Saturday, April 21, 2012

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived by Alan Lazar

From Santa Claus to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, from Uncle Sam to Uncle Tom, here is a compelling, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining compendium of fictional trendsetters and world-shakers who have helped shape our culture and our lives. The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived offers fascinating histories of our most beloved, hated, feared, and revered invented icons and the indelible marks they made on civilization, including: # 28: Rosie the Riveter, the buff, blue-collar factory worker who helped jump-start the Women's Liberation movement # 7: Siegfried, the legendary warrior-hero of Teutonic nationalism responsible for propelling Germany into two world wars # 80: Icarus, the headstrong high-flyer who inspired the Wright brothers and humankind's dreams of defying gravity . . . while demonstrating the pressing need for flight insurance # 58: Saint Valentine, the hapless, de-canonized loser who lost his heart and head at about the same time # 43: Barbie, the bodacious plastic babe who became a role model for millions of little girls, setting an impossible standard for beauty and style.

My take: 1 look

I was very disappointed in this book. I loved the premise and the list itself, but found the description of each character to be more of a commentary on the author's opinion than less on the history of the character and almost none of how society has been shaped/impacted by the existence of the fictional person. I don't care that the myth of Cinderella should not be taught to our daughters and certainly find it horribly subjective to call Adam the "first male chauvinist pig."

There was much potential here, only to be squandered by a group of authors more interested in writing of an OpEd and less of an informative, non-emotional book.

Not recommended.

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