Book review: F*#k ups in history



A catalog of disasters.
  • A catalog of disasters.

First came Go the F*#k to Sleep. Now we have The Little Book of Big F*#k Ups: 220 of History's Most Regrettable Moments. Though not specifically for parents, it'll likely put you to sleep with a sheer sense of relief. That report you botched certainly isn't as bad as these epic failures.

Take John Frederick Parker, Lincoln's bodyguard the night he was assassinated in Ford's Theatre (Parker, apparently, was having a drink at a bar).

Or Kptlt. Karl-Adolf Schlitt, a U-boat commander during WWII, who did his business aboard a submarine and flushed the toilet. However, U-boats in those days didn't just flush, they flooded, if done so improperly. Schlitt's flooded charge was forced to surface, and unfortunately did so in the sight of a British Coastal Command aircraft, which bombed it.

Or Attila the Hun, (yup, that Attila). The iconic warrior suffered frequent nosebleeds throughout his life, but did so fatally when he passed out drunk on his wedding night and sprung a gusher, subsequently dying from choking on his own blood.

And there's so many more. This fatty little book is stuffed with every foolish move from Dan Quayle's spelling embarrassment to Janet Jackson's Nipplegate to Custer's Battle of the Little Bighorn (and, naturally, the big stuff like the Hindenburg and the Titanic).

I enjoyed it, even though the tone at times was a little bit merry for some of the tragedies. It borders on the realm of those slightly gross bathroom readers with trivia that you just can't put down, or those callous compilations of misery (see: Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious).

A few history buffs on Amazon also declare that it's not entirely accurate, or that most of these events are common knowledge. That's to be expected. But I do advise you to ingest F*#k Ups like anything on Wikipedia: Interesting, could use more research later.

Good enough for you, potty expert? Buy it here.

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