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...more
The Germans had come so close to winning the First World War they couldn't believe they didn't.
Communism lasted longer than fascism, jazz, John Wayne, Bonanza and the American Motor Corporation. ...more
Genul de enciclopedii scrise de un singur om nu ma atrag nicicum. Nu stiu de ce am ales, totusi, sa-mi pierd timpul cu volumul lui White. Poate ca de vina-s sarbatorile de iarna...
Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meu
Nu contează ce crede Pinker despre Marea carte a umanității și nici nu mă interes ...more
Makes y ...more
"Aside from morbid fascination, is there any reason to know the one hundred highest body counts of history? Four reasons come to mind:
"First, things that happen to a lot of people are usually more important than things that happen to only a few people....
"Second, killing a person is the most you can do to him....
"Therefore, just by default, my one hundred multicides had a maximum impact on an enormous number of people. Without too much debate, I can easily label these to be ...more
(Also: this is a whopper of a book, and while I don't often read eBooks, this one is helpful to have in this format; scrolling and searching is much easier).
Update: ended up writing a post on this topic here: http://thinkchristian.net/the-good-th...
When I first picked this book up I was under the misunderstanding that it would be a collection of the most depraved examples of man's inhumanity towards their fellow man (or woman). Rather than basing his countdown of the most inhumane acts based on perceived depravity, cruel ...more
"While fighting over land is quite common, the land in dispute usually provides some practical resource - minerals, crops, harbors, farms, strategic location, exploitable labor, or sheer size. Palestine has none of these. The sole resource of the Holy Land is heritage. There's no gold, no oil, very little fertile land, and few natives, nothing but sacred sites, so in essence, the Crusades killed 3 million people in a fight to control the tourist tra ...more
White sets out to chronicle the 100 worst atrocities in human history, comparing and analyzing the different types of multicides (a new word here) throughout human history and discussing their similarities and differences. He also theorized that, 200 years from now, historians may rank the first half of the ...more
White has a particular perspective: that the human cost of human actions should be quantified and studied thoroughly. This book uses a systematic approach to provide an overview of human events which does not ignore any of the ugliness in history. His use of a simple definition and exquisite sourcing give the reader quite a bit to digest - from the Punic wars to the Congolese civil war to the Three Kingdoms to the Atlantic sla ...more
Also, we've all heard of the Holocaust, Stalin, etc., but there were a lot of these genocides and massacres that I had never heard about before (Bengali Genocide, etc.), ...more
I really enjoyed this book. And it makes a great reference!
I quickly realized human suffering on a grand scale doesn't interest me. I'll stick to Cormac McCarthy for my fictionalized and personalized human suffering and violence, thank you.
Sometimes while I was reading I discovered something I already knew and sometimes I would learn about things that I never heard of, like the Sino-Dzungar war that took place in modern day Korea.
I read it cover to cover but I b ...more
ATROCITIES: THE 100 DEADLIEST EPISODES IN HUMAN HISTORY provides a blunt view at mankind’s destructive ways from the Second Persian War (480 BC) to the Second Congo War (2002). Between these two bookends are a multitude of wars, genocides, rebellions, crusades, revolts and general acts/missions of deadly cruelty that consumed hundreds of millions of lives. As astonishing as the sheer number of deaths are, even more astonishing is that author Matthew White only de ...more
Just looking at the Top Ten, I'm surprised by the following:
- Chinggis Khan killed 40,000,000 people, making him the 2nd worst thing to happen to humanity. That was in 1206, when the population of the world was around 400,000,000. So the guy killed 10% of the world... Compare that to 1st worst thing (WWII), which killed 66,000,000 people with ...more