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After the Fact: The Surprising Fates of American History's Heroes, Villains, and Supporting Characters
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After the Fact: The Surprising Fates of American History's Heroes, Villains, and Supporting Characters

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  23 reviews
This book picks up where traditional histories leave off. Where Are They Now? meets History 101. Lingering on the scene long after the smoke has cleared and the spotlights have moved on, it uncovers the telling details of history's most compelling subplots.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Perigee Trade
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As non-fiction goes, this is high on the "light and fluffy" end. If you know me at all, you know I prefer the less-dense, more-accessible style of non-fiction, but this one was a little on the light side for me. Also, I was a bit skeptical after the first two chapters because they covered a lot of material that I already knew. I'd picked up this book hoping to learn new stuff.

Fortunately, I kept reading and after those first two chapters, I started learning a lot of stuff. Hurd's writing is very...more
*I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads!*

I was excited for this book from the moment I read about it! As the title implies, this book takes you through what happened to some of America's well known heroes, villains, and supporting characters after the events that made them part of our history. I am a history buff, so this concept was fascinating to me.

I found the whole book incredibly informative and thoroughly entertaining. I loved the format and Hurd's writing style. In th...more
In the introduction to this book the author states "We're all familiar with the momentous events in our nation's history... But what about the lives lived after the fact?" That is the whole premise of this thoroughly enjoyable non-fiction offering. The author explains what happened in the lives of some of the most famous, or infamous, people in our nation's history AFTER the event that made them famous.

For example, what happened to Paul Revere after he warned those in Concord that British troops...more

*I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads*

This was a quick read and was pretty interesting. It was quite fun to learn about the parts of history that people often leave out, forget, and just do not ever discover. I am a history buff, so these stories were quite fascinating and often surprising. Some of the sections were very fun, very interesting and quite entertaining. My favorites were the sections on Watergate and WWII.

The organization of the book is chronological, which is...more
This was an interesting read about what happened before and after some famous moments in history. It was an easy book to dip into here and there since it was written episodically. Some of the time periods/themes of each chapter weren't as interesting to me, but I really enjoyed the fact each section ended with some final bullet points ("Loose Ends"). There were some topics that I wanted to know more about, but the author included an amazing list of references at the end so I could easily go read...more
Full disclosure, I received this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.

The concept is a simple one: Take famous people and stories and explain what happened after the event that made them/it famous. The author accomplishes this well, if a bit simplistically, giving the rest of the story for people like James Cook, Paul Revere, Wyatt Earp, and Lou Gehrig.

It's a good light read, perfect for someone with a passing interest in history, though not necessarily for history buffs as everything is k...more
I really enjoyed this book! If you are looking for a David McCullough type book, this one isn't for you. If you enjoy reading about history that is easy to understand and has some good shock factor and humor, then this book is perfect. I really had to bit my tongue to not spout off interesting things I learned in this book to everyone around me while I was reading it.

There are so many historical characters out there- I hope another book is in the works!
Joni Haws
Interesting and succinct enough that it wasn't a chore. Very nice writing, too, for non-fiction. It's interesting to see some of America's most recognized events within the framework of the lives of those who lived them. Did you know that Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame killed himself? Or that Abraham Lincoln's wife was an obsessive compulsive shopper? This book also confirmed my previous opinion that Christopher Columbus was a jerk.
This is an interesting non-fiction account of what happened to many famous figures in American History after their 15 minutes of fame. The account goes from the American Revolutionary War to the Nixon administration. It's a pretty good review of several common knowledge moments in American history and was also instructive as a vocabulary builder for me!
Totally loved it: excellent subject matter, good lightweight book, nice typeface and layout.

The only thing I didn't like was the dedication:

To Geralyn,
Who walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies

This was famously written by Lord Byron who was given NO credit for it--at all.
This was an easy read but fun to discover "the rest of the story." Many of the news makers in history really had the spotlight for a brief moment. We tend to view their lives as a whole by those headlines. This book gives condensed but interesting information about how histories characters filled the rest of their time.
Linda Papka
Interesting info for sure. Not the best writing quality I've seen. At points I had to reread several times before I realized what was trying to be said. Wondering how they chose the people they did? Many of the "Loose Ends" were more interesting than the key figure in the chapter.
Very interesting! Lots of interesting historical tidbits about the famous and the infamous after they did the thing for which they are famous/infamous. Fun, quick read for people who are interested in American history.
Good, quick read with some fun information. There are a few inaccuracies (Robert E. Lee was NOT a Marine Corp Colonel), but for the most part a nice overview of folks throughout American history after they left the main stage.
I wanted to like it more than I did. The "big surprises" were mostly things I've seen before elsewhere. I did learn some new stories, but the wow factor just was missing.
Interesting. Some of the historical events had very interesting conclusions. Some I would have liked a little more detail, or perhaps less partisan reflections.

Who knew? From this book, I kearned that Evaline Ness, Caldecott medalist for Sam, Bangs and Moonshine, was Elliot Ness' 2nd wife!
Not as amazing as the author would have you believe. Some fun stuff but not many revelations.

Little snapshots of people and events in history and what happened 'after.'
Jonathan Frankel
Some interesting bits in here, some I knew, some were new. A nice light read.
Brilliant concept hampered by simple writing that made for a boring read.
Michael Ireland
I love these kind of books - he rest of the story....
Aug 21, 2012 Janet added it
Loved this read! Fascinating slants on history untold.
Mari Skyrin-Sarker
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A Chicago-area resident for thirty-eight years, I live in the Andersonville neighborhood with my wife and son.

I've always been interested in history and literature, making my living one way or another through the written word: as an editor for several book publishers, freelance writer for corporations and non-profit organizations, and most recently as an author.

I recently finished my second book...more
More about Owen J. Hurd...
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