Best Books About History

best books about history

Best Books About History:

As you would expect, having a solid foundation in history is critical to a well-rounded education. When we have a greater awareness of our shared history, we can make better judgments about the present and the future.

To cover a broad range of themes and historical periods, we have put up this best-of-the-best history book list, which includes books on anything from the history of ancient civilizations to the history of Japan and women who influenced the development of science.

This list will, of course, be incomplete, and we sincerely apologize for that! We may have done a few things better, but we made every effort to compile this list as complete as possible.

10 Best Books About History:

1. The Little Red Guard By Wenguang Huang

An average family in a communist nation is the focus of this narrative. There is little doubt that the political ups and downs significantly affect individuals who cannot influence their circumstances. 

A single family is the story’s focus, yet this family spans many generations. These generations’ stories are the best way to comprehend how China has evolved in such a short period. 

According to the story told in the book, Huang’s grandmother suffered due to the old imperial system, yet she remained devoted to the traditions that came with it. She requests that she be buried in a coffin by a traditional funeral procedure. 

Huang’s parents aren’t say anything despite their scepticism since they don’t want to aggravate their daughter. Fear and anxiety flood the air as they work to fulfil her request. 

While reading this book, you’ll discover a lot more than just historical facts. Aside from the political turbulence, you’ll get a look into the daily lives of ordinary people.

 

2. 1491 By Charles C. Mann

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, as we all remember from the nursery song. Then he found the Americas. It is only correct if you are prepared to disregard the millions of people living in sophisticated communities when he arrived there. 

For better or worse, history is more often than not narrated by the victorious rather than the defeated, as Mann shows in this book in his attempt to dispel the myth of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. 

He also describes the civilizations that once flourished in North, Central, and South America, detailing their customs and cultures.

 

3. The History Of The Ancient World By Susan Wise Bauer:

From the earliest accounts through the fall of Rome, The History of the Ancient World is a fast-paced but detailed tour of the ancient worlds of Sumer, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Mesopotamia, and Rome, according to author Susan Wise Bauer. 

You would not know the specifics of the Battle of Thermopylae or the events leading up to Caesar’s assassination when you finish this massive, nearly 900-page tome. Still, you will have a clear understanding of how each early civilization evolved, grew, and ultimately fell as well as how they impacted one another. 

This book is an excellent starting point to refresh your memory of ancient history from 9th grade.

 

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best books about history

4. October: The Story Of The Russian Revolution By China Miéville:

A must-read for anybody interested in politics, history, or Russia, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution is sure to pique readers’ curiosity from all walks of life. It relates the account of nine months in 1917 that changed the course of Russian history. 

We are beginning in February during the Russian Empire’s monarchical period and concluding in October with Russia’s socialist transformation.

Do not stop learning about Russia simply because you have read one Russian history book; there are many more to discover in this vast and interesting nation. Because China Miéville is a superb author of fiction, you would not get bored while reading this historical narrative.

 

5. Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents By Isabel Wilkerson:

When describing how black Americans are treated in the United States, Isabel Wilkerson makes a persuasive case for changing the vocabulary. 

On NPR, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist says “racism” does not adequately describe the country’s deep-seated inequalities. The hierarchical structure of American culture is best described as a “caste system,” though.

According to Wilkerson, there are eight “eight underpinnings” supporting caste systems in the United States, India, and Nazi Germany. Other issues include dehumanization and terror-based enforcement. 

According to the author, individuals in the middle rung of society have an “inferior” group to compare themselves to, which sustains a status quo that has actual consequences for public health, culture, and politics. 

Wilkerson’s definition of caste does not include a distinction between good and evil. 

 

6. Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore By Emma Southon:

Prof. Southon, who hosts the educational and sometimes hilarious podcast History Is Attractive, gives us a fascinating look at this amazing and terrifying historical figure: Germanicus’ daughter, Augustus’ granddaughter, Caligula’s sister, and the wife of Claudius. 

Arianna Huffington couldn’t even begin to compare to this lady. This book serves as a reminder that some women deserve to be acknowledged for their achievements without social media assistance. Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman in the Roman World will publish on hardcover in August.

best history books

7. Parallel Lives By Plutarch:

The classics are now in full swing. Parallel Lives was written by the renowned Greek philosopher and historian Plutarch somewhere in the first half of the second century AD and contained 23 side-by-side biographies contrasting the lives of ancient Greek and Roman characters who had a similar destiny. 

A comparison is to be drawn between the founders of Athens, Theseus, and Rome’s Romulus. Alexander the Great is compared to Julius Caesar in another chapter. 

It is a must-read for anybody interested in the Antiquities since it is considered one of the oldest works of history that we now comprehend.

 

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8. A People’s History Of The United States By Howard Zinn:

Almost everyone has seen the movie Decent Will Hunting, and if you have ever asked a librarian for a good history book, they shall certainly recommend this one. There’s a reason this book has become so well-known: what is it, exactly? 

Many times this is because of its well-established reputation. One of the most challenging to read demands a deep-thinking mind. For the most part, it is really dismal and quite dense. A large number of victims of injustice are chronicled throughout the book. 

It is not like it is intended to be depressing to begin with. Instead, we shall look at how America’s social growth has failed to live up to its promise and how we might learn from this.

 

9. Dreadnought By Robert K. Massie (1991):

Is it possible that you’ve always wondered how the Great War got started? The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was not the only reason for the war. 

Those tensions culminated in World War I, mostly due to the gigantic dreadnought battleships that both England and Germany were building at the time, like meat pies and schnitzel. 

During the Napoleonic Wars, both the German Kaiser Wilhelm II and the English king George V were preoccupied with developing the ultimate weapon of war. Things did not turn out well. 

Massie’s explanation is clear and concise, making it simple for us to grasp the underlying principles of conflict.

 

10. A History Of The World In 100 Objects By Neil Macgregor:

If you want to brush up on your history knowledge but are put off by dense tomes filled with endless details of conflicts, A History of the World in 100 Objects could be the perfect solution for you.

The BBC program transformed into a magnificent history book immediately after it began. Neil MacGregor uses examples of items humans have built throughout our existence and how these objects have affected our present to speak about history in an interesting and captivating manner.

 

Conclusion:

You may get insight into the current state of affairs if you read well-written historical works. According to Shakespeare, What has gone before is a prelude. 

We cannot control the future because it does not simply hand it; we have to construct it. Studying the past may teach us a lot about ourselves, and that’s why it’s more than just gazing back at the past.

Famine, illness, and conflict have all been part of our history as a species. If we’re being honest, it is a miracle any of us are still here. 

Aside from all that, it’s incredible what we’ve accomplished in terms of culture and democracy while also traversing large seas, ascending to new heights, and even venturing beyond our solar system.

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