its title, exposing popular simplified historical stories as masking far more complex narratives. It is NOT alternative history: it presents well-researched summaries of the historical consensus for each topic. The point is that real history is a lot messier than the timelines we learn in school. This is an excellent point.
Richard M Cass
Dec 26, 2014 Richard M Cass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generates thoughts and broadens insight

Well sourced and written in a story telling fashion. Provides great insight into a few of history's great events. Though the book claims tell the truth that history books got wrong, the book provides poor analysis of the "so what" of these events that makes history important.
Rachael Lind
Jan 27, 2016 Rachael Lind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, brief history clearing up many of the most common myths in history. Though I knew about most already, it was interesting to hear about others. The language was simple yet sophisticated, easy to read, but it did not assume the reader was an idiot.
Bill&Sue
Jan 22, 2016 Bill&Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good stories in here! I learned some things and was happy to find that I he taught my history students correctly on several stories. Very enjoyable read
Khalid
Jul 19, 2010 Khalid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The revelations in the book shock and amaze by exposing veiled motivations and convenient inaccuracies in well-documented events by established leaders that often have a continuing affect on the world. Each chapter points out a lie that is held as a common truth in history, and summarises what we think we know. Then the author shreds the lie to academic ribbons using the latest findings on each subject. Each true story sets the record straight, revealing timeless ulterior motives, and introducin ...more
Karen
Sep 05, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
More accurate title: "A Few Historical Mis-Perceptions." Not as catchy, but definitely more accurate.
Kevinjwoods
The main problem with this is that the chapters and ideas chosen don't seem to be lies as such, Afghanistan can't be conquered isn't exactly a world famous lie, nor is the Goths are barbarians, and anybody believing the protocols of the elders of Zion isn't a lie are not going to be convinced ny this, sadly yet another set of random essays with very little connecting tissue.
Marjanne
Feb 09, 2010 Marjanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in history
This was an interesting read, though not a particularly enlightening one. I suppose I was lucky enough to get the more 'true' version of history when I was in school. I did enjoy this book and I think there is a whole lot of material that would fall under the underlying 'theme' of this book.
Roger Fernandez
May 11, 2013 Roger Fernandez is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Still reading it, on page 55, so far I've read about the Egyptian lies, Christians were always the scapegoats, since the great fire of 64 A.D. And there's not much nice to say about them throughout history, read e book, I'm sure I'll learn more true facts about History as I keep reading.
Brett Bydairk
Oct 21, 2013 Brett Bydairk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Provides the "real" story behind some of history's enduring myths, from ancient to recent. I use quotes around real because I think in some cases he doesn't provide enough backstory, but overall an enjoyable read, and a nice addition to my reference section.
Don
It was a interesting read. More of a bits a pieces book then one you would read straight through. It does examine some of history's myths and tries to set the record straight.
Nicole Yovanoff
It was very well done, but the title was a little misleading. They were not the 'greatest lies' in history, but many good ones. Found the Paul Revere section a little dry.
Masen Production
“A good read... meant for growing adults but I did not see why I must not read. Its insightful and capsulates history into concise narration. Loved it.”
Roberto
Fun if a little boring, but probably because I am not equally interested in all the areas it covers.
Steven
Sep 03, 2010 Steven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Rather boring full of history that is gathered from other places.
Nothing new here Move along.
Frank Taranto
Apr 11, 2010 Frank Taranto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I really didn't learn anything new from this book, but it was fun to read.
Peer Jones
Aug 29, 2012 Peer Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not finished reading, some interesting facts while browsing
Riversiobhan
Oct 16, 2010 Riversiobhan is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Everything you think you know is wrong ...
Shane Grier
Mar 24, 2011 Shane Grier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, interesting read.
Dianna
Mar 23, 2013 Dianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun!
Evan Park
Evan Park rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2016
Emma Roth
Emma Roth marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Dennisciputra
Dennisciputra rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2016
Veronica Hale
Veronica Hale marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2016
Rick
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Jan 27, 2016
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