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Poop Happened!: A History of the World From the Bottom Up    by Sarah Albee & Robert Leighton order for
Poop Happened!
by Sarah Albee
Order:  USA  Can
Walker, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

An amusing and highly informative volume on how man has dealt with one of the more necessary functions of his existence, this investigation looks at how man has devised ways of removing the end product of defecation.

With such eyecatching names as When in Rome, Poo as the Romans Do, The Reeking Renaissance, Vileness in the Victorian Era, and Toilet Talk, the 18 chapters here address almost every conceivable aspect of sanitation from the opening Salute Your Toilet introduction to the closing Euphemisms for Having to Go (Powder my nose to Do number two).

This book is filled with awe inspiring trivia. What reader won't delight in knowing that French courtiers reputedly used dead geese as toilet paper (presumedly the goose was dead!) or that England's King Henry VIII had a servant called the Groom of the Stool, whose function was to wipe the royal butt? Imagine how you can impress your family or friends with information like this!

If you are the kind of person who has wondered how a knight wearing fifty pounds of armor went to the bathroom or what an astronaut is advised to do if he or she has to go during a launch, this book will satisfy your curiosity.

A generous blend of historical photos and humorous illustrations make this book even more enjoyable. Although intended for youthful readers age 8 and older, Poop Happened! will also find a ready market with adults. No matter one's age, this topic is bound to attract readers who have wondered about personal matters of this nature.

As the author explains in the book's preface, 'Most history books just don't talk about it, but they should. Poop is important, and we can't afford to ignore it ... Figuring out how to deal with poop has been an issue ever since people started living in groups, and it's still an issue.'

Well, it is an issue that has now been confronted and addressed in some detail and, thanks to Sarah Albee, those who read this book will have a better grasp of the topic!

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