I tried Twin Tracks : The Unexpected Origins of the Modern World. Gosh was this boooooring.
The premise — start with a historical event, follow a set of ?six degrees of separation? links to a modern event, and show the strange connections along the way. I am sure this is a work of some scholarship. To research and find these connections is time consuming.
But so what. There is nothing causal about these chains. I know bill gates, he knows the premier of china, does that mean that I have any influence over the government/culture/society of china? No. Throw in 2 or 3 more degrees of separation and it is just absurd — my grandmother spent a night in the White House during the Harding administration, can we tie Harding to current events in China. And the stories in this book have 10-15 links, if you’ve played the ?six degrees? game at all, you see quickly how trivial it is to link anyone to anyone, there is nothing statistically surprising about these links.
The booh has 25 narratives of this form, I gave up on the 2nd. Worse than reading someone’s blog.