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Two Dogs / Mercury

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The no-brainer Christmas present: 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World

50 People Who Stuffed Up The World

50 People Who Stuffed Up The World

In the run-up to Christmas, with the bookstores heaving, we’re happy to report that the brand-new Burnet Media title 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World, by Alexander Parker and Tim Richman, is hitting the right note with reviewers and interviewers. The consensus seems to be that, if you’re stumped for Christmas gift ideas, this is an obvious stocking filler for avid readers, not-so-avid readers, part-time history buffs and anyone who thinks that both the Korean Kims and Kim Kardashian are highly terrible people.


Mixing a little bit of history and stirring in some social commentary, 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World is an all round entertaining read. As radio host, Gareth Cliff put it, it’s “a fascinating, terrific read, and a particularly good Christmas present for all your uneducated, stupid, stultified children.”


Described by one of the authors as “a collection of assholes who have brought ruination on the modern world”, the book explores the impact of their fifty chosen offenders, from the usual suspects like Hitler, Stalin and Mao to the less obvious choices of Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg and the call-centre drone. And, of course, they’re neatly introduced with illustrations by our favourite political cartoonist, Zapiro.


Zapiro, Alexander Parker and TIm Richman at the launch of 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World

Zapiro, Alexander Parker and TIm Richman at the launch of 50 People Who Stuffed Up The World

Launched in November, 50 People has quickly found its way on to both the Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books Christmas 2017 recommended reading lists. It also comes highly recommended by Jay Heale as a Christmas read from Fine Music Radio.


While not quite at Jacques Pauw level (they wish!), the authors have been in high demand, being interviewed by Cliff (for CliffCentral), Nigel Pierce (Good Hope FM), Nancy Richards (SAFM Literature), Mandla Shongwe (SAFM Lifestyle), Bruce Whitfield (702), Africa Melane (CapeTalk) and Sasha Martinengo (Hot 91.9FM). Alexander and Zapiro have also appeared on SABC News with Peter Ndoro and Francis Herd.


Zapiro and Alexander Parker in the SABC studios

Zapiro and Alexander Parker in the SABC studios

Shongwe hit the nail on the head in describing why this book is so important right now: “A fantastic thought-provoking book that renews my appreciation for history. It reminds us how we got here and how we can avoid things getting worse.”


But while that may sound a little serious, SA books legend Gorry Bowes-Taylor demonstrates that it isn’t just a history lesson: “Brilliant. D’you remember Meg Ryan’s orgasm in When Harry Met Sally? No, I didn’t have an orgasm (sadly) reading the book, but I did yell Yes Yes Yes! The research and the writing and the fun that went into this book, sjoe.”


For more on the book, including extracts, see


For more review quotes,


For Alexander Parker and Zapiro’s SABC News interview, see here:


For Tim Richman’s interview with Gareth Cliff, see here:


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