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Download The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilizations Best Bits (Unabridged), by Steve Wiegand
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (668 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steve Wiegand Narrator: Johny Helle Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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About 60,000 years ago, the first Homo sapiens were just beginning their move across the grasslands and up the ladder of civilization. Everything since then, as they say, is history. Just in case you were sleeping in class that day, the geniuses at mental_floss magazine have put together a hilarious (and historically accurate) primer on everything you need to know---and that means the good stuff.

Twelve core chapters of world history tackle everything from civilization's baby steps in the Fertile Crescent to the Not-Really-That-Dark-Unless-You-Lived-in-Europe Ages to A World United by Terror and TV. From the Golden Haemorhoids of the Philistines (punishment from above) to the likely namesake of the cartoon elephant Babar (a Mongol prince) to the most pressing language translation issues facing the menus of today (carp vs. crap), all of history's most interesting bits have finally been handpicked and roasted to perfection. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Tim | 2/14/2014

    " Gaining and keeping the average reader's interest in history is a problem authors have faced for, well, probably most of history. One method is to try to liven things up with different takes or an unusual focus. That's the promise of The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp through Civilization's Best Bits . It's a promise not totally fulfilled.[return][return]The book approaches its subject like mental_floss magazine, trying to make gaining knowledge fun and accessible. Still, for the most part this 400+ page work is world history in a nutshell. In fact, each chapter starts with "In A Nutshell," a summary of the time period it covers[return][return]The 12 chapters use the same format throughout. The satellite's eye view of the nutshell is followed by a timeline of a dozen or so significant events. Additional detail is provided in four ensuing subsections. The first, "Spinning The Globe," takes a generally geographic approach to looking at countries, empires, peoples or events. The other three look at a variety of events, people and trends -- good, bad, silly or outrageous -- impacting subjects as wide ranging as food, weapons, religion, alcohol and sex. Each chapter concludes with statistical information relevant to the time period, such as average life expectancy, population or the length of time it took to build or the size of certain structures. Throughout, there are sidebars on various events, kingdoms or personalities as well as items of trivia. [return][return]The consistent style makes this a world history work in which one chapter is not necessarily dependent on having read a prior chapter and it is easy to find the quickest summary for a chapter's time period. Where the book falters, though, is in trying to live up to its subtitle.[return][return]Balance of review here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary | 2/12/2014

    " Hilarious! Informative! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mghorton | 2/12/2014

    " Excellent book. I took my time with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by April | 2/3/2014

    " I'm really getting into this book, but I'm thinking I prefer the History of the United States more, maybe just because it hits more close to home? ;) "

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About the Author

Steve Wiegand is a veteran journalist who has been writing for the Sacramento Bee since 1989. Prior to that, Wiegand was chief political writer for the San Diego Tribune for five years and a political writer and the Sacramento bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle for eight years. He is the author of Sacramento Tapestry and US History for Dummies and a contributing author to Forbidden Knowledge.