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Wieso fließt der Nil bergauf? (Don't Know Much About)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  582 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Kenneth C. Davis, author of this popular series, tackles geography with wit, curiosity and knowledge. In doing so, he proves once and for all that there is a lot more to the subject than labeling countries on a map. Davis explains earthquakes, rain forests, Atlantis and whether there are canaries on the Canary Islands. From often amusing perceptions people have had through ...more
381 pages
Published (first published 1992)
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Written by a historian, this book is chock full of facts, trivia, and tidbits about history, geography, and science. It's an interesting read, especially if you enjoy learning about a wide range of social studies. While it's interesting, there is one major flaw: a lack of maps. Sure, there are a few maps thrown in, but they are historical maps (like, the first maps that were made) and not useful to a modern reader. This book is indexed comprehensively like it is designed to be a reference book, ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Jvtv rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people brushing up on Geography
Puts me to sleep sometimes but I'm learning things. Some of those things are interesting.

The book sprinkles excerpts from people in history. My favorite is by Neil Amrstrong the man on the moon:

"We were still thousands of miles away, but close enough, so that the Moon almost filled our circular window. It was eclipsing the Sun, from our position, and the corona of the Sun was visible around the limb of the Moon as a gigantic lens-shaped or saucer-shaped light, stretching out to several lunar d
This was just the book I was looking for. Geography is a science not just of place names and boundaries, but of politics and culture and environment and history. I learned tons about exploration and wars and colonization and weather and climate and more, all in bite-sized chunks that somehow managed to be very accessible without talking down to the reader. I never felt embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, and it opened my eyes to a number of subjects I never knew could be interesting. Definitely ...more
W. Derek Atkins
I read this book, and found much of the information interesting and fascinating. However, I found numerous factual errors, including the following:

1. Davis writes that Texas was annexed into the United States in 1836 - This actually occurred in December, 1845. (p. 116)
2. Davis writes that the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific was the site of the detonation of the first nuclear bomb in 1946 - The first nuclear bomb was actually detonated on July 16, 1945 in Almagordo, New Mexico. (p. 184)
3. In his list
read with my son for our geography course, it was a thorough trek thru history seen through the eyes of a real estate broker (location, location, location). where it was history we had already covered, it was great. but when it was more recent, and we didn't have the base knowledge, it was hard to grasp because - let's face it - geography without a framework is a boring list of never-heard-of places.

the book was published in the early 90's and it's a product of it's time - pushing an environment
Gordon Gravley
I know a lot more, now. Davis' books are perfect for all of us who were daydreaming or fell asleep in class.
Sep 17, 2013 Thomas rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
The actual geography information in this book is pretty good. My objections lie in the author's zealous anti-religious and pro-"global warming" propaganda. He speaks about people who have religious convictions as though they are poor morons who just don't know any better. Concerning so-called "global warming", he talks about it as though there was no real evidence to refute the unproven thesis that "global warming" is caused by "greenhouse gases" and that people are at fault. Throughout the book ...more
The author has issued a 2013 revised and expanded edition of this 1992 book for several reasons. One is of course that the geographical arrangement of the world has changed quite a bit in that time. A second is the dismal state of knowledge among Americans about geography generally. (For example, a study in 2006 of Americans aged 18 to 24 found that two-thirds cannot find Louisiana on a U.S. map and two in ten cannot even point to the Pacific Ocean on a world map.) Another is that he sees a need ...more
Audiobook. The author takes a very broad view to geography: it's basically a mix of what we typically think geography is (maps), along with geology, history, and politics. I learned a lot of random facts that I had no clue about, so it was worth listening to. The reader in the audiobook reads through some pretty big lists that I assume were inserts or appendices, but even those were kind of interesting, if a bit tedious.
See, the problem with buying lots of non-fiction books is that sometimes by the time you get around to reading them, some info is out of date. What could be out of date about geography, you ask? Well, recent anthropological discoveries, political changes which shape nations, scientific proof for theories which have been around forever, etc. My edition of this book was published (and purchased) in the mid-90s, so a few times I found myself saying, "That's not right anymore." But it's my own fault ...more
Good book, similar to "America's Hidden History". The author claims he's going to make Geography less dry for readers, but I don't think he really accomplishes that by discussing such things as ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greek, Persian, etc. societies. Certainly his tidbits are informational if you are already interested in Geography, but not enough to make the layman suddenly become a fan. I also thought his chapter on climate was too preachy. And I don't know if there's an updated edition, bu ...more

As someone else said, there are no modern maps in this book. Sort of strange, don't you think, in a book that purports to teach Geography. I myself am fascinated with maps and with all the things he was saying, I wanted to look on a map to see where the places he was talking about were, but since we hadn't unpacked any book with world maps (we had just moved), I wasn't able to do that. I would like to read the book again with an almanac next to me so I can check the maps.

It's also interesting
Dennis Hanks
Full of interesting tidbits. Liked the story of the obelisk, the well, and the circumference of the earth determined two thousand years ago (thereabouts). Recommend to all who have an interest in earth sciences, and beyond.
Christina Wiseman
Interesting info

The author gives much information I either never knew, or was too young to care about. A great read for plane trips!
Michelle Chan
A great mix of history and geography. This book has an interesting presentation that includes many interesting facts I have never known.
Andy Goodman
This is a great book for those like me who are looking to increase their geography knowledge for Jeopardy!
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Don't Know Much About Geography was a book assignment for one of my high-school kids. I obediently bought a copy for him. I read the cover and decided I wanted to read it after he was done. I don't think he ever opened the book, but I just did.
Good points: the famous people quotes. The state name appendix. The comparative measures appendix (wish it had been longer.)
Bad points: face it--it's boring.
Full review:
Intriguing. A very truncated review of history as it is affected by geography and vice versa.
I tried listening on books on tape, normally different voices help but it made it too hard for me to follow..
Educational listen.
Kyle F.
Not knowing much about the book prior to reading, I was expecting something more in the style of "A Brief History of Everything." The style was accessible but a bit too choppy, never quite digging into the depth I wanted, and glossing over certain facets of topics with which I already had some familiarity. The prose was written with a pop flavor that sometimes was too cloying for my taste; the phrase "science heaven" was my final straw with the book. The style may suit some readers, but it just ...more
Mar 09, 2009 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: 12-30-08
Shelves: own
Although this book was published in 1992, it still has much merit today. Concise, amusing and user-friendly. Mr. Davis even covers questions not commonly thought of as "geography" like "Was there really a big bang?" (At least I wouldn't classify that as geography.) Each chapter ends with a timeline (e.g. 1803 the Louisiana Purchase). A good read for a brush up or an introduction - many countries have changed names or borders since I last studied geography.
I own the original 1992 edition.
Another good attempt by Davis to bring people up to speed on something we could all stand to know more about. There is good coverage of some of the history that goes into creating boundaries, and explanations of different geographical terms. I was a little disappointed with the lack of maps, but they would have already changed quite a bit from the time of publication, and I think the author knew that.
Lots of interesting information, but not well suited to CD format as there are lists and question and answers that are more easily read. This is an older edition and so of the material has been updated. (ie Pluto isn't a planet and leadership of some of the countries has changed.) It made me want to read more geography books and was a nice overview of the various branches of geography as well.
Sep 28, 2011 Angela marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So this book looks like it should be a fun way to learn some geography, but alas it just another boring text book. I tried reading some of the answers to questions after I realized I was going to be bored just reading through it, and even the answer to "Was there an Atlantis?" was boring. so, apparently I will just have to rely on the History and Nat Geo channels for my geography.
Jun 06, 2010 Nick rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For tthose with an interest in general world geography and some history.
Recommended to Nick by: Saw it in the library
Found it to be enjoyable reading but was more of a primer. Learned very little. I do enjoy historical trivia but, "Who swallowed the Sandwich Islands"? Kenneth Davis could do better.
Like I said it is a primer of worldwide general geography and history.
I'll give it two stars in order to encourage others to read about geography.
Clear writing and engaging. Only giving it three stars because I felt the last two chapters (out of six) were overly pushy (the one on global warming, but in Davis' defense this was published in like 1991) and unnecessary (the astronomy chapter, which was a little silly in a book about geography).
Fascinating! I knew some of the information in this book - courtsey of my geography minor, but some was new.

However, it was published almost twenty years ago, so some of the information was out of date. Still, good for anyone who is curious about geography - reccomended reading for everyone.
Along with being very educational, this book, like all of Mr. Davis' I have read, is also very entertaining! Even though I was a good student in school I was always a bit geography-challenged. As this book is titled, it is everything I need to know about the world but never learned!
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Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Don't Know Much About series of books and audios for adults and children. The first title in the series, Don't Know Much About History became a New York Times bestseller in 1991 and remained on the paperback list for 35 consecutive weeks. It has since been revised several times and now has more than 1.6 million copies in print.

He is
More about Kenneth C. Davis...

Other Books in the Series

Don't Know Much About (8 books)
  • Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much About the Universe: Everything You Need to Know About Outer Space but Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned
  • Don't Know Much About Anything: Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More!
  • Don't Know Much About Anything Else: Even More Things You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More!
Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation Don't Know Much About the Civil War: Everything You Need to Know About America's Greatest Conflict but Never Learned

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“Memorizing information is valuable but only if you're able to make some sense of the information and put it into a useful context. Isn't it much better if we can attach something tangible to that information?” 3 likes
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