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Serendipity: Seemingly Random Events, Insignificant Decisions, and Accidental Discoveries that Altered History

by on April 23, 2018

Serendipity: Seemingly Random Events, Insignificant Decisions, and Accidental Discoveries that Altered History

Author: Thomas Thorson

Publisher: Windy City Publishers

Amazon: Paperback: $15.99 ISBN-10: 1941478557 Digital: $5.99 ASIN: B077XYKJJR

To achieve fame and success requires a lot of hard work and determination. Yet it often requires some good fortune as well. Thomas Thorson tells many of these stories in his book, Serendipity: Seemingly Random Events, Insignificant Decisions, and Accidental Discoveries that Altered History.

This book is a quick and easy read, with short chapters that describe how chance played a role in many historical events. Some of the chapters tell of how an unlikely event was critical in a person’s rise to fame, such as how Winston Churchill’s lucky break allowed him to pass an important exam or how a chance meeting between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger led to the formation of the Rolling Stones. In addition, the book includes stories of accidental discoveries that led to breakthroughs in areas such as science, food, and children’s toys.

The stories are easily digestible, and though this is a book that people of almost all ages could read cover to cover, it also would serve as a great reference book. Readers will find many individual stories to tell their family and friends, which could lead to hours of enjoyable conversation. Thorson’s passion for historical research and storytelling also shine throughout the book.

The variety of topics this book covers means that it is ideal for a wide audience. Yet the book lacks much structure, as the chapters are not organized into topics or in chronological order. That may cause some readers to want to jump around as opposed to reading the book straight through. Yet perhaps it’s fitting that a book about chance – about the randomness behind many important developments in human history – would not have a clear structure.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone who likes to study history. It will provide some interesting facts and may lead to readers seeking other sources afterwards in order to learn more about the topics.


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