Mysteries from Forgotten Worlds

by Charles Berlitz

Hardcover, 1972

Status

Available

Call number

GN741.B4

Publication

Souvenir Press Ltd (1972), Edition: First Edition, 225 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member melannen
I like reading cheap, old pulp paperbacks about mysteries, forteana and the paranormal when I'm feeling fragile: they tend to be clearly wrong-headed enough that I can enjoy feeling smart by pointing out how wrong they are, but not wrong-headed in such a way that I begin to despair for humanity.
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This is one of those books.

I've never read one *quite* so cheap, old and pulpy as this, though - it quite literally fell apart as I was reading it; every fifteen pages or so the pages I'd read would crack from the binding and fall off, so that was rather an interesting way to read a book. (I'm on the fence as to whether this particular book was good enough for me to keep an eye out for a replacement copy. I've read worse paranormal paperbacks, but then, I've read better.)

So the central thesis of this book is that, before what we think of as classical antiquity, there could have been an advanced world-spanning civilization which has left only remnants of itself behind. This isn't exactly scientific orthodoxy, but as we keep pushing back the dates at which humans settled the far continents, and learned various small technologies and arts and trade routes, it's a theory I'm willing to entertain, and Berlitz presents most of the classical evidence & theories about it - from the mundane to the outlandish - in a fairly well-organized fashion and readable prose, though with no particularly great tendency to verify his sources (as you'd expect from the man who invented the Bermuda Triangle.)

He's pretty cautious about pointing out when something he mentions is backed up by only bad evidence and is probably not true - and yet, two paragraphs after pointing out that it's almost certainly a fallacy, he'll be taking that same fact as a given to back up something else. And, while his outward thesis is the relatively conservative idea that there may have been a prehistoric civilization about which we know almost nothing, one still comes away from the book with the idea that if there *was* a civilization, then it was called Atlantis, it was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it sank suddenly amidst terrible cataclysms, and its inhabitants were blond-bearded gurus who went out afterward and spread civilization to everybody less Caucasian (because obviously only white people can invent things.)

It's actually a clever bit of sleight-of-hand, and I admire the skill that went into it, at the same time my stomach turns a bit at the intellectual dishonesty and sheer ookiness that underlies it all.
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LibraryThing member dragonasbreath
It's always fun to get hold of something that does not toe the 'peer-reviewed' line and actually dares to question if what we were taught in school really is the be-all and end-all of our knowledge.
As far as the veracity of the statements...maybe one day I'll have enough money to visit the
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purported sites and see if they really exist.
Then again, maybe one day I'll sight a zebra, bear, or wolf in the wild and verify that the zoo specimens are not just some kind of animatronics.
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1972

ISBN

0285620622 / 9780285620629

Barcode

34662002001284
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