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Evidence of the Old World - Jon Levi

This book was alright!

Jon is a YouTuber who questions the official narrative of when cities, buildings, roads, etc. were built. I enjoy his videos. But he’s been criticized (rightfully) for not knowing enough about construction or masonry, causing a few silly conclusions.

Overall I think he’s onto something. The book gives some good and thorough calculations as to why certain infrastructure in San Francisco are likely much older than claimed. Focusing on SF was smart in my opinion, but I also would have liked more. One building was given a lot of attention, but Jon has gone into many anomalies about the construction of SF in his videos, which were not in the book.

I didn’t like how the book was framed (“we found one anomaly and decided to investigate further”). That’s a clean way to present a book, but it’s contrived - we can clearly see by Jon’s videos that he’s clearly been interested in this for several years, he didn’t need to invent this single anomaly starting point. This is trivial but disingenuous and it rubbed me the wrong way.

I am pretty sure that Edward wrote the bulk of the book. I am happy they got this done, but it suffered from common problems to first-time self-published authors. There was too much explanation about their methods and reasons, not enough actual information itself. There was quite a bit of repetition, and simple formatting problems that could have cut the book down by at least a third. A shorter book that costs less would be great to me - or, even better, put in more information. Jon has hundreds of videos, and many are very interesting - a lot more could have been fit in here.

I also think the conclusions were repeated unnecessarily and the conclusion itself was lackluster. I wasn’t satisfied at the end.

Having said all of that, this book and subject are important. False history is a problem, and we’ve got to sort out the details. Despite the above issues, I enjoyed the book, and it was much better than any of his videos. I’m glad they produced this and I hope they do more, ironing out the criticisms in their next attempt.

If you’re into this hidden history subject then I do recommend this book.