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Napoleon's Hemorrhoids : And Other Small Events That Changed History
What were Albert Einstein's last words?
What was Hitler's real name?
What famous artist was mistakenly thought to be stillborn?
How did Charlton Heston's broken nose land him the part of Moses?
All these questions and more are answered in Napoleon's Hemorrhoids, a non-stop roller coaster of historical what-ifs.
Here you'll learn that Communist jets were two minutes away from opening fire on American planes during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when they had to turn back due to low fuel. You'll discover that before the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's painful hemorrhoids prevented him from mounting his horse to survey the battlefield. Hitler's father's name was actually Alois Schicklgruber, but when Alois's mother remarried, he took his stepfather's name-Hitler. Picasso was stillborn until his uncle revived him by blowing cigar smoke in his face. Revealed is how Charlton Heston was cast as Moses in The Ten Commandments because his broken nose made him look like Michelangelo's famous sculpture of Moses. Finally, no one knows Einstein's last words. They were in German, a language his nurse did not speak.
A treasure trove filled with fascinating anecdotes about the tiny ripples that have caused big waves in history, Napoleon's Hemorrhoids will cure you of two misconceptions: the first being that history is relentlessly boring and the second that significant historical events are caused by significant and great causes.
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April 21, 2011
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