When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank: History’s Unknown Chapters
History is full of little known or unknown episodes that nevertheless deserve to be told. This book collects fifty of these dramatic episodes, ranging from the time when Churchill encouraged a biological weapons test (leaving an island uninhabitable for decades) to the poisoning death of Joseph Stalin to the finding of Otzi, the Ice Man. There was the time when London was duped by imagined riches from the South Sea Company and when a secret Nazi program was run to breed children for Hitler. The title might seem to imply that this would be a humorous collection of little-known history tidbits, but in fact it is deadly serious. And, although many of the vignettes are disturbing and/or tragic, as episodes in history frequently are, it is a gripping read and very enjoyable. It features great writing and stories told with force and drama and broad interest. Although it is impossible to find a unifying theme for the whole of the set, the stories are well-chosen and all are engrossing. Each is only a couple pages long, and it is easy to pick up for just a quick minute when you want to dip into a unknown corner of history.
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