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Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students    edited by Anders Henriksson order for
Non Campus Mentis
by Anders Henriksson
Order:  USA  Can
Workman, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I picked up Non Campus Mentis as a high school graduation gift for my son because it reminded me of 1066 and All That, with its hilarious take on the Good and Bad Things in Brit history. Professor Anders Henriksson, who edited this version of 'World History According to College Students' suggests that its true authors (students at renowned institutions in the United States and Canada) are best served by anonymity.

Here are some gems for you. After Eve ate the apple, 'It was mostly downhill skiing from there'. Democracy started with 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 'Zorroastrologism' was a duelist religion founded by Zorro. 'Yahoo' was the god of 'Judyism'. Arranged marriages were a 'mate accompli' (that's a clever one). And Christianity spread via its promise of an 'eternal afterword'. Know why Macchiavelli wrote The Prince? According to this source, he wanted a job with Richard Nixon. Why did Columbus set sail for North America? To establish rule there by 'dead white males'. Did you know that Voltaire wrote Candy? That the airplane was invented by the Marx brothers? That Pearl Harbor is in Southern California? Or that Kennedy worked hard to avert the 'Canadian Missile Crisis'? I especially appreciated the statement that Gandhi used truth as a weapon.

Henriksson ends with his own amusing take on the significance of these erratic recollections of history. In case the reader is feeling smug, the author concludes with a 'So You Think You're So Smart' quiz. He includes maps based on these historic malapropisms (I like 'Middle Evil Times') and a post-2001 Epilogue on the Middle East that includes 'Shiites are Islamic feminists'! So, if you enjoyed 1066 and All That, or are simply ready for a prolonged chuckle, delve into Non Campus Mentis.

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