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The History of the World in Fifty Dogs

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An illustrated collection of stories about dogs that knew how to sit, stay, and witness history   Most dog lovers know Fido and Laika, but how about Martha, Paul McCartney's Old English Sheepdog? Or Peritas, Alexander the Great’s trusted canine companion? As long as there have been humans, those humans have had beloved companions—their dogs. From the ancient Egyptians mum An illustrated collection of stories about dogs that knew how to sit, stay, and witness history   Most dog lovers know Fido and Laika, but how about Martha, Paul McCartney's Old English Sheepdog? Or Peritas, Alexander the Great’s trusted canine companion? As long as there have been humans, those humans have had beloved companions—their dogs. From the ancient Egyptians mummifying their pups, to the Indian legend of the king who refused to enter the afterlife unless his dog was allowed there too, to the modern meme and popularity of terms like the corgi sploot, humans are undeniably obsessed with their dogs. Told in short, illustrated essays that are interspersed with both historical and canine factoids, The History of the World in Fifty Dogs brings to life some of history’s most memorable moments through the stories of the dogs that saw them happen.  


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An illustrated collection of stories about dogs that knew how to sit, stay, and witness history   Most dog lovers know Fido and Laika, but how about Martha, Paul McCartney's Old English Sheepdog? Or Peritas, Alexander the Great’s trusted canine companion? As long as there have been humans, those humans have had beloved companions—their dogs. From the ancient Egyptians mum An illustrated collection of stories about dogs that knew how to sit, stay, and witness history   Most dog lovers know Fido and Laika, but how about Martha, Paul McCartney's Old English Sheepdog? Or Peritas, Alexander the Great’s trusted canine companion? As long as there have been humans, those humans have had beloved companions—their dogs. From the ancient Egyptians mummifying their pups, to the Indian legend of the king who refused to enter the afterlife unless his dog was allowed there too, to the modern meme and popularity of terms like the corgi sploot, humans are undeniably obsessed with their dogs. Told in short, illustrated essays that are interspersed with both historical and canine factoids, The History of the World in Fifty Dogs brings to life some of history’s most memorable moments through the stories of the dogs that saw them happen.  

30 review for The History of the World in Fifty Dogs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jerecho

    It's nice to read something like this. Informative and fun. It's nice to read something like this. Informative and fun.

  2. 5 out of 5

    jessica ☾

    I absolutely adored this, if only my high school history class had included more dogs I would’ve actually paid attention! These dogs are all such good boys and I desperately wish I could give each and every one of them some tummy rubs. Not five stars because as the mom of a Min Pin, I feel as though his breed should have some recognition- they’re so cute!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margot

    3-3.5 ⭐ Oh boy. I am a dog person and it really hurts me to give this book only something between 3 and 3.5 stars, but it is what it is. I really loved the stories, every single one was amazing and interesting and I learned lots of interesting things. And they were all good dogs. Very good dogs indeed. But I hated the style. Mackenzi tried and failed to be funny. Her jokes were just... Cringe worthy. Mentioning Instagram in most of the chapters? Reminding us that white people are the worst (yes, w 3-3.5 ⭐ Oh boy. I am a dog person and it really hurts me to give this book only something between 3 and 3.5 stars, but it is what it is. I really loved the stories, every single one was amazing and interesting and I learned lots of interesting things. And they were all good dogs. Very good dogs indeed. But I hated the style. Mackenzi tried and failed to be funny. Her jokes were just... Cringe worthy. Mentioning Instagram in most of the chapters? Reminding us that white people are the worst (yes, we are, look at yourself Mackenzi, huh)? Mentioning her dog every chance she had? (I know you live your dog, I love mine as well, but I wasn't reading this book for your dog). Not my cup of tea. Plus the book needed some better editing because there was lots of mistakes there. Another thing I really loved was the illustrations. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Quite disappointed, but still enjoyed it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    christine ☽

    Mackenzi Lee writes about dogs through history? I have never been more excited in my life! ♡

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maia

    This book has the same form as Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World and it's awesome! I read this because I love dogs and guess what? Mackenzi Lee does too, she really, really loves dogs. When I read Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World, I particularly loved the sarcastic comments and the little jokes, well, we find them in here too and that was just the best. So, yeah, this book is a lot of fun (Mackenzi Lee is hilarious!) and you learn quite a This book has the same form as Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World and it's awesome! I read this because I love dogs and guess what? Mackenzi Lee does too, she really, really loves dogs. When I read Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World, I particularly loved the sarcastic comments and the little jokes, well, we find them in here too and that was just the best. So, yeah, this book is a lot of fun (Mackenzi Lee is hilarious!) and you learn quite a few things, I kind of hope Mackenzi Lee write a bunch of other books like that :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    It's no secret that I'm a cat person, but still, I enjoyed this animal-themed look at history. It's like a small coffee table book or printed out Buzzfeed list--very breezy and internet-conversational in tone, in the vein of Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World. The illustrations are very cute tho in some cases I wished for photos! Oh well that's what the internet is for I suppose! It's no secret that I'm a cat person, but still, I enjoyed this animal-themed look at history. It's like a small coffee table book or printed out Buzzfeed list--very breezy and internet-conversational in tone, in the vein of Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World. The illustrations are very cute tho in some cases I wished for photos! Oh well that's what the internet is for I suppose!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    I started out really enjoying this but it just became grating after awhile. I don't remember the writing style in Bygone Badass Broads being this annoyingly cutesy but maybe it was and I just have a much lower tolerance for that sort of thing now. Overall there was a lot of really great information and I cried over a lot of the awesome rescue dogs featured but the writing style and the fact that 'the history of the world' apparently means '80% of the book is dedicated to American and European do I started out really enjoying this but it just became grating after awhile. I don't remember the writing style in Bygone Badass Broads being this annoyingly cutesy but maybe it was and I just have a much lower tolerance for that sort of thing now. Overall there was a lot of really great information and I cried over a lot of the awesome rescue dogs featured but the writing style and the fact that 'the history of the world' apparently means '80% of the book is dedicated to American and European dogs in the past 300ish years' means I have to give this 3 stars instead of 4. Definitely worth a read but be prepared for a lot of 'how are you doing, fellow kids?' style jokes that fall incredibly flat in my opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pili

    Reading about dogs in general is always good, and learning new historical bits with doggies in them, is even better! So loved it! 15/10 will pet!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Lee

    I found the style really irritating. I'm sure there are fans of this woman's writing out there, but it feels like it was written for people exactly like her. I read a lot of dog books and I don't think I've read one where the information was good and generally well-researched, but where the style grated on my nerves so much that I almost sped-read the last twenty chapters. I couldn't stomach the faux-cheery narrative voice - really not for me. It was so smug I ended up unable to get past the *wa I found the style really irritating. I'm sure there are fans of this woman's writing out there, but it feels like it was written for people exactly like her. I read a lot of dog books and I don't think I've read one where the information was good and generally well-researched, but where the style grated on my nerves so much that I almost sped-read the last twenty chapters. I couldn't stomach the faux-cheery narrative voice - really not for me. It was so smug I ended up unable to get past the *waves to my fiction editor* and the h*cking and the forking. Maybe it's good for her fans, but for a new reader coming to this author, I won't be reading any of her other texts. The information is written as if for children and then all the unnecessary author intervention just made it really clear that it's not for children, not for adults who don't share her world and not for dog enthusiasts who prefer Horowitz, Warren or Hare. Plus, it was REALLY expensive for what it was. Oh well. Fool me once, and all that.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is written, in my opinion, for teenagers. The author spends many sentences describing her preferences on Instagram, and gives very brief summaries of selected historical events with references to dogs.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    I really, really enjoyed this! I learned a lot of really interesting historical facts about the very best doggos, and the writing was both interesting and funny. Also, the illustrations were very pretty! I now have a lot of fun facts to share about dogs, and I learned more about the various time periods as well. My only drawback about this book is that it was let down by its editor. I caught WAY too many typos and mistakes while reading. One or two is understandable, more than that seems sloppy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    This was perfect, why this doesn't have several 10 000 ratings baffles me. This was so delightful and moving. It is a perfect example of social history and how events are more then just their summaries in textbooks. Not to mention that it has cute illustrations. This was perfect, why this doesn't have several 10 000 ratings baffles me. This was so delightful and moving. It is a perfect example of social history and how events are more then just their summaries in textbooks. Not to mention that it has cute illustrations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    J.J. Lair

    Very informative book. She writes like I imagine she talks with slang text-talk, and puns. We start in ancient times and go right up to recent years. The stories have fun, sadness, troubling history and heroes. I enjoyed the voice of the writer so much, I follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenn of The Bookish Society

    I'd give this book one million stars. I checked it out from the library and then bought it immediately. I'd give this book one million stars. I checked it out from the library and then bought it immediately.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    THEY’RE GOOD DOGS BRENT!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leila Jaafari

    I loved this! Both factual and super cute!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    I may have been annoying everyone around me with random dog facts I learned from this book. My mom facepalmed when I brought up another during lunch. So this book is totally worth reading in my opinion! This book is basically a collection of short stories, each story taking only a few pages, and that’s a perfect format to keep it interesting. I read a few each day, so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. There were many interesting stories, and Mackenzi adds her own commentary throughout, which is often h I may have been annoying everyone around me with random dog facts I learned from this book. My mom facepalmed when I brought up another during lunch. So this book is totally worth reading in my opinion! This book is basically a collection of short stories, each story taking only a few pages, and that’s a perfect format to keep it interesting. I read a few each day, so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. There were many interesting stories, and Mackenzi adds her own commentary throughout, which is often hilarious, which is very nice in itself and even better when the subject is heavy. Because yes, some subjects were heavy. I skipped two stories because I couldn’t handle it. Not the dogs of course, all the dogs are good bois and gals, but what humans do to them is just too much. We truly don’t deserve dogs. As far as I can tell it’s extremely well researched! I thought I could detect one tiny mistake with Willem van Oranje but... she was right, I stand corrected. This was one of the best non fiction books I read this year and I think many people and all dog lovers will adore this book, as it’s easy to read and so so so interesting!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linnea Johansson

    This was a 2.5 star read for me. Now, to be fair, I don't know why I picked up this book. The genre is a bit out of my comfort zone, and I'm more of a cat person. However, it was easily accessible on Storytel so I decided to read it, thinking it would be short and easy to get through. I did love the illustrations and I even took screenshots of my favourite ones, so that brought the rating up. But I just couldn't get into the stories. The information-packed text got heavy to read, and because of This was a 2.5 star read for me. Now, to be fair, I don't know why I picked up this book. The genre is a bit out of my comfort zone, and I'm more of a cat person. However, it was easily accessible on Storytel so I decided to read it, thinking it would be short and easy to get through. I did love the illustrations and I even took screenshots of my favourite ones, so that brought the rating up. But I just couldn't get into the stories. The information-packed text got heavy to read, and because of the many chapters, I didn't get emerged in it. Also, the writing got a bit too -quirky-, and I found myself cringing at times. I read the book in short intervals, unable to get through more than two chapters at once. It got better towards the end, as history got more recent and recognisable. I think I will enjoy "Bygone Badass Broads" more, which I'll read eventually.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I may be a cat person, but this is a really cool idea.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Really, a 4.5 - I loved getting short glimpses into history I had probably known at some point but forgotten about because my memory: bad. And all from the interesting angle of how puppos played their roles throughout these events :-) (And the illustrations were great, of course, similar to those in Bygone Badass Broads.) Rounded down to 4, simply because the editors needed to do a better job of catching typos and inconsistencies (such as saying South American when the author meant South African Really, a 4.5 - I loved getting short glimpses into history I had probably known at some point but forgotten about because my memory: bad. And all from the interesting angle of how puppos played their roles throughout these events :-) (And the illustrations were great, of course, similar to those in Bygone Badass Broads.) Rounded down to 4, simply because the editors needed to do a better job of catching typos and inconsistencies (such as saying South American when the author meant South African and using BCE and AD with dates instead of sticking to either BCE/CE or BC/AD.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    A K

    Dogs dogs and more dogs! This book was a great read. I learned lots of neat history and learned about lots of cool dogs. It’s a good book for dog- and history-lovers alike. The book is also written in a very casual, almost twitter thread sort of way so it’s not long and droning. Plus it’s full of colorful puppy art! I highly recommend this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tanner

    I’ve been anticipating this for months! So thank you, Trejos, for getting it for me this Christmas. This was such an interesting read! I learned a lot about stories I’d never even heard of, as well as dogs featured in stories I was already familiar with. Crazy how much people have loved dogs since forever, right? The art was impeccable, unsurprisingly. And I really love Lee’s humor. Bygone Badass Broads is still slightly superior in my book, but that’s only because I learned so much more in it. I’ve been anticipating this for months! So thank you, Trejos, for getting it for me this Christmas. This was such an interesting read! I learned a lot about stories I’d never even heard of, as well as dogs featured in stories I was already familiar with. Crazy how much people have loved dogs since forever, right? The art was impeccable, unsurprisingly. And I really love Lee’s humor. Bygone Badass Broads is still slightly superior in my book, but that’s only because I learned so much more in it. This was far more heartwarming, and really lifted my spirits. Now when I cuddle with Thor i can really appreciate how long people have been doing the same thing :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nichole

    I read this for my 2020 O.W.L.s subject of Arithmancy. I mean the History of the world told through the dogs that were there or influenced events. I wish my college had this course because I would have signed up for it so fast! I love Mackenzi's snarky commentary woven into the facts that were told. Just in case anyone wants to know Napolean hated dogs. lol I read this for my 2020 O.W.L.s subject of Arithmancy. I mean the History of the world told through the dogs that were there or influenced events. I wish my college had this course because I would have signed up for it so fast! I love Mackenzi's snarky commentary woven into the facts that were told. Just in case anyone wants to know Napolean hated dogs. lol

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt Butch

    The stories are cute and the illustrations are nice. The internet slang ("hecking good boi", etc.) got annoying after a bit, and it's going to make the book feel dated in a couple of years. I also feel the need to point out the mistake in the chapter on the Lascaux cave paintings: Neanderthals did not evolve into modern homo sapiens. I'm sure the author is tired of people pointing that out. The stories are cute and the illustrations are nice. The internet slang ("hecking good boi", etc.) got annoying after a bit, and it's going to make the book feel dated in a couple of years. I also feel the need to point out the mistake in the chapter on the Lascaux cave paintings: Neanderthals did not evolve into modern homo sapiens. I'm sure the author is tired of people pointing that out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mira

    A really cute and informative book about dogs throughout history. The author inserts her own sense of humor into the book in a way that's occasionally kind of cringey, and it's written in a way that I can tell won't age very well. But I liked it a lot anyway. Sensitive dog lovers should know that not all of these are happy stories, though. History really sucks. A really cute and informative book about dogs throughout history. The author inserts her own sense of humor into the book in a way that's occasionally kind of cringey, and it's written in a way that I can tell won't age very well. But I liked it a lot anyway. Sensitive dog lovers should know that not all of these are happy stories, though. History really sucks.

  26. 5 out of 5

    AcidGirl

    What's a good book? What's a good book? There's a good book! Well, realistically 4 stars, as I sometimes didn't like the writing style, but doggos and puns - what's not to like? Plus, I learned stuff. What's a good book? What's a good book? There's a good book! Well, realistically 4 stars, as I sometimes didn't like the writing style, but doggos and puns - what's not to like? Plus, I learned stuff.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elysa

    A fun history of some really interesting canines. The stories were unique and worth an entire book on their own. I think the publisher needs to run it through another copy editor for subsequent editions though because there were several typos throughout the whole book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Lots of great stories about dogs and their people. The art was fine, but I wanted photos!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Just received this from the amazing Pat for my birthday. Really looking forward to reading it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Louisa Jones

    Very informative! The book covered a lot of information about dogs that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

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