What I Think Happened: An Underresearched History of the Western World

We rated this book:


History is a big subject. It’s impossibly huge, complicated, and often boring, filled with dates and people and events you have to memorize to understand why things happened (only to find out later that they happened for different reasons or in other ways), and everything is just super-involved.

That’s how schools teach history.

Evany Rosen suggests another way to learn history: through the medium of poorly-researched pieces written by a history student who didn’t pay enough attention.

What I Think Happened is a funny take on the common history book, exploring particular moments and historical figures, but in her own curious, not-always-correct way.

Although the end goal is humor, the book itself concludes in a wonderfully heartfelt fashion as she explains that the real path education-wise going forward should be about personalizing history and teaching it in such a way as to create a lifelong interest in the subject.

Some of the jokes are hit-or-miss, but Evany shines at one point with a brilliantly terse takedown of the “slavery wasn’t the reason for the Civil War!” argument by citing, of all things, The Great Gatsby.

What I Think Happened is a good time, even if it’s not always a sidesplitting one.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.

Reviewed By:

Author Evany Rosen
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 204 pages
Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-10
ISBN 9781551526959
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2017
Category Humor-Nonfiction


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