Many of us were put off history by the dry and dreary way it was taught at school. Back then 'The Origins of the Industrial Revolution' somehow seemed less compelling than the chance to test the bold claim on Timothy Johnson's 'Shatterproof' ruler.But here at last is a chance to have a good laugh and learn all that stuff you feel you really ought to know by now...In this 'Horrible History for Grown Ups' you can read how Anglo-Saxon liberals struggled to be positive about immigration; 'Look I think we have to try and respect the religious customs of our new Viking friends - oi, he's nicked my bloody ox!'Discover how England's peculiar class system was established by some snobby French nobles whose posh descendents still have wine cellars and second homes in the Dordogne today. And explore the complex socio-economic reasons why Britain's kings were the first in Europe to be brought to heel; (because the Stuarts were such a useless bunch of untalented, incompetent, arrogant, upper-class thickoes that Parliament didn't have much choice.)A book about then that is also incisive and illuminating about now, '2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge', is an hilarious, informative and cantankerous journey through Britain' fascinating and bizarre history.As entertaining as a witch burning, and a lot more laughs.
John O'Farrell studied history at Desborough Comprehensive, where he got a B in his O level. He later continued his research by watching lots of programmes about the Nazis on the UK History Channel.Apart from that he has published three novels, a memoir and three collections of his popular Guardian column. A former comedy scriptwriter for such shows as Spitting Image and Smith and Jones, he is the founder of the satirical website NewsBiscuit and can occasionally be spotted on such TV programmes as Grumpy Old Men, Newsnight Review and Have I Got News For You.
by John O'Farrell
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