Unremembered

Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten

Non-Fiction - Historical
251 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Unremembered: Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten is a nonfiction collection of historical events and figures written by Ken Zurski. Zurski is a broadcaster, speaker and author whose books recreate the past. This book casts a spotlight on several dozen personalities and shares their contributions to society and progress. Among them are Nellie Bly, who bluffed and blustered her way into a well-deserved career in journalism when women were not welcome, and who circumnavigated the globe in less than 80 days; Nathaniel Currier, whose lithographic processes changed how news was disseminated, and Sam Patch, the Jersey Jumper, whose acrobatic skill and daring finally met its match in the Genesee Falls. Zurski covers the tragic, fiery destruction of the Lexington in the Long Island Sound on a freezing winter night; the fiery conflagration that leveled the New York City’s Wall Street Area and the Great Chicago fire; and the evolution of the flying machine.

Ken Zurski’s Unremembered is a grand and glorious tapestry of events and personages whose impacts were definitely felt, but whose stories have for the most part been forgotten or overlooked. I was fascinated by the way he weaves each person into the stories he tells, and I loved the care with which he develops his stories about Niagara Falls and aviation history, and used lithographs and historical artwork in his presentation. Zurski is a gifted storyteller who makes those forgotten people come to life -- he even instills a purpose and rationale for the temperance firebrand Carrie Nation as he discusses the development of women’s rights and suffrage through the 19th and 20th centuries. I was fascinated by his stories and loved learning about the unknown heroes, villains and trailblazers he highlights in this work. I was also pleased with the extensive bibliography he included. Unremembered: Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten is most highly recommended.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

There are people throughout history who have been forgotten over time. There are those who contributed to changing the world or who stood by while others changed the world. But those people are frequently ignored and their names are lost to our history books. Men like Nathaniel Currier, Father Louis Hennepin and even Cal Rodgers have done amazing things throughout history, and yet very few people even know who they are. With their unique histories, as lithographers, an explorer, and even a pioneer of aviation, this book is a wonderful way to truly learn about these people and a whole lot more in Unremembered: Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten by Ken Zurski.

With this book you’re actually getting a series of history lessons, but in a way that’s completely fun and imaginative. You get to learn a great deal about different people who are practically new. Even if you’ve never heard of them, it’s going to be fun for you to find out more and really learn their stories and how they helped contribute to our world. Characters like Langley and even Queen Victoria are mentioned in this book and while some characters you may know, you’re learning a whole lot more about them. Unremembered by Ken Zurski is a great way that you can increase your learning with a well-written book full of well-researched information. This author definitely knows how to paint pictures with their words and create something that even less confident history learners feel like they can’t stop reading.

Gisela Dixon

Unremembered: Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten by Ken Zurski is a non-fiction collection of short biographies of some of the people in history whose names were often known during their era but are now on the way to being forgotten by the general public. Unremembered is a collection which takes us through the lives and the achievements for which some of these people are remembered. The book covers the successes of several personalities from all walks of life and there are a few pages devoted to each one that talk about their backgrounds, ambitions, achievements, and a glimpse into their thoughts and feelings through anecdotes and real life incidents that happened. Some of the people discussed include Ruth Elder, the Wright brothers, Fanny Palmer, Sam Patch, Dorothy Kilgallen, Victoria Woodhull, and many more.

I enjoyed reading Unremembered: Tales of the Nearly Famous & the Not Quite Forgotten and, in fact, I hadn’t even heard of a lot of the names and personalities in this book prior to reading it. It is precisely for this reason that it was interesting to learn about characters that lived not that far back in history, which also provides a glimpse into those times. I have to admit that I found the biographies on the women to be more interesting because it provided a sharp awakening as to what women have gone through to even reach the stage today where at least, in theory, women have many of the same rights as men in the Western world. It is shocking to remember it was very different not so long ago and how easily things could change again. Ken Zurski writes in an engaging manner and I hope in the future he writes a book solely on some of the female personalities of bygone eras.