What makes someone successful? Is it what they do right? Or what they actually do wrong? How They Choked by Georgia Bragg looks at 15 people in history we often think of in terms of their successes. But what about their failures? Maybe those failures weren’t very public and maybe, as in the case of Amelia Earhart, they were.
What is great about this book, is the irreverent way Bragg approaches each of her subjects. As she says at the beginning of her book, no one is perfect, and the sooner we all learn that, that happier we will be.
The chapter on Thomas Edison showed how someone could be success during their life, but a not nice person to those around them, or as in the case of Vincent Van Gogh – no one liked him. Not his family, or people around him. Ever. He had to pay people to pretend to be his family and it got to the point where people wouldn’t even pose for him because they disliked being around him so much.
Recommended for grades 6th and up for anyone who wants to be surprised, shocked and down right disgusted at times.