A gleefully explicit catalogue of the past century’s headline-grabbing bad behavior.
Aimed at readers who don’t need to be told who Brangelina is but may be hazy on “twisted besties” Leopold and Loeb or even Monica Lewinsky, this edutaining survey presents a wide-angle array of murders, sexual follies, controversial trials, race violence, political corruption and general envelope-pushing from the 1906 killing of Stanford White on. Each of the chronologically arranged entries opens with a capsule “Scoop” followed by a slightly fuller account under a “What Went Down” header. Along with a small black-and-white photo and one or two sidebar quotes, the author tacks on subsequent developments, sometimes-perceptive suggestions about “Why We Still Care” and a short roster of similar incidents in recent history. Though she misspells “Symbionese” and repeatedly awards FDR only three Presidential wins, in general Fryd presents reasonably accurate summaries of events and issues while giving all sides of the more muddled conflicts at least a nod. Additional cred is provided by a teen panel of editorial advisors.
Catnip for scandal junkies, with a bit of historical perspective stirred in. (index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)