Ronald Wise's Reviews > Citadels of Mystery

Citadels of Mystery by L. Sprague de Camp
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 09 to 13, 2014

I thought I had first read this book soon after buying it in 1973, but now I’m not so sure. This reading was so informative and actually exciting at times. Perhaps the earlier reading proved tedious because I didn’t then have Wikimapia by which to travel virtually to the sites described, or Wikipedia by which to calibrate the authors’ claims to the current status in solving each of these mysteries.

The big surprise, however, was in discovering that this book reeked with scientific and historical integrity. I expected confirmation of a youthful naiveté that originally drew me to this book – that it would contain story after story of the fantastically unexplainable, narrated to my mind’s ear by that voice I’ve learned to cringe at on those innumerable “science” and “history” shows on certain cable television networks. To the contrary, Sprague & Catherine de Camp used this book to demonstrate how adventurers and charlatans mix well by their historical summaries of discovery and sensation, before taking care of the main business of presenting clearly and discussing the known facts and the problems with each hypothesis.

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05/22/2014 marked as: currently-reading
06/14/2014 marked as: read
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