Buying Options

Kindle Price: $10.99

Save $6.00 (35%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

You've subscribed to ! We will preorder your items within 24 hours of when they become available. When new books are released, we'll charge your default payment method for the lowest price available during the pre-order period.
Update your device or payment method, cancel individual pre-orders or your subscription at
Your Memberships & Subscriptions

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.
Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Select quantity
Buy and send eBooks
Recipients can read on any device

Additional gift options are available when buying one eBook at a time.  Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

This item has a maximum order quantity limit.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Share <Embed>

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Enter your mobile phone or email address

Processing your request...

By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.

You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.

Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits by [Erik Sass, Steve Wiegand, Editors of Mental Floss]
Audible Sample

Follow the Authors

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 202 ratings

New from Used from
Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping. Register today

Editorial Reviews


“[A]n admirable job of covering 60,000 years of human history in one volume. Along with the names of people and places, the dates and statistics, the wars, disasters, revelations, and accomplishments, there are fascinating stories, hilarious oddities, and plenty of fun….[A] wealth of information.” Review

History is . . .
(a) more or less bunk.
(b) a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken.
(c) as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.

Match your answers:
(1) Stephen Daedalus of James Joyce's Ulysses
(2) Henry Ford
(3) Arthur Schopenhauer

It turns out that answer need not be bunk, nightmarish, or diseased. In the hands of mental_floss, history's most interesting bits have been handpicked and roasted to perfection. Packed with little-known stories and outrageous—but accurate—facts, you'll laugh yourself smarter on this joyride through 60,000 years of human civilization. Remember: just because it's true, doesn't mean it's boring!

Exclusive: Amazonian Tips for

When you think of the word “Amazon,” we’re sure the first thing that comes to mind is the fantastic website where you can buy our book (buy our book!) or half-naked warrior women. But here are three tantalizing tidbits you might not know--and why you need to act now.

1. Find Gold
There’s something about long, tropical rivers that seems to drive people batty. But the Basque conquistador Lope de Aguirre was by all accounts a murderous sociopath long before he got to the Amazon. Take, for instance, the time a judge sentenced Aguirre to be flogged. The brutish Basque hunted the terrified magistrate across 4,000 miles of rough South American terrain, barefoot, to kill him! So, in 1560, it probably wasn’t the best idea to invite Aguirre along on the quest to find El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. After 900 miles of unbroken rain forest, Aguirre was fed up. He led a mutiny that killed more than half of his fellow conquistadors. Then, he declared himself prince of Peru, Tierra Firma, and Chile. Eventually he and his tiny army attacked Panama…where he was killed and dismembered so his body parts could be paraded around the colony.
The bright side: El Dorado is still out there, waiting for you to discover it! Just don’t bring a friend like Lope.

2. Invest a Dollar
When it’s not making people crazy, the Amazon seems to inspire bizarre, larger-than-life schemes. In 1967, American shipping magnate and billionaire Daniel Ludwig bought a larger-than-Connecticut sized chunk of the Amazon to create a gigantic industrial and agricultural complex called the Jari Project. It didn’t work out. All the construction led to massive soil erosion, screwing up the “agricultural” part of his plan. After sinking $1 billion into the project (back when $1 billion really meant something) Ludwig called it quits in 1982. It was eventually put up for sale for $1--a great deal, if you’re willing to assume $354 million in debt.
The bright side: For anyone with a dollar and a dream, it’s your lucky day: the Jari Project is still for sale!

3. Make New Friends
The pictures of spear-wielding tribesmen produced in May 2008 may have been a hoax, but it’s true that there are literally dozens of so-called “uncontacted” native tribes in the Amazon basin--Stone Age peoples who have never had any contact with the outside world! While this seems preposterous, it makes sense when you consider the Basin’s size, over 2.7 million square miles in area, half of which is covered by dense rain forest and divided by 15,000 rivers and tributaries. Altogether, there are believed to be about three dozen uncontacted tribes in Brazil and 15 in Peru.
The bright side: If you’re up for the adventure, you have more than 50 chances to claim fame and fortune. Just make sure you don’t accidentally give everyone smallpox.

… And so much more!
What you’ve just read isn’t available in our book, but don’t worry--roughly 82% of the rest of history is. Our twelve essential chapters tackle everything from civilization’s baby steps in the Fertile Crescent to the Pope’s first text message, the 6,000-pound super-wombats of early Australia to the Goose Crusade of 1096, the golden hemorrhoids of the Philistines to the most important assassinations of the 20th century, and everything else that’s wacky, entertaining, and completely, unbelievably true. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B001FA0TQY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow Paperbacks (October 16, 2008)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 16, 2008
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 609 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 431 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 202 ratings

About the authors

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
202 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2019
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2013
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2016
Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2009
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2011
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2019
Verified Purchase
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2014
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2016
Verified Purchase
4.0 out of 5 stars Great buy
Reviewed in India on June 29, 2019
Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars good choice!
Reviewed in Canada on April 1, 2017
Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Sachlich akkurat, gelungene Schreibe, gute Aufmachung
Reviewed in Germany on April 21, 2014
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse