Framing the Dialogue

Forbidden Knowledge: A Wickedly Smart Guide to History’s Naughtiest Bits

Think about a book full of facts that you neither care about nor gain much in the way of useful knowledge after having read it.  Like a “bathroom reader” for folks who have an interest in history.  Perhaps if you’re training for Jeopardy this book would help.  The subjects are so scattered and so little time is spent on any subject, that I found the book unenjoyable except for a few excerpts:

“The Day the Little Conemaugh Got Much Bigger Lake Conemaugh lies 14 miles up the Little Conemaugh River from the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. On May 31, 1889, the dam that held back the lake waters burst after two days of torrential rain. The results were devastating. A wall of water 60 feet high, moving at 40 mph, crashed down on the unsuspecting people of Johnstown, and the water and debris it carried all but flattened the entire town. In an utterly tragic twist, the town was downstream from a wire factory that was also flattened by the water. Many townspeople caught in the deluge got so entangled in barbed wire that they couldn’t escape. In the end, 2,209 people were killed, including 99 entire families. But Mother Nature was not wholly to blame for the tragedy. The Lake Conemaugh Dam was the property of the South Fork Fishing and Forestry Club, which had turned the area into a mountain retreat for the wealthy. However, the club had neglected proper maintenance on the dam. Despite its culpability, though, it was never held legally responsible.”

I’d skip this book…wish that I had!

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