The Rest Is History

The Rest Is History


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Peta's Review

In his magnum opus, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956-58), Winston Churchill assures his reader: “It is all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides.” Although he is referring specifically to the tales of King Arthur and his trusty knights of the Round Table, his words sum up perfectly the history so colourfully regaled by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook in their book, The Rest is History. Respected historians and authors of many of their own magnus opuses, Holland and Sandbrook uncover obscure historical moments, settling those burning questions we never knew we wanted answered. For example, was Arthur real? Who was the Prussian general who died while pirouetting in a pink tutu? Why did Churchill’s hair appointment nearly alter the course of English history? And of course, what did make Alfred great?

If you thought history was dull, then think again. Just as they do in their very successful podcast, Holland and Sandbrook provide us with history lessons we all wished we’d had at school. Even Churchill would have taken time out of his busy schedule to browse the pages of this highly entertaining read. At twenty-five the young Churchill’s CV was already impressive: an “MP, military hero, prominent war correspondent, and escaped prisoner of war.” In comparison, by the same age Rishi Sunak “was a junior analyst”, David Cameron was eyeing off a job at a communications company and Jeremy Corbyn “was wondering what to do with his abandoned degree in trade union studies.” And… it’s all true, or it ought to be; and more and better besides! A great book to have on your bedside table.

Publisher's Review 

Make room Herodotus, stand down Bede, pipe down Pepys there's a new history book in town.
From the chart-topping podcast The Rest is History, a whistle-stop tour through the past from Alexander the Great to Tolkien, the Wars of the Roses to Watergate. The nation's favourite historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook take on the most curious moments in history, answering the questions we didn't even think to ask-
- Did the Trojan War actually happen?
- What was the most disastrous party in history?
- Was Richard Nixon more like Caligula or Claudius?
- How did a hair appointment almost blow Churchill's cover?
- Why did the Nazis believe they were descended from Atlantis?
Whether it is sending historical figures to Casa Amor in a series of Love Island, ranking history's most famous eunuchs and pigeons (including Winkie, the unsung hero of the Second World War), or debating the meaning of greatness, there is nothing too big or too small for Tom and Dominic to unpick.
So run your Egyptian milk bath, strap up your best Spartan sandals, and prepare for a journey down the highways and byways of the human past. . .