Scandalous! by Hallie Fryd (2012)
50 Shocking Events You Should Know About
(so you can impress your friends)
by Hallie Fryd
Zest Books, 2012
Sex, drugs, and violence–nothing attracts more attention in our society. Scandalous! takes advantage of that fact and gives a good overview of some of the most salacious events in the history of U.S. pop culture and politics. Starting with the murder of a famous architect in the early part of the twentieth century and ending with the controversial Bush/Gore battle in the 2000 election, author Hallie Fryd accomplishes “her life-long dream to write a non-boring book about history.”
Scandalous! has a little something for everyone. Music lover? Read about Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Milli Vanilli. Political junkie? Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and the aforementioned Bush/Gore feud are profiled. Sports fans can read about Jim Thorpe, Pete Rose, and O.J. Simpson. With fifty scandals examined in the book, Fryd delivers good balance throughout. Her personal views on issues are rarely displayed in the writing as she informs readers of controversial issues.
Each scandal gets four pages, chronicling the basic facts, the aftermath, and why the issue still matters today. Additionaly, Fryd digs up a quote or two relating to the situation, and other events that are similar in some aspect. For example, the chapter on the klllings of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. has an information box highlighting other murders in the hip hop community.
Even though written with the teenage reader in mind, I found the book both entertaining and educational as I learned about scandals that pre-dated my interest in current events. A fun read, though I would suggest parents read it with their children so they can discuss some of the more intimate issues and why certain actions are right or wrong.