"Twisted History" brings to life the incredible stories of 32 historical figures -- murderers, assassins and traitors who embraced the dark side, and martyrs and innocents who paid with their lives in the pursuit of good. All changed world history.Read more...
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"Twisted History" brings to life the incredible stories of 32 historical figures -- murderers, assassins and traitors who embraced the dark side, and martyrs and innocents who paid with their lives in the pursuit of good. All changed world history.
The book is lavishly illustrated with stunning illustrations and period photographs. Accessible text and fact boxes describe evil and angelic acts across the centuries, like Judas, whose name would come to define betrayal, Joan of Arc, victorious virgin soldier and patron saint of France, and Rene Goupil, tortured and martyred by Native Americans, who became the first American saint.
"Twisted History" puts readers face to face with vile villains and true heroes. They include:
William Wallace, the Scottish hero who was hanged, drawn and quartered by the English for high treason (c.1270-1305)
Vlad the Impaler, who enjoyed torturing and impaling his victims (1431-76)
Bernie Madoff (1938- ), architect of the biggest financial scam in history, a $65-billion Ponzi scheme that shattered banks, insurance companies and private investors
Kazuo Taoka, boss of the most powerful and merciless Japanese yakuza gang (1913-81).
"Twisted History" is an engaging, informative and gripping read for all teen and adult readers.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-30
- Reviewer: Staff
History isn't pretty, but Watson (Secrets & Lies: Elite Fighting Units) makes the case for it being downright gory. The past holds traitors, murderers, thieves, and gangsters with stories written in blood, bones, money, and immorality. Watson recounts the deeds of infamous villains such as the Roman emperor Nero and the legendary pirate Blackbeard, and introduces lesser-known evildoers such as Stalin's hitman, Lavrentiy Beria, and Indian serial killer Thug Behram. A few heroes such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and René Goupil are also featured, with emphasis on the ways they were victimized by others. Despite the brevity of this survey, Watson paints nuanced portraits of some of history's scoundrels. He acknowledges that some, such as Julius Caesar's betrayer, Brutus, may have had noble motives. Others have been blamed for more than they actually did. Watson doesn't excuse wrongdoing but attempts to present history as accurately as possible, including the places where good and evil collide. The text is cleanly written and supported by extensive photos, sidebars, and clever graphics. These true tales of terror are grimmer than fiction and not for the faint of heart. (Feb.)