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New Reference Books: History's Worst Inventions and History's Worst Decisions

History's Worst InventionsEven some of the world’s greatest inventors have their bad days. History’s Worst Inventions introduces fifty of humanity’s most dangerous discoveries and dreadful gadgets, not to mention the occasional success that was born of failure.

Starting with Icarus’s ill-fated flight, author Eric Chaline takes you on a tour of humanity’s creativity, greed, stupidity and inventiveness. From the ancient discoveries of asbestos and tobacco, to such modern-day mistakes as the subprime mortgage, History’s Worst Inventions revisits such intriguing but luckless contraptions as the steam-powered car and the atmospheric railway.

About the author

A graduate of Cambridge University, Eric Chaline majored in Japanese History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London. He is conducting doctoral research in sociology at London’s South Bank University.

His previous publications include: The Book of Gods and Goddesses: A Visual Directory of Ancient and Modern Deities and Traveler’s Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece.

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History's Worst DecisionsHistory is a catalogue of errors, and History’s Worst Decisions shines a light on fifty of the biggest. Starting with Adam and Eve’s original blunder in eating the apple, author Stephen Weir takes you on a tour from the Trojan War to the Enron scandal, meeting such famous culprits as Cleopatra, Winston Churchill and Robert Mugabe along the way.

History’s Worst Decisions doesn’t just point the finger at individuals; the actions of governments and corporations are also placed under scrutiny. The underlying motivations – often sinister, sometimes naïve – that propelled those responsible to commit their mistakes are unveiled, as is the lasting impact that their decisions have had on the world that we live in today.

About the author

Stephen Weir is a writer and publisher who has worked with authors as diverse as the Australian novelist Patrick White – who won the Nobel Prize for Literature – the noted British military historian John Keegan and the billionaire George Soros.

Book details


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