Non Fiction Books That Contain Glaring Errors

I am reading the book “Battleships” by Peter Hore. It is hard covered, has 550 pictures and purports to be serious.

I noticed early on it was very light in detail, and convenient with the facts. However when it gets to the Battle of Jutland, it has a table of losses to each side and it details battle cruisers lost.

For the german navy it says “None”. Hello- what about the Lutzow?

With such a glaring error it does nothing for the professionalism of the book.

Not exactly non-fiction, but a book I read many years ago, titled If The South Had Won The Civil War, purported to be a serious analysis of what would have happened had the American Civil War gone the other way. One glaring error was the statement that the U.S. would have had to hand over Washington DC to the Confederacy due to the impossibility of a country’s capital being within another country. Obviously they forgot the fact that although Maryland was a slave state at the start of the war, they stayed in the Union and were never part of the CSA, and even abolished slavery in 1864. :smack:

Not necessarily – the question is how the South might have won. If Maryland had seceded, it would have made that more likely, and it could have been part of the explanation as to how the south managed to win.

I actually don’t know if this is true or not but I got a huge :dubious: when I read it about 2 years ago and keep forgetting to look it up to check. I’m a huge Carl Sagan fan, but there was a part in The Dragons of Eden about communicating with gorillas* where he casually mentioned that scientists have “only been able to teach them to say a few words of English” due to them not having a voicebox like us. If gorillas could speak even one word of English, it would be huge news to me.
*It might’ve been chimps, I can’t remember.

Not an important error, but one that made me laugh - In the “Backpacker Magazine’s Guide to the Appalachian Trail” there is a reference to a footbridge being interesting because it is a lenticular bridge. The author then explains that it’s called a lenticular bridge because the supports are shaped like lentils.

Lenticular means “lens-shaped”. An example of a lenticular bridge is

There seems to be a factual error in every non-fiction book I read. One of the most glaring I can recall was in the book Disneywar by James B. Stewart, a book about the rise and fall of Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney. In reference to the Buena Vista film Pearl Harbor, Stewart somehow confused Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo with the atomic bombing of Japan, claiming that Doolittle’s bombing of Tokyo ended World War II.

Sorry to poop your parade, but they’re all from the same linguistic root.

Dig it, y’all, I actually fought some ignorance!