Finally, the real history of Switzerland for clever kids and clever kids-at-heart: dukes slaughtered by filthy peasants, innocent "witches" hung up by their necks, buried gold, female mountaineers and, of course, all those murderous cows... Not the fake history of Heidi and William Tell, but Swisstory – from ancient mountain people right up to women's right to vote. Hilariously illustrated by bestselling Swiss artist Michael Meister, Swisstory is outrageous, fascinating, gruesome – and completely true.
This book is a great read for historians, non-historians, adults, children/teens and anyone with a sense of humour! It includes little known, quirky historical facts but for those of us who are not history buffs it is very entertaining, and it presents the history in bite-size and very readable chunks...and on top of that, it is extremely funny. Great and often hilarious activities and illustrations in between stop even the most "unhistorical" amongst us from getting bored. Great value for money and great stocking filler to please all ages.
I found this book to that rare combination of being both informative and entertaining. Even though I have lived in Switzerland many years I discovered a lot of history I wasn't aware of. The author sheds light on a lot of obscure and interesting subjects which kept me reading. History can sometimes be boring but the author has such a great sense of humor it made me laugh a few times along the way.
You don’t have to be interested in Swiss history to enjoy this book. It’s amazing for its wisdom and its illustrations. Its subtext is vast. It will influence your interpretation and understanding of all history, and perhaps bring about some small reduction in all the fighting. Swisstory is told with wry wisdom. The chapter headings will give you the flavour. Here are just two ‘From the Cave to the Celt’ and ‘Mercy, Please Mercenaries.’ Here’s one of Theurer’s sentences, ‘…Switzerland warmed up. Immense forests grew and the melting glaciers provided tons of lakeside properties.’ (p.9) Witty, pointed – and hardly surprising. Theurer is also a poet and a short story writer. There are chapters on Armed Neutrality, Napoleon, Witches—did you know that Siwtzerland won the witch-burning championships? There’s a chapter on Direct Democracy. Learn, Oh World. Learn, please. The illustrations by Michael Meister compliment the text and enrich it and turn it into an almost graphic work. They are marvellous too. Swisstory is the kind of perfect article that only the Swiss can produce – top quality in every way, a rolex of a book, no expense spared – well, ok, colour limited to red and black. It is a heavy book because the quality of the paper is so good. It is a special account of history that deserves its Rolls Royce vehicle. Laurie Theurer tells history as it is, no glamorising at all. History is war, fighting for freedom, fighting against oppressors, fighting. If you’re too late to give it for Christmas, don’t despair. 2020 is full of birthday opportunities. And it exists in both English and German.
I very much enjoyed reading this book (german version) and learned additional about our Swiss history. The drawings are also very funny and perfectly match with the writing. Easy reading - makes also a perfect present.
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