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Unsolved History: Investigating Mysteries of the Past

by Joe Nickell

Availablepaperback$30.00x 978-0-8131-9137-9
192 pages  Pubdate: 06/10/2005  6 x 9  photos, illus, map

What constitutes historical truth is often subject to change. Joe Nickell demonstrates the techniques used in solving some of the world's most perplexing mysteries, such as the authenticity of Abraham Lincoln's celebrated Bixby letter, the 1913 disappearance of writer and journalist Ambrose Bierce, and the apparent real-life model for a mysterious character in a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nickell also uses newly uncovered evidence to further investigate the identity of the Nazi war criminal known as ""Ivan the Terrible.""

A fascinating and unusual collection. -- Lore and Language

The stories are interesting and the scientific approaches used to investigate them are fascinating. -- Paintsville (KY) Herald

A riveting collection of historical mysteries that can stand as 'mere' entertainment, or a thought-provoking introduction to an exciting field of study. -- Reading for Pleasure

Nickell ably exploits tests of evidence, reasoning, forensic science, literary analysis, and historiography, making difficult concepts clear with apt example. [He] deftly promotes the difficult art of discovering reality in mystery. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Long before those history detectives hit PBS & Co., there was Joe Nickell. -- Rockland (ME) Courier-Gazette

Into a relatively few pages not only has Nickell managed to pack the philosophy, strategy, and tactics of scholarly research and scientific investigation, but he also walks the reader, in step-by-step fashion, through nine separate and diverse historical mysteries he has confronted and solved. -- Skeptical Inquirer

Nickell takes a practical no-nonsense approach to a series of historical mysteries, surveying the evidence and working out whether there is a case to be made for the strange conclusions that people have often reached. -- Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory