HOW DID THEY DO THAT? by Caroline Sutton


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In bland snippets of two or three pages each, Sutton (How Do They Do That?) answers over 100 questions--supposedly ones ""that have been driving us all crazy for years."" Lots of them are the stuff of old children's-encyclopedia entries: ""How did they discover penicillin? How did they build the Eiffel Tower?"" Others are show-biz doodles: ""How did Shirley Temple get a contract for life insurance at the age of seven?"" And some--too many--are history/literature/science questions that call for more depth and detail than Sutton is prepared to supply: ""How did they block Roosevelt's plan to pack the Supreme Court?"" Over-simplifications and sins of omission abound, then. Nor is it reassuring to note that the most frequently cited source in Sutton's unimpressive bibliography is The People's Almanac, by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. An un-tantalizing, unstylish trivia-thon overall--only for browsers who are vaguely interested in anything, really interested in nothing.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1983
ISBN: 0062018515
Publisher: Morrow