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Atrocities: The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History 1st Edition
by Matthew White(Author),‎ Steven Pinker (Foreword)
71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393345230
ISBN-10: 0393345238
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Editorial Reviews
Review
“Genius.”
- NPR

“[White] doesn’t take sides so much as report the facts―and the death tolls. . . . Full of fascinating information about parts of the world little-known to most Westerners.”
- Washington Post

“White . . . gives voice to the suffering of ordinary people that, inexorably, has defined every historical epoch.”
- Military Review

“A fascinating read thanks to White’s keen grasp of history and his wry take on the villains of the past.”
- Christian Science Monitor
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About the Author
Matthew White is the creator of the online Historical Atlas of the 20th Century. His data has been cited by forty-five published books and eighty scholarly articles. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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Product details
Paperback: 688 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393345238
ISBN-13: 978-0393345230
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review:71 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#722 in Books > History > Historical Study & Educational Resources > Reference
#956 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > History
#2150 in Books > Textbooks > Humanities > History > Military
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Customer reviews
71
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5 star65%
4 star18%
3 star7%
2 star1%
1 star9%
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Top customer reviews
David K.
Finally! Snark returns to history
August 3, 2016
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
In the dry, stuffy world of historical non-fiction, humor must be taboo. I've read enough boring, bland history books to fill a small library. I don't recall ever seeing words like "bewigged" and "sissies" or phrases like "...because nobody likes a smartass" or "another damn African civil war " in any of them. This author - even as he delves deep into the most horrific events in human history - can find the time to communicate the thoughts the reader certainly has going through their mind at the time.

Snarkiness aside, the author also delivers the cold, hard facts of murder and mayhem for a topic that is virtually- with few exceptions - glossed over in classroom history texts. He managed to put each event into chronological and political perspective that even the most knowledgeable historian, professional and couch potato alike, can learn from.

My biggest takeaway was the realization that mass murder, starvation, tyranny, and misery are the true cornerstones of the human condition. We in the west especially the USA, have lived more or less in a vacuum, a protective cocoon from that kind of pain for over a hundred years. We fail to realize how tenuous, rare and temporary this kind of peace really is. This book should be required reading in all civics, history and government classes throughout the country. Knowing how our little sliver of time fits inside the overall march of humankind's last 5,000 or so years may cause some of us to turn off the Pokemon app, put down the protest signs, and get on with doing something meaningful.
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John August
... few years ago under its original title of The Great Big Book of Horrible Things
January 11, 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I read this book a few years ago under its original title of The Great Big Book of Horrible Things. I’m re-reading it now because it’s oddly comforting to see how bad things have been in ages past. Somehow, humanity made it to 2017, so there’s a good chance we’ll make it through again.

It's not a book you sit down and read in a sitting. Instead, it's great for moments of downtime, or a few chapters before bed.
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Jo
Treatise on the Nature of Humans
January 4, 2017
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a very important informative read.
It tells us everything we need to know about human nature.
It supports my belief that until our species understands
our 'nature' we are doomed to repeat these 'atrocitites'.
Should be required reading for all senior high school
and college students.
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bexze
... long been a fan of the website and was happy to find there was a book to purchase
July 11, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have long been a fan of the website and was happy to find there was a book to purchase. "Atrocities" is an excellent, thoughtful, and fact-filled compendium of death tolls and human suffering in a well-organized format. The author gives his opinions and discusses how he arrived at them based on available sources. Full of information and very readable.
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K. Rense
Man's inhumanity to man on parade! A history text ...
April 24, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Man's inhumanity to man on parade! A history text, a sociology primer, and casebook on deviant psychology superbly written and organized. Mr. White is a scholar. This, his witty, sometimes sardonic and comprehensive survey of human greed on a massive scale, teachers all one needs to know why man's defining characteristic is the willingness -- nay, compulsion -- to kill other human beings. No education is complete without a thorough reading of this delightful, appalling and altogether damning chronicle of that monster that is humankind.
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Tom M.
Fine troll through hellish behavior
November 13, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
What a chronicle of evil deeds on a massive scale!
The author's clean and even-handed and light style keeps the horrificness of it all not just bearable but downright fascinating.
How we manage to so efficiently find ways to slaughter ourselves, show the most savage of instincts and yet continue to grow and grow in population!
A book about as solid as some very iffy historical evidence regarding numbers (and here is where a good deal of doubt creeps in) of the slaughtered and size of armies permits.
Fascinating read.
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Reviewer from TerraTop Contributor: Star Wars
Ok
November 1, 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love history, but this book, while well researched, did something I don't care for, it's written tongue in cheek, which when dragging with mass deaths, isn't appropriate.
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C. O'Neil
Judge this one by it's cover.
March 18, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It's big and it's horrible. Why do I read things like this...? Why 4 stars? It is a well researched and written book, of horrible things. Happily, most of history occurred before cameras and videos so you don't have to see all the gore.
Why not 5 stars? Don't really like the way it's organized. The author explains why he chose and formated it like he did, just a difference of taste.
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Heather
Four Stars
Very interesting read.
Published 1 month ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
Warcoach
Review of wars
Good book but not what I expected. Just a massive historic review of the world's most destructive wars. We'll researched though and not just a dry recital of facts.
Published 5 months ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
Dana Clenney
Much better than expected
Much better than expected, was expecting horrible descriptions and pictures, but instead found succinct entries written with a sense of humor and no pics!
Published 6 months ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
David D. Lawson
Good to go!
While it is extremely hard to write upon such a subject. I.E. The Horrors that man inflicts upon himself and yet still keep the reader's interest.Read more
Published 7 months ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
Robert S. Dudley
One Star
its the same damn book as Atrocitology!
Published 8 months ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
clash715
Lots of information that isn't so mainstream
Very interesting book. I'm a history buff, and this had lots of info I didn't know about.
Published 9 months ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
david w
A must read
Educational and entetaining. It should be required reading for all high schools.
Published 1 year ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
Amazon Customer
Am on my 5th time reading it! Fascinating material ...
Am on my 5th time reading it! Fascinating material presented in a extremely organized and interesting way. Never be afraid to say "there is no new history!"
Published 1 year ago
<img src="https://web.archive.org/web/20180209024850im_/https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png">
David Burke
Two Stars
I didn't really like the book that much.
Published 1 year ago
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