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Synopsis

They say that history is written by the winners. Not according to Derek Wilson. In this fascinating, revelatory book, Derek tells the story from the point of view of the losers – collating a catalogue of calamities and catastrophes which have shaped our world more than historians tend to let on. In ten lucid and entertaining chapters, Wilson identifies the very worst years of human history, from the destruction of the Roman Empire in 541 through the march on Leningrad in 1942 to the Vietnam War of 1968. Condensing two thousand years of war, plague, misrule and political villainy, he identifies the traitors, scumbags and villains, whose lust for power – and sometimes, sheer incompetence – brought such terror to their times. He delves into the natural forces beyond human control that have wiped out whole peoples. And, most of all, he shows how history has a horrible habit of repeating itself.

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