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Past Mistakes

How We Misinterpret History and Why it Matters

David Mountain

$22.99

Paperback

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Icon Books
01 August 2021
The stories we tell about our past matter. But those stories have been shaped by prejudice, hoaxes and misinterpretations that have whitewashed entire chapters of history, erased women and invented civilisations. Today history is often used to justify xenophobia, nationalism and inequality as we cling to grand origin stories and heroic tales of extraordinary men.

Exploring myths, mysteries and misconceptions about the past - from the legacies of figures like Pythagoras and Christopher Columbus, to the realities of life in the gun-toting Wild West, to the archaeological digs that have upset our understanding of the birth of civilisation - David Mountain reveals how ongoing revolutions in history and archaeology are shedding light on the truth.

Full of adventures, and based on detailed research and interviews, Past Mistakes will make you reconsider your understanding of history - and of the world today.

'Past Mistakes takes what we think we remember from history class and sets the record straight! Definitely worth reading if you're ready to have your mind blown and then be filled with rage that you've been hoodwinked for this long.' - The Tiny Activist
By:   David Mountain
Imprint:   Icon Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   258g
ISBN:   9781785786907
ISBN 10:   1785786903
Pages:   306
Publication Date:   01 August 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Mountain is a writer, speaker and editor, based in Edinburgh. After studying biology and geology at the University of Bristol he became a scientific editor at an environmental NGO, working across the savannahs of central Kenya and the gardens of suburban Java to tackle the problem of invasive species. He has since studied the politics of nationalism at the University of Edinburgh, devoting more time to exploring, and writing about, history. He is fascinated and infuriated in equal measure by history, politics and philosophy, and can't resist pointing out flaws and contradictions in how we think we understand the world.

Reviews for Past Mistakes: How We Misinterpret History and Why it Matters

'Past Mistakes takes what we think we remember from history class and sets the record straight! Definitely worth reading if you're ready to have your mind blown and then be filled with rage that you've been hoodwinked for this long.' -- The Tiny Activist 'Whether discussing Pythagoras' legacy, Athenian democracy, the myth of Progress, or the Wild West, Mountain quickly points out how the truth is more nuanced than-or completely different from-stories we may know. ... the work's main thrust is the conversation between present and past and how our view of the past influences current behavior-most clearly outlined in a chapter about the Wild West mythos shaping American gun culture to this day.' -- Booklist


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