Saturday, 7 January 2012

O'Farrell, John "An Utterly Impartial History of Britain"

O'Farrell, John "An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2,000 Years of Upper Calls Idiots in Charge" - 2007

I haven't laughed and learned as much in one book as with this one. I read "Things can only get better" by the same author and really liked it. But this is a completely different matter. John O'Farrell makes history hilarious. I learned so much about British history, more than any of my history teachers would have ever imagined for me. From the Romans to World War II, the British Isles have been the place of many upheavals. To learn about all this in such a funny way, pure bliss.

A quote I especially liked: "… history is an infinite flow chart and at every junction only one of a number of possible routes was taken. The exact point at which Britain and Europe and the world have ended up today is only one of a billion, billion possibilities; the incredibly unlikely result of every decision, struggle and accident to have involved all the people who were born before we were. …" Probably the reason why I like alternate history books so much.

Another one I cannot agree with: "Germany was allied to Austria (They still always give each other maximum points in the Eurovision Song Contest) …" Uhm, …. not really, there is a standing joke that Austria gives Germany "zero points" (imagine French accent) every year. ;-)

Definitely want to read the follow-up to this great book: "An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain: or Sixty Years of Making the Same Stupid Mistakes as Always"

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