Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Most Evil Men and Women in History

Over vacation, I took a trip to California and happened upon a book in the house that we had rented amidst the redwoods.  I would qualify this book as "pop history;" in other words, a historical book which can be read rather easily and without too much depth.  Since I have also been slowly making my way through Winston Churchill's epic multi-book description of WWII, I thought something light but dorky would be a good move, and I was not disappointed.

The book is called "The Most Evil Men and Women in History," by Miranda Twiss.  If you are at all curious who made the list, the book discussed the following in small, very readable vignettes:

Caligula, Nero, Attila the Hun, King John, Torquemada, Vlad Dracula, Francisco Pizarro, Bloody Mary, Ivan the Terrible, Elizabeth Bathory, Rasputin, Jozef Stalin,  Adolf Hitler,  Ilse Koch, Pol Pot, Idi Amin.

While this list is certainly debatable (no Genghis Khan! no Dr. Mengele!  no Justin Bieber!  ), I still enjoyed learning little tidbits about some of the most abhorrent individuals to ever walk this Earth.  Of all the many terrible things these individuals did, I was particularly disgusted by the work of Ivan the Terrible and Elizabeth Bathory (mostly because I was already quite aware of how awful the other characters were).  Bathory topped the list for most creative and disgusting form of torture when she had some poor sod sewn into the body of a freshly killed horse while still breathing!  The other stories were pretty bizarre and unbelievable too.

Perhaps this book isn't the best first entry from me for the January Wellness initiative, but hey... it is what it is.  If you are looking to be entertained, read about history, and zone out to a totally non-committal type book, this could be the one.  After all, it is currently on sale used on Amazon for the whopping price of (insert drum roll)... 1 cent!  " Holy capitalism, Batman!"

Tim Seymour

No comments:

Post a Comment