Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: Unsolved Mysteries of History by Paul Aron

Buy from the Book Depository
Title: Unsolved Mysteries of History
Author: Paul Aron
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Paperback: 225 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
* Who built Stonehenge? * Why did the pharaohs build the pyramids? * Did Richard III kill the princes in the tower? * Could the Titanic have been saved? * Did Hitler murder his niece?  
-Praise for Unsolved Mysteries of History- 
"Like a sleuth, Aron pieces together the possible answers . . . It's an engaging way to learn more about history and the new evidence that sheds light on long-standing theories." --Daily Press  
"Aron has produced a fascinating and judicious description of historical mysteries from the Neanderthals to Gorbachev. His entertaining account of historical controversies will leave every reader the wiser about the past." --Jack F. Matlock Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union 
"With unerring good sense and in well-paced prose, Paul Aron solves as best he can the major who-done-its, did-it-happens, and did-it-have-to-happens of world history. Unsolved Mysteries of History should keep readers engaged well into the night."-- Adam Potkay, author, A Passion for Happiness

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

I'm a fan of historical mysteries, and with Stonehenge, the legend of King Arthur, the Easter Island statues, and a whole lot more, this book covers a lot in a short time.

I really like the format of Unsolved Mysteries of History. Aron gives a short description of each topic and then briefly goes into the findings of archaeologists and historians who have tried to explain or solve these mysteries. He keeps it objective, listing arguments for and against various theories of these popular mysteries. What I appreciated is that he doesn't try to solve these mysteries -- don't go into this book looking for concrete resolutions about whether or not King Arthur really existed. Instead, after giving a brief overview of the topic, he gives a list of works for further reading, if you're interested, and explains what each work is about.

This book is well-written, and each entry is relatively short. This means that if you're not so interested in the Easter Island statues, you can still read a few pages on them and learn something new. If you're really interested in Stonehenge, Aron gives you lists of works that will further your knowledge. It's a win-win! For those who are at all interested in historical mysteries, definitely check this book out.