A History of Dangerous Assumptions

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A History of Dangerous Assumptions features over two hundred illuminating and intriguing case-studies of this fascinating subject, including some of the most disastrous assumptions ever foisted upon the human race.

This book began as an experiment, to discover if acting on assumptions could be discerned through the ages. In fact, this matter of assuming... of jumping to conclusions... of lacking sufficient evidence... of taking things for granted... seems to have caused far more problems for civilisation than expected. From Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, to Bonaparte's march on Moscow; from the hubris of Icarus and Phaeton, to the toppling towers of the Tay Bridge; from the maddening phantoms of a Northwest Passage, to the sinking of the Titanic; from the Schlieffen Plan of the First World War, to the creation of assumptions in the approach to D-Day; from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Sherlock Holmes, here lies a highly contrasted trove of stories, episodes and anecdotes, their common link the mysterious mischief of assumption.