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They Got It Wrong: History: All the Facts that Turned Out to be Myths
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They Got It Wrong: History: All the Facts that Turned Out to be Myths

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  16 reviews
They Got It Wrong: History exposes historical fallacies and explains how they came to be, as far back as the Roman Empire all the way up to World War II.

They Got It Wrong: History exposes historical fallacies around the globe from the Roman Empire to World War II. There are countless twisted, sanitized tales that have become entrenched in popular belief but are really now
Hardcover, 179 pages
Published March 21st 2013 by Reader's Digest (first published March 1st 2013)
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3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Amalia Gavea
Mar 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
A quick read, but not satisfactory at all. I don't know what the author was trying to do, actually. The premise looked interesting, but all the facts she claims to be myths are presented in a heavily vague manner, and without stating any proper evidence (and by that, I mean sources and quotes) that could verify that this was a myth and that was the truth. Amateur attempt and many suspicious hints of propaganda.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
If you know anything about any name or event in this book you would find it very useless. Good for five-year olds and for people who have absolutely no interest in history (why would they even read this then?).

Pedantic note: Facts do not turn into myths, the title should have been "They Got It Wrong: History: All the Myths Some Thought of as Facts" but hey, it's Reader's Digest.
Nicole Yovanoff
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Fun bits of information, but at times a bit of questionable American propaganda. Plus there was a little too much on the US history and not enough of anything else.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of an exercise to develop skepticism. Most of the history myths I already knew or had an idea about and this book helped me re-assess them. However, the most important thing about reading this book comes at the beginning where the author states (I'm paraphrasing here): "In a given major event, if you ask 10 to 20 people about what happened, you'll get 10 to 20 different stories."
I think this is the foundation of what our attitude towards history should be. I had a simila
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fact-dump
I find the Reader's Digest books fun, but extremely shallow and misguided. Maybe that's how they are supposed to be, but I don't like it too much. They Got it Wrong: History is an entertaining read to be sure, but suffers from many short-comings. One: many of the things they label "wrong" are not actually known to be completely wrong in the first place. Example, Christopher Columbus' expedition was not responsible for spreading syphilis. It says in the book that that is likely, but the idea may ...more
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scott Adams recommended I read this book as part of his reading list.

It was short and easy to read.

It was heavily US focused and I did take offence at some of the comments and the way the UK was portrayed.

The chapters different in their level of interest, but as a general overview it is useful to see:
1) people often believe things that aren't true
2) people appear to believe in what they want to believe in
3) some of the myths of history became myths decades and centuries after the event
4) despite
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Other than a few little factoids and grammar things that bugged me ("myriad" is a synonym of "many", and the U.S. has bison, not buffalo. These, as well as a couple other things, irritated me). Otherwise, the information was interesting and well-cited, I learned a few new things (which means most people will learn a lot of new things because I have a history degree, so shame on me if I don't know at least half of this info), and I liked the little vignettes. Also, and this sounds weird, but the ...more
Apr 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The book was a cute collection of some little known, some well known, inaccuracies in history. The information was clear, concise, and was presented in nice, short chapters. My biggest problem with this book is the way the citations are handled. There is a section in the back with a bibliography and a few citations worked into the paragraphs, but overall footnotes or parenthetical citations would have been better. Another weak fact was that Wikipedia was cited in the websites section. No one ove ...more
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Clever and cute idea. I'm thinking about having my daughters read it. It's written for a general audience, and while historians would likely roll their eyes at virtually every entry (because the myth-busting entries here are old news to them), it's not a bad read for non-historians. Harmless and kind of fun.

Linda Johnson
Sep 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
There were a couple of myths about which the section of the book as interesting, but most of the myths were things I either had not heard of or were so uninteresting that I almost stopped reading. There was even one where they stated the myth and then proceeded to write the story showing that the myth was true.
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
too general for my liking
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
It's a quick read, but as a non-American I didn't care for about half the myths, and even then I knew most of these facts, so I'm not sure why this book is/was necessary.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you've ever interrupted a conversation with the interjection "Um, actually..." and then proceed to correct someone's misinformed opinion, then this book is for you. (Not that I've ever been so gauche...)
Brittany Perry
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some of the facts they got wrong just needed elaborating and some were twisted up. I truly loved this book and found it highly entertaining. a great coffee table book.
Joseph Martinez
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