Non Campus Mentis: World History According to College Students


Mangled Moments of Western Civilization from term papers & blue book exams.

From college students' own authentic and inimitable voices comes a collection of bloopers, malapropisms, revisionist hypotheses, and creative interpretations of history, the subject that grinds our critical, seething minds to a...

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Mangled Moments of Western Civilization from term papers & blue book exams.

From college students' own authentic and inimitable voices comes a collection of bloopers, malapropisms, revisionist hypotheses, and creative interpretations of history, the subject that grinds our critical, seething minds to a halt.


Cesar was assassinated on the Yikes of March when he is reported to have said, Me too, Brutus!

Stalin, Rosevelt, Churchill, and Truman were known as the Big Three

Rasputin was a pheasant by birth

Judyism had one big God named Yahoo

Westward expansion ended at Custard's Last Stand

Marie Curie won the Noel Prize for inventing the radiator

The Civil Rights movement turned around the corner with Martin Luther Junior's famous If I Had a Hammer speech.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This sidesplitting collection features blunders from college students who didn't quite study as hard as they should have. From the "Yikes of March" to the subtleties of "Judyism," Non Campus Mentis takes readers on a hilarious tour of what students are not learning in the hallowed halls of America's universities.
Baltimore Sun
"Shocking and hysterical. You'll laugh until you cry, shedding tears for the state of American education."
—Baltimore Sun
Associated Press Staff
"A horrifically hilarious compendium...knitting together errors, assumptions, and creative fact-making that are shocking and hysterical."
—Associated Press
Baltimore Sun
You'll laugh until you cry...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761122746
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.24 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Anders Henriksson is a professor of history at Shepherd College in West Virginia. Author of Ignorance Is Blitz, he has been featured on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and National Public Radio. He and his wife live in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: The Historian's Task: Hindsight into the Future

History, a record of things left behind by past generations, started in 1815. Thus we should try to view historical times as the behind of the present. This gives incite into the anals of the past.

Many things in history are inevitable when somebody does something. If we learn about the coarse of events we can prevent ourselves from doing it again.

History, as we know, is always bias, because human beings have to be studied by other human beings, not by independent observers of another species.

Freud opened the door to people understanding what it is to open your own mind instead of having the thought that others had already.

From the secondary sources we are given hindsight into the future. Hindsight, after all, is caused by a lack of foresight.

Another useful method to achieve this and other perspectives is through textual decomposition. Literature can open valuable windows into the past if the reader is careful to pluck bites of reality from the author's figlets of imagination.

My brain is on hold, so I can't remember much. So without further adieu, let's get to the research!

Chapter 2: The Dawn of Time: The Stoned Age

Bible legend states that the trouble started after Eve ate the Golden Apple of Discord. This was the forbidding fruit. An angry God sent his wraith. Man fell from the space of grace. It was mostly downhill skiing from there.

Prehistory, a subject mainly studied by anthroapologists, was prior to the year 1500. When animals were not available the people ate nuts and barrys. Social division of labour began when a tribe would split into hunters and togetherers. Crow Magnum man had a special infinity for this. Advances were most common during the intergalactic periods.

Early agriculture was known as "scratch and burn." One origin of religion was worry about crops or fertility, where a person prayed to certain gods so that he or she could give birth. We feel fortunate not to have to live threw these times.

Chapter 3: The Mists of Antiquity: The Joy of Flooding

Civilization woozed out of the Nile about 300,000 years ago. The Nile was a river that had some water in it. Every year it would flood and irritate the land. This tended to make the people nervous.

There was Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was actually farther up than Upper Egypt, which was, of course, lower down than the upper part.

This is why we learn geography as a factor in history.

Rulers were entitled Faroes. A famed one was King Toot. It was a special custom among them not to marry their wives.

The pyramids were large square triangles built in the desert. O'Cyrus, a god who lived in a piramid, would give you the afterlife if your sole was on straight.

Members of the upper class were able to live posthumorusly through the art and facts buried with them. Eventually the Egyptians drowned in the desert. Mesapatamia was squigged in a valley near the Eucaliptus river. Flooding was erotic.

Babylon was similar to Egypt because of the differences they had apart from each other. Egypt, for example, had only Egyptians, but Babylon had Summarians, Acadians, and Canadians, to name just a few.

The Sumerian culture, which was oldest, began about 3,500 years before Christmas.

People were allowed democratic freedoms like taking an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

King Nebodresser lived in a hanging garden to please his Hutterite wife. Hammurabi was a lawyer who lived from 1600 b.c. to 1200 b.c.

The Babylonians honored their gods by building pyramids in the shape of zeplins.

The Assyrian program of exterminating various ethnic groups generally failed to promote cultural diversity. Founder of the Persian Empire was Medea. Persian kings kept power by dividing their land into providences administrated by sandtraps friendly to the king.

Zorroastrologism was founded by Zorro. This was a duelist religion. The three gods were "Good," "Bad," and "Indifferent." These beliefs later resurfaced among the Manatees.

The history of the Jewish people begins with Abraham, Issac, and their twelve children. Judyism was the first monolithic religion. It had one big God named "Yahoo." Old Testament profits include Moses, Amy, and Confucius, who believed in Fidel Piety. (One of the only reasons Confucius was born was because of a Chinese tradition.)

Moses was told by Jesus Christ to lead the people out of Egypt into the Sahaira Desert. The Book of Exodus describes this trip and the amazing things that happened on it, including the Ten Commandments, various special effects, and the building of the Suez Canal.

Forty centuries later they arrived in Canada. This was the promise land of milk and chocolate. Noah's ark came to its end near Mt. Arafat. David was a fictional character in the Bible who fought with Gilgamesh while wearing a sling. He pleased the people and saved them from attacks by the Philipines.

Chapter 4: The Classical Age: Thucydides Meets the Mouse of History

Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships with her face. The Trojan War raged between the Greeks and the Tories. The Greeks finally won because they had wooden horses, while the Trojans were only able to fight with their feet.

Greek semen ruled the Agean. We know about this thanks to Homer's story about Ulysees Grant and Iliad, the painful wife he left behind.

Another myth with a message was Jason's hunt for the Golden Fleas.

Thesis killed the Minosaur.

King Minoose became Head Cretin.

The Classical Age flashed onto the screen. Athens, Sparta, and Pluto were Greek city states. Some were Oglearchies. Athens was a democracy resulting from the reforms of Colon and Percales.

Sparta demanded loyalty, military service, and obscurity from its citizens. Men during this period were usually about thirty years old and women only twelve or thirteen.

Arranged marriages required women to accept a kind of mate accompli. King Xerox of Persia invaded Greace, but fell off short at the battle of Thermosalami. Philip of Mastodon captured Greece and then was killed in a family sprawl.

Alexander the Great conquered Persia, Egypt, and Japan. Sadly, he died with no hairs.

Religion was polyphonic. Featured were gods such as Herod, Mars, and Juice. Persepolis was god of vegtables. Souls were believed to spend the "here, there and after" in Ethiopia.

The Greeks were important at culture and science. Many Greek ideas have noodled down through history and still influense us here today.

Thucydides was a noted historian who collected facts objectively and saw himself as responsible only to Clio, the Greek Mouse of History.

The scientific method came into use when the Greeks learned never to take things for granite when solving a problem.

The Atomists discovered the concept E=MC2.

The Sophists justified themselves by changing relatives whenever this needed to be done. These pre-Socratics lived long before Plato and were not decisively influenced by his work.

Plato invented reality. He was teacher to Harris Tottle, author of The Republicans. Lust was a must for the Epicureans. Others were the Vegetarians and the Synthetics, who said, "If you can't play with it, why bother?"

Scrophicles developed these ideas in the play Antipode about a young girl, her boyfriend, and her misfunctional family.

U. Clid proved that there is more than one side to every plain. Pythagasaurus fathered the triangle. Archimedes made the first steamboat and power drill.

The Ancient Greeks founded the Olympics in about 1896.

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Table of Contents

1. The Historian's Task

2 The Dawn of Time

3 The Mists of Antiquity

4 The Classical Age

5 The Grandeur That Was Rome

6 The Rise of Christianity and the Fall of Rome

7 The Feudal World

8 Church and State in Medieval Europe

9 The Waning of the Middle Ages

10 The Renaissance

11 The Reformation

12 The Age of Absolutism

13 The Enlightenment

14 The Age of Revolution

15 The Industrial Revolution

16 Political Conflict in the Nineteenth Century

17 America from Crisis to Triumph

18 The Birth of Modernism

19 Imperialism and International Rivalries

20 The Catastrophe of 1914

21 The Russian Revolution

22. The Inter-War Era

23. World War II

24. The Cold War

25. A New World Order

26 The End of History




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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2005

    so hilarious

    This book was just too funny. I could not stop laughing after reading one particular take on a recent historical event. My dad is a history buff and I'm gonna get this book for him for father's day. He'll get a kick out of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Incredibly funny!

    This book is a MUST HAVE!!! If you have had experience with college students, if you are a history graduate, teacher, professor, etc..., or if you just want to have a good laugh at the level of knowledge with (some) history students, you must get this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2005

    Very funny

    I could not stop laughing when I was reading this book. If you have any experience with college students this book will put a smile on your face for a long time. I am sending it to a few of my own professors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    Not to bad.

    At some parts it's funny and in some parts it is very ridiculous

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2002

    It Is So Frekin Funny

    this book is so funny! I love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002


    This book is laugh out loud funny! I am the author of The ABC's of College Life, a hip, street-smart college guide dishing out the inside scoop on college life and I give this book two thumbs up!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2001

    Hilarious and wonderful!

    I got this for Christmas and I'm ordering several copies for friends immediately! This is an absolutely hilarious collection of true answers from college tests and essays. As a former college professor of art history, I have seen exam answers of this caliber myself--so funny you are wiping tears from your eyes, yet sad, too, to think that, yes, some people really ARE that dumb (and now I wish I had saved some of those tests!). If you love history, or have ever taken a history exam yourself, you will love this brilliant little collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2001

    A Hysterical History by College and Graduate Students!

    This is the funniest book I have read in years!!!!!! Knowing that I was a history major, my teenage daughter raced in last night to tell me I had to read this book and review it. Since her tips are usually outstanding, I went off in search of the book and found it hidden on the back shelf of a local book store. I glanced at one page . . . and was hooked! Soon, my loud laughs were drawing puzzled glances from all directions. Even after I finished the book, I kept rereading it. Some of the humor is even richer the second time. Professor Henriksson worked with friends and colleagues at over two dozen colleges and universities to locate these quotes from actual term papers and blue-book examinations. In some cases, he has done a little editing to improve the flow, but he says the actual words and spellings are unchanged. Apparently, these examples reflect what students have written over the last 30 years in U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities. ¿Every generation has to make sense of the past for itself.¿ This is a book of errors, but ones that show ¿the ingenious and often comic ways we all attempt to make sense of information we can¿t understand because we have no context or frame of reference for it.¿ The entire history of humanity as we understand it is covered, from the Garden of Eden to prehistoric times to the world of the 1990s. The errors broadly fall into the following categories: 1. Astonishing misstatements (¿History . . . started in 1815.¿ ¿Plato invented reality.¿). 2. Misspellings based on not understanding what the real word is or means (¿Fryers were required to take a vow of pottery.¿ ¿Unoccupied Bishop Bricks could be cause for problems.¿). 3. Geographical misplacements (¿The French king moved the Popes to Arizona where he could keep an eye on them.¿ ¿The Boston Tea Party was held at Pearl Harbor.¿). 4. People substitutions (¿Dick Cavett was the first European to visit Newfoundland.¿ ¿Yorktown was sight of Robert E. Lee¿s greatest victory.¿) 5. Misidentifications (¿. . . Spinning Jenny, a young girl forced to work more than 40 hours a week.¿ ¿During the Middle Ages everyone was middle aged.¿). 6. Sexual Innuendoes (¿Vauban was the royal Minister of Flirtation.¿). At the end of the book are some hilarious maps that show where various countries and empires are ¿located.¿ To bring back a sense of reality, there¿s a brief quiz at the end (with no answers) that you can take to see how well you know your world history. I¿m afraid that I failed the test. And my answers weren¿t nearly as funny as these. So the best laugh is on me! I do hope that Professor Henriksson will gift us with another volume of marvelous work on fractured history. For teachers of all subjects, this book points out the importance of getting feedback on what has been heard and understood in order to correct misunderstandings before testing students. That same lesson applies to all of us in overcoming the communications stall that plagues all human efforts at cooperation. Where do you ¿make it up¿ when you don¿t know the answer? When would you be better off ¿looking it up¿ rather than ¿making it up?¿ Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

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