Monday, June 11, 2012
Death by Petticoat
Death by Petticoat by Mary Miley Theobald
Andrew McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2012
Non-fiction; American History
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love the idea for this book-it is right up my alley as a history major who specialized in US history. I love collections of truths and myths that break them down in easy-to-read ways and this looked like the perfect quick read for me.
And it was a quick read. Each entry is only about one page and includes a picture to further illustrate the point. The writing was easy to read and due to the shortness, you can very quickly read this book. I think it would be fun to pick it up and read an entry or two at a time. It looks like a nice book to support The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and its missions of preservation and education.
However I ended up being disappointed on a few counts. First the focus is mostly on colonial times (which is forecast by the collaboration with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation but which I didn't notice). I thought it would cover a longer period of time and be more mixed. But most of the myths come from colonial times with just a few from later days. Second was the myths themselves, most of which I had never even heard of-two separate mentions of room taxes as a for example. I guess these are questions that tourists ask when visiting Colonial Williamsburg, which makes me very worried for our school system if in fact American-educated people are thinking these things are true. My expectations were that I would have at least heard of the myths even if I knew they were false from my more specialized studying.
Overall: Good for some light reading but not recommended for history scholars.