Provided for Review: A History of the World Through Body Parts by Kathy Petras and Ross Petras

From famous craniums to prominent breasts, ancient spleens, and bound feet, this book will bring history to life in a whole new way.

With their inimitable wit and probing intelligence, authors Kathy and Ross Petras look at the role the human body has played throughout history as each individual part becomes a jumping-off point for a wider look at the times.

In far-ranging, quirky-yet-interrelated stories, learn about Charles II of Spain’s jaw and the repercussions of inbreeding, what Anne Boleyn’s heart says about the Crusades and the trend of dispersed burials, and what can be learned about Lady Xoc’s pierced tongue. 

A History of the World Through Body Parts is packed with fascinating little-known historical facts and anecdotes that will entertain, enlighten, and delight even the most well-read history buff.

This book was provided for review by the kind people at NetGalley. Thank you!

A History of the World Through Body Parts: The Stories Behind the Organs, Appendages, Digits, and the Like Attached to (or Detached from) Famous Bodies (whew, what a mouthful!) is exactly what the title says. It is a brief look at the history of humanity and the certain body parts that played important parts in key moments.

From the stone age to the space age, the Petras trace the rise and fall of history and the accompanying body parts that played a role. There are twenty-seven chapters and each chapter focuses on a certain body part – such as Qui Jin’s feet, Anne Boleyn’s heart, or Charles II of Spain’s jaw. Each piece tells a story of the times and tells us not only what was popular at the time but also how the times were changing.

While each chapter is fairly short, there is also a good deal of information given. For me, this made the book enjoyable to read. The information is given in a way that is easy to take in, not relying on overly scientific terms that might push a more casual reader away.

A History of the World Through Body Parts is an entertaining as well as educational read. Some of these stories I already knew but there were just as many I did not know the whole truth behind. I definitely recommend it for any of my readers who are looking not only a fairly quick read but one that will help them learn something too.

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