Tuesday, May 20, 2008


The Book: Peter N. Stearns, editor; THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD HISTORY, Sixth Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 2001 (first edition); fine condition
First read: Still reading
Owned since: 2002

I pulled out this essential reference book to answer a client's question yesterday. This edition comes with a handy searchable CD-ROM, but that feels like cheating. Besides, half the pleasure of owning this book comes from flipping through it to find random facts.

Who remembers, for example, that liberation terrorists kidnapped and murdered the Quebec Minister of Labor in 1970? The Canadian Army actually occupied Quebec for six months, under the War Measures Act. I was too young to pay attention to the news, and they never taught me this in any history class -- but this was very close to civil war, right across the Maine state line.

Now, it's too obscure a fact to include in a pub trivia quiz -- which is relevant to me, because I'm hosting tonight's quiz at The Liberal Cup in Hallowell. It starts at 8:00, and the entry fee is $10 or $15 depending on the size of your team. Come out and play.

And before I forget, a very happy birthday to Mr. Jason Hersom, who wasn't even born in 1970.

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