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Universal History of Stupidity (Histoire universelle de la connerie)



Original Language: French | 388 pp. | October 2019

2 Seas Represents: World excl. French rights

Under option: World English, Portugal, Italy, Korea, Poland, the Netherlands, Greece, Lithuania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Romania, Turkey, China, World Spanish.


A bad fairy with a thousand faces has looked at the cradle of humanity: bullshit. It walks with us, faithful among the faithful, reinventing itself over the centuries and cultures. It castigates differences, enslaves, stirs up violence, cultivates cruelty, deflects technological advances, betrays political hopes, gangrene ideologies, and destroys the planet. It’ll follow our species to the grave, and maybe dig it. The worst part is that we are more often its accomplices than its victims!

From the Neolithic to the present day, more than thirty historians have told us the naked and mischievous truth about stupidity.

Edited by Jean-François Marmion, Psychologist and editor-in-chief of the journal Le Cercle Psy, editor of The Psychology of Stupidity.

Contributors: Antoine de Baecque, Jean-Patrice Boudet, Vincent Capdepuy, Anne Carol, Elisabeth de Castex, Sylvie Chaperon, Myriam Cottias, Aurélie Damet, Rolf Dobelli, Bruno Dumézil, Jean-Paul Demoule, Jean-François Dortier, Christian Duquennoi, Gilles Ferragu, Marc Ferro, Stéphane Feuillas, Martine Fournier, Anthony Goreau, Martine Groult, Virginie Larousse, Patrick Lemoine, Jean-François Marmion, George Marshall, Florence Maruéjol, Chantal Meyer-Plantureux, Alain Montandon, Marylène Patou-Mathis, Steven Pinker, Émilie Ponceaud, Robert Sutton, Laurent Testot, Marie Treps, Jacques Vauclair, Paul Veyne, Catherine Vidrovitch.

Table of contents

  1. The prehistory of bullshit, Jean-Paul Demoule
  2. Is bullshit man’s own business? Jacques Vauclair
  3. The natural selection of assholes, interview with Steven Pinker
  4. Have we always been violent? Marylène Patou-Mathis
  5. Bullshit in Egypt, Florence Maruéjol
  6. The Greek bullshit, Aurélie Damet
  7. Seneca versus Twitter, interview with Rolf Dobelli
  8. Were the barbarians assholes? Bruno Dumézil
  9. Bullshit and the Middle Ages, interview with Jean-Patrice Boudet
  10. Bullshit and religion, Virginie Larousse
  11. Bullshit according to Buddhism, Laurent Testot
  12. Bullshit in India, Emilie Ponceaud and Anthony Goreau
  13. Bullshit in China, Stéphane Feuillas
  14. From the Silk Road to the Information Highways, the import-export of bullshit, Laurent Testot
  15. Bullshit according to the Enlightenment, Martine Groult
  16. Bullshit and slavery, Myriam Cottias
  17. Colonialism, Marc Ferro
  18. Colonialism: the African case, Catherine Vidrovitch
  19. History of racist insults, Marie Treps
  20. Antisemitism and homophobia in the show, Chantal Meyer-Plantureux
  21. History of sexism, Martine Fournier
  22. Bullshit about feminine sexuality, interview with Sylvie Chaperon
  23. The Fear of Cretinism during the 20’s, Antoine de Baecque
  24. Dandysm, an answer to bullshit, Alain Montandon
  25. Medical errors, Anne Carol
  26. Bullshit and madness, Patrick Lemoine
  27. The bullshit of peoples, from the will of power to the desire for normality, interview with Paul Veyne
  28. The arms race, Vincent Capdepuy
  29. Terrorism, Gilles Ferragu
  30. Globalization, a global bullshit? Vincent Capdepuy
  31. Bullshit in Silicon Valley, interview with Robert Sutton
  32. Homo detritus: the long history of our waste, Christian Duquennoi
  33. Transhumanism: the future of bullshit? Elisabeth de Castex
  34. Are we too stupid to save the world? Interview with George Marshall
  35. Bullshit, the engine of history, Jean-François Dortier