How They Choked
Over the course of history, famous people made mistakes that were so monumental they could never escape them, no matter how brilliant their successes! Ferdinand Magellan is credited as the first man to sail around the world . . . but he only actually made it halfway. His terrible treatment of everyone he met cut his life journey short. Queen Isabella of Spain is remembered for financing Columbus’s expeditions—and for creating the Spanish Inquisition. J. Bruce Ismay commissioned the unsinkable marvel of the sea, the Titanic—and then jumped the line of women and children to escape death on a lifeboat. Readers will be fascinated well past the final curtain and will empathize with the flawed humanity of these achievers.

Famous successful “failures” include:
Marco Polo • Queen Isabella of Spain • King Montezuma II • Anne Boleyn • Ferdinand Magellan • Isaac Newton • Benedict Arnold • George Armstrong Custer • Vincent Van Gogh • Susan B. Anthony • Thomas Alva Edison • J. Bruce Ismay • Amelia M. Earhart • Joseph Jefferson Jackson (“Shoeless Joe”)

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How They Choked Reviews

  • Jim
    Dec 31, 1969


    There are thumbnail biographies of over a dozen famous people that Bragg uses to make moral points of, so she's quite judgmental & over simplifies very badly at times. There is no balance or attempt to put many of their actions into historical context. I really noticed this with Be...

  • Diana
    Dec 31, 1969


    I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways. I can't believe how long I've had this audio book sitting around. I popped it in for a listen while I was getting things ready for a garage sale, thinking it would be "OK" since it's considered a children's history book. I have to admit...

  • Kyky More
    Dec 31, 1969

    Kyky More

    How They ChokedHow They Choked is an interesting book on the failures of the many people who are thought of as wise and famous. It knocks the people off their pedestals to reveal the true side of each story.The book contains 14 cases including Montezuma II, Amelia Earhart, and the Cap...

  • Samantha
    Dec 31, 1969


    I really disliked the tone of this book. The writing style is quick to judgment and turns a very disapproving eye towards its subjects. I couldn't stand reading so many articles that just felt overly sarcastic and negative.Source info, further reading, recommended websites, and an inde...

  • Margaux
    Dec 31, 1969


    This is a seriously funny read. Illustrations of spilled milk with feature highlights from the subject's life at the beginning of each chapter. This book is filled with great one-liners. "Isabella created a society that systematically told some of it's people they were no good" (21)"Th...

  • Kim
    Dec 31, 1969


    Georgia Bragg does it again. This follow up to her fantastic "How They Croaked" is another set of biographies of famous people with an emphasis on their flaws, failures and flops. Some of greatest and most notorious people in history were not necessarily very nice people. George Armstr...

  • Michelle Welch
    Dec 31, 1969

    Michelle Welch

    This is the kind of kids' book that I love to read: it gets right to the point, and it's irreverant without being too cute. I'm not sure that all the figures whose biographies appear here are quite on the same plane - Susan B. Anthony's failure is of a totally different nature than Ben...

  • Jacob Venske
    Dec 31, 1969

    Jacob Venske

    The books creamy but it has famous people and about there failures in life. ...

  • Alex B.
    Dec 31, 1969

    Alex B.

    A very interesting nonfiction piece of writing. ...

  • Trey
    Dec 31, 1969


    This was not quite as good as the first book, however I still enjoyed it, and I finished my genre graph, so win win! ...