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On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down (Paperback)
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The hilarious, irreverent guide to world history you never knew you needed, featuring 366 profanity-filled tales of triumph and terror, science and stupidity, courage and cowardice
Those who cannot remember the past . . . need a history teacher who says “f*ck” a lot.
Nazis are bad. The worst kind of bad. There are no very fine people among them. If you disagree, you won’t like this book.
Still here? Cool. You are about to receive an education unlike any you’ve previously experienced. In this uproarious and informative tour from ancient times to the modern day and everything in between, James Fell, the self-proclaimed “sweary historian,” reveals a past replete with deeds both noble and despicable. Throughout the book, he provides insightful analysis of all the sh!t that went down. Behold!
• In 1927, actress Mae West was sent to jail for “corrupting the morals of youth” with her first Broadway play, titled Sex. She served the time and followed up with a play about homosexuality.
• In 1419, church reformers in Prague, vexed over their leader having been burned at the stake, defenestrated city leaders from a high window. They died, because those kinds of Czechs don’t bounce.
• If you were in the province of Shaanxi in China on January 23, 1556, then it sucked to be you. It wasn’t the biggest earthquake ever, but it was the deadliest day in history.
• In 362 B.C.E., a battle between Greek city states debilitated both sides, making the region ripe for conquering by Phillip of Macedon—aka Alex the Great’s dad—and spelling the end of Greek democracy.
• In 1343, the husband of noblewoman Jeanne de Clisson was unjustly executed by the king of France. Furious, Jeanne became a pirate, selling all her possessions to fund a fleet and exact revenge.
• During World War II, three Dutch teens used their beauty to lure Nazis into the forest with the promise of a good time, then out came the guns and BLAM! They sent them off to Nazi hell.
If reading history doesn’t make you want to swear like a mom with a red-wine hangover walking barefoot through a LEGO-filled living room, then you’re not reading the right history. Across the ages, over 100 billion humans have lived and died. Some were motivated by greed, others by generosity. Many dedicated themselves to the art of killing, while others were focused on curing. There have been grave mistakes, and moments of greatness. And that is why . . . sh!t happens. Every day.
About the Author
James Fell holds a master’s degree in history and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Time, NPR, The Guardian, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health. The author of four books, Fell continues to post sweary history stories on Facebook, reaching several million readers each month, and is one of the most popular writers on Substack.