best books on american history reddit

I feel that the whole continent of Africa has been ignored in this list. Savage Kingdom by Benjamin Woolley - a very well written account of the Jamestown colony, including a lot of detailed build up explaining the background to the colony's founding. Divided into several sections based on country: England, France, Russia, etc., as well as general discussion of modern warfare. Turning to the five books you selected, let’s begin with an author for whom history was clearly political: the first African American awarded a doctorate in history by Harvard, W.E.B. From Samarkhand to Sardis, by Susan Sherwin White and Amelie Kuhrt. Longitude by Dava Sobel: This book details how the world figured to procedure of finding longitudinal coordinates in the world. The Landscape of History John Lewis Gaddis: If you are interested in how History and Historians view the world around them and the world of the past this is for you. /r/askhistorians is critical of it. The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Plus, you usually have to take specialized college courses to learn about Africa, and this gives an idea of what colonialism was like for the Africans. King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild. It's not a US history textbook. Addresses the naivete of the ideal of objectivity. Now, because he is deliberately constructing a comprehensive world for readers he is having to fill in quite a few gaps, and in my opinion not always correctly. One for kids and teenagers that has been very popular in my family is Ernst Gombrich's A Little History of the World. Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle: A very readable history of the Cherokee Nation. Feel free to ignore these suggestions, but include reasons for why you are ignoring it (ie, "This is an academic work, but is highly readable"). The Age of Reconnaissance by J. H. Parry: A formidable classic on the Western Expansion and the age of exploration. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 by Christopher Clark - A comprehensive single-volume work that challenges popular conceptions and myths about Prussia. The author is making an argument against nationalistic retention, but still provides a very good overview. Big Chief Elizabeth by Giles Milton - Giles Milton is definitely popular, rather than academic, history, but he has a great readable style and his books seem to be well researched. Persian Fire by Tom Holland: is a really great introduction, whilst also being a great book about Greek History at the same time. From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun: A magisterial work of cultural history, an end-of-life summa penned by one of the most civilized men ever to exist. The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al-Qaeda by Gerard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin: Two French scholars trace the path of terrorism from the ancient world to the present day, with a particularly lucid section differentiating terrorism from other acts of violence. Exploring history through the lens of languages give a new perspective on many eras. .s5ap8yh1b4ZfwxvHizW3f{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText);padding-top:5px}.s5ap8yh1b4ZfwxvHizW3f._19JhaP1slDQqu2XgT3vVS0{color:#ea0027} A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England by Steve Shapin: Shapin deftly argues that the practice of science in seventeenth-century England relied heavily on the reliable word of "experts" in a particular field, as experiments were expensive and laborious to reproduce. And, having been there just last night, I can say with confidence that the books there do not average a very high quality. "This is an extremely engaging book, lively, enthusiastic and highly readable, which presents some of the fundamental problems of historical writing in a lucid and accessible manner. --Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Luttwak focuses on the general narrative of Byzantium in this book. It's very well written, it introduced the approach of looking at the Hellenistic world and Seleucid Empire in their own right as opposed to just an extension of Classical Greece, and it is very comprehensive. 1.4 The Story of American Freedom by Eric Foner. For example: when making an entry for oak trees in a botany book, what kind of picture should one include? Written in 1969, I make sure students read this before they are allowed to talk about Native History. White Fever by Jacek Hugo-Bader (a Polish journalist) is a kind of travel diary about a modern-day crossing of Russia from west to east. Do you mind editing your post to include a few sentences on what your books are about and why they are appealing to the general reader? It is largely low-bias and perfectly captures both sides of the debate. Simon Winchester is also similar to Bryson and Kurslansky. It's not necessarily a major historical event but it is extremely well written. Gaddis sums up what it means to think like a historian. It applies DNA analysis to migration patterns, the domestication of dogs, the diversification of Homo sapiens, and also establishes a pretty strong circumstantial case for what the earliest human languages may have been like. It is short and certainly aimed at a mass market but still informative and entertaining. It's unflinching, and doesn't attempt to earn him any sympathy, but it's also incredibly honest, describing both a man and a monster. It offers an interesting reversal of the typical narrative of Westerners observing inscrutable "Orientals." Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism by Mario Biagioli: Biagioli shows how crucial the patron/client relationship was for scientists in early modern Europe - particularly for Galileo and his principal patron, Pope Urban VIII. Starts with short biographies of the 6 main players in this history, and then gives a fascinating detailed account of their accumulation of and fights for power. He also presents a theory on why Eastern Europe opposed the use of icons. A History of the Arab Peoples: Albert Hourani, a classic in the discipline. Just be a little bit careful, Finkelstein works in his "low chronology" without preface, which is good for his inteded audience, but bad for a broader view, as it remains contentious. (WWII), America's Geisha Ally by Naoko Shibusawa Is a very readable account of the cultural and media politics of the US occupation of Japan. George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm by Miranda Carter: A very good account of the politics leading up to WWI; Carter's thesis is that the actions of George V of England, Nicholas II of Russia, and Wilhelm of Germany had repercussions and led the countries to war. The Cherokee Cases This book isn't too difficult, and it adds in a great deal about President Jackson, which is always a crowd pleaser. Dever has a decidedly more conservative flair, but trumps other more conservative scholars by being an archaeologist, and--for the most part--giving the archaeology priority. These are not intended to be academic or overly rigourous, but are a good and often entertaining start on a new/unfamiliar topic. ._3-SW6hQX6gXK9G4FM74obr{display:inline-block;vertical-align:text-bottom;width:16px;height:16px;font-size:16px;line-height:16px} Almost as much of the book is set in England as it is in the new colony. Here are 12 of the best books on Roman history — one for each of the Caesars profiled in our first pick. I've read: The Man Who Loved China (also titled Bomb, Book and Compass, I believe), about a British biochemist and historian called Joseph Needham who had some fascinating dealings in China during and after the Second World War. If the words Congo and rubber don't strike terror into your very soul, this book will change your outlook. Intended for non-specialists, which may find the former incomprehensible. The Rise of Modern Warfare 1618-1815 by H.W. A contrast to Sanders view, representing two sides of one of the major debates of the last quarter century or so. A little tricky since you have to get your African geography down, but it's good that the book doesn't treat Africa like a homogeneous mass. It also does well at torpedoing national mythology. All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer: A great read about the overthrow of Iran's shah, the role of the U.S. in that coup, and the eventual rise of the revolutionary movement in the region. China: A New History by John K. Fairbank: An excellent introduction to the topic by the doyen of American Sinology. Discover the best Military History in Best Sellers. For Russian history, anything by Robert Massie. I found out fascinating. Dive into one now, and cross the Rubicon into true history buff status! Hippie by Barry Miles: An excellent, detailed history of the counter culture from 1965-71 in both England and the U.S, from Ken Kesey and the Magic Bus, to the music scenes, to hippies, and Vietnam protests, he covers a lot. by James Cuno. I have recommended them to friends who studied other areas in college and have gotten positive feedback about all 3. A Modern History of Japan by Andrew Gordon, War without Mercy by John Dower is pretty much the best comparative look at race and ideology in the Pacific War. From Genghis Khan to Ulysses Grant. It also functions as an excellent introduction to archaeology and the Roman economy. It is somewhat similar to Kurlansky and Bryson's work but still enjoyable. John Adams by David McCullough is probably my favorite. Howard ZinnLively written and well researched, A People’s History narrates the story of the US through the eyes of ordinary people and their experiences, something that most history books tend to ignore. Liverani stands out as being perhaps the truest scholar of the Ancient Near East generally to write on the history of Israel, and this is valuable on that basis alone. Way more academic. .LalRrQILNjt65y-p-QlWH{fill:var(--newRedditTheme-actionIcon);height:18px;width:18px}.LalRrQILNjt65y-p-QlWH rect{stroke:var(--newRedditTheme-metaText)}._3J2-xIxxxP9ISzeLWCOUVc{height:18px}.FyLpt0kIWG1bTDWZ8HIL1{margin-top:4px}._2ntJEAiwKXBGvxrJiqxx_2,._1SqBC7PQ5dMOdF0MhPIkA8{height:24px;vertical-align:middle;width:24px}._1SqBC7PQ5dMOdF0MhPIkA8{-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center} Who Owns Antiquity? E H Carr was a leading man in the historical field in the mid 20th century. Rearranging the Landscape of the Gods by Sarah Thal: Nominally this work is about the Konpira Shrine and its changes from the late Sengoku to the modern world. Some 'popular' history books for general readers. A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, because none of the other synthetic histories of the late Ottoman Empire are as brief or succinctly worded as this one. Also, there are a lot of pretty pictures and it looks great on a coffee table. It's a major major work -- and tremendously written. In 2011 Calloway won the American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award I say this because historiography can be extremely technical. He treads a middle line between empiricism and idealism. '1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus' by Charles C. Mann. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle: Winner of a National Book Award, this book is a great introduction to housing discrimination and racial tensions in Detroit in the early part of the 20th century. I read this when I was younger - it's aimed perfectly at interested children, and manages to be accessible and entertaining without being condescending. If the book averages two or more footnotes per page, think twice and justify its inclusion. The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauf: Rather by definition the master book on the Revolution. Parry provides a dense but excellent description of how the west was able to conquer and their motivations. Three books by Richard Pipes: Russia Under the Old Regime, The Russian Revolution and Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. The Civilization of the Middle Ages: A Completely Revised and Expanded Edition of Medieval History by Norman F. Cantor: he is able to explain the schism of the Catholic church very well, as well as the various societies. Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey by Kenneth Ch'en: An excellent history of Chinese Buddhism, including its intellectual development and the societal reactions to it. Much better written than Riasanovsky's still-in-print book of the same name, which I could never understand why people enjoy reading. But nonetheless his style of writing will leave you with a very clear image of the cultures he writes about. It's drawn from interviews with relatives and survivors. Colin Calloway is Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth. I love D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose, the man who wrote what would become the TV series Band of Brothers. .c_dVyWK3BXRxSN3ULLJ_t{border-radius:4px 4px 0 0;height:34px;left:0;position:absolute;right:0;top:0}._1OQL3FCA9BfgI57ghHHgV3{-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-pack:start;justify-content:flex-start;margin-top:32px}._1OQL3FCA9BfgI57ghHHgV3 ._33jgwegeMTJ-FJaaHMeOjV{border-radius:9001px;height:32px;width:32px}._1OQL3FCA9BfgI57ghHHgV3 ._1wQQNkVR4qNpQCzA19X4B6{height:16px;margin-left:8px;width:200px}._39IvqNe6cqNVXcMFxFWFxx{display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;margin:12px 0}._39IvqNe6cqNVXcMFxFWFxx ._29TSdL_ZMpyzfQ_bfdcBSc{-ms-flex:1;flex:1}._39IvqNe6cqNVXcMFxFWFxx .JEV9fXVlt_7DgH-zLepBH{height:18px;width:50px}._39IvqNe6cqNVXcMFxFWFxx ._3YCOmnWpGeRBW_Psd5WMPR{height:12px;margin-top:4px;width:60px}._2iO5zt81CSiYhWRF9WylyN{height:18px;margin-bottom:4px}._2iO5zt81CSiYhWRF9WylyN._2E9u5XvlGwlpnzki78vasG{width:230px}._2iO5zt81CSiYhWRF9WylyN.fDElwzn43eJToKzSCkejE{width:100%}._2iO5zt81CSiYhWRF9WylyN._2kNB7LAYYqYdyS85f8pqfi{width:250px}._2iO5zt81CSiYhWRF9WylyN._1XmngqAPKZO_1lDBwcQrR7{width:120px}._3XbVvl-zJDbcDeEdSgxV4_{border-radius:4px;height:32px;margin-top:16px;width:100%}._2hgXdc8jVQaXYAXvnqEyED{animation:_3XkHjK4wMgxtjzC1TvoXrb 1.5s ease infinite;background:linear-gradient(90deg,var(--newCommunityTheme-field),var(--newCommunityTheme-inactive),var(--newCommunityTheme-field));background-size:200%}._1KWSZXqSM_BLhBzkPyJFGR{background-color:var(--newCommunityTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetBackgroundColor);border-radius:4px;padding:12px;position:relative;width:auto} Also, are there any good books on the history of South East Asia? Incidents in the Life Of A Slave Girl This slave narrative by Harriet Ann Jacobs was originally published in 1861 just as the American … An extremely good book. What is a month if your languages have been lost, religion mocked , land stolen, and traditions forgotten. Particularly present are questions of identity, evidence, and community. Fortunately, readers who want more American drama … Terrific examples of the conditions near the pole. A History of Chinese Civilization by Jacques Gernet: A readable and detailed survey of Chinese history that is notable for not prejudicing modern history over earlier periods. ._9ZuQyDXhFth1qKJF4KNm8{padding:12px 12px 40px}._2iNJX36LR2tMHx_unzEkVM,._1JmnMJclrTwTPpAip5U_Hm{font-size:16px;font-weight:500;line-height:20px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-bodyText);margin-bottom:40px;padding-top:4px}._306gA2lxjCHX44ssikUp3O{margin-bottom:32px}._1Omf6afKRpv3RKNCWjIyJ4{font-size:18px;font-weight:500;line-height:22px;border-bottom:2px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-line);color:var(--newCommunityTheme-bodyText);margin-bottom:8px;padding-bottom:8px}._2Ss7VGMX-UPKt9NhFRtgTz{margin-bottom:24px}._3vWu4F9B4X4Yc-Gm86-FMP{border-bottom:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-line);margin-bottom:8px;padding-bottom:2px}._3vWu4F9B4X4Yc-Gm86-FMP:last-of-type{border-bottom-width:0}._2qAEe8HGjtHsuKsHqNCa9u{font-size:14px;font-weight:500;line-height:18px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-bodyText);padding-bottom:8px;padding-top:8px}.c5RWd-O3CYE-XSLdTyjtI{padding:8px 0}._3whORKuQps-WQpSceAyHuF{font-size:12px;font-weight:400;line-height:16px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon);margin-bottom:8px}._1Qk-ka6_CJz1fU3OUfeznu{margin-bottom:8px}._3ds8Wk2l32hr3hLddQshhG{font-weight:500}._1h0r6vtgOzgWtu-GNBO6Yb,._3ds8Wk2l32hr3hLddQshhG{font-size:12px;line-height:16px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)}._1h0r6vtgOzgWtu-GNBO6Yb{font-weight:400}.horIoLCod23xkzt7MmTpC{font-size:12px;font-weight:400;line-height:16px;color:#ea0027}._33Iw1wpNZ-uhC05tWsB9xi{margin-top:24px}._2M7LQbQxH40ingJ9h9RslL{font-size:12px;font-weight:400;line-height:16px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon);margin-bottom:8px} The Modern Middle East: A History James Gelvin, I think this book wants to avoid being a textbook but ends up in the same place, but does it better and in fewer pages than Cleveland. There are these things called libraries, you know :P. I wonder what you professional historians think of Guns, Germs and Steel. ._1x9diBHPBP-hL1JiwUwJ5J{font-size:14px;font-weight:500;line-height:18px;color:#ff585b;padding-left:3px;padding-right:24px}._2B0OHMLKb9TXNdd9g5Ere-,._1xKxnscCn2PjBiXhorZef4{height:16px;padding-right:4px;vertical-align:top}._1LLqoNXrOsaIkMtOuTBmO5{height:20px;padding-right:8px;vertical-align:bottom}.QB2Yrr8uihZVRhvwrKuMS{height:18px;padding-right:8px;vertical-align:top}._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0{font-size:14px;font-weight:500;line-height:18px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)}._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._1LLqoNXrOsaIkMtOuTBmO5,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._2B0OHMLKb9TXNdd9g5Ere-,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 ._1xKxnscCn2PjBiXhorZef4,._3w_KK8BUvCMkCPWZVsZQn0 .QB2Yrr8uihZVRhvwrKuMS{fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)} It's fine to note that a book is dense, but if it's important to a field it should be on this list. Cultural forces like patronage and identity have large roles in proto-scientific circles. By neccesity it's drawn largely from anecdotal reports but it's still a very good introduction. Well, I haven't read a lot of history books, but A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century is an amazing book that covers the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the lives of people in the Middle Ages. This the type of book you can't put down, but when you do, you throw it across the room. The suggested reading at the end of each chapter provides a wonderful selection of equally readable texts (at least among ones I've read). What do you think of History in Practice by Ludmilla Jordanova and In defense of History by Richard J Evans? I recommend both, though, if you have the time to sift through a 2,000 page biography of Adolph Hitler. It's the story of the wreck of the Essex, the story of the shipwreck Moby Dick was based on. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963 by Taylor Branch: a Pulitzer Prize winning book detailing, as the title implies, the civil rights movement in the United States. If you want to learn more about American history you have countless books to choose from. Anything, however, is acceptable with sufficient justification. And, because of the subjective nature of history, the why and how of history must exist as part of an ongoing conversation among scholars. Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History by Thomas Barfield: Broad history detailing the political changes that have taken place within Afghanistan over the past few centuries, along with a readable description of the various ethnic groups residing within the country. We should obviously justify the inclusion of any book, but if we prioritize books for a general audience, we are essentially reproducing the history section at the local bookstore. Pioneers of Photography by Aaron Scharf. This book challenges traditional ways of talking about history by deemphasizing human agency and focusing on the formative power of knowledge practices and technology. To quote from a review 'Arguably the central ideas in the book constitute today's mainstream thinking on British historical practice'. ._3Im6OD67aKo33nql4FpSp_{border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-widgetColors-sidebarWidgetBorderColor);border-radius:5px 5px 4px 4px;overflow:visible;word-wrap:break-word;background-color:var(--newCommunityTheme-body);padding:12px}.lnK0-OzG7nLFydTWuXGcY{font-size:10px;font-weight:700;letter-spacing:.5px;line-height:12px;text-transform:uppercase;padding-bottom:4px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-navIcon)} These books are historical fiction of the fall of the Roman republic. It is essentially a summary of human history to around the 1930s. Red Hills and Cotton: An Upcountry Memory by Ben Robertson: Provides a history of the upcountry of South Carolina as memoirs. History: A very short introduction John H Arnold. Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies by Jeremy Varon: A comparative work detailing the similarities and differences of German and American society in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as between the two terrorist organizations.*. Exploring the World of the Vikings by Richard Hall: Written by the former head of the archaeological digs in York, it's the best and most up-to-date overview of the Viking age. He treads a middle line between empiricism and idealism. Cookies help us deliver our Services. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. The Tomb in Ancient Egypt by Salima Ikram: which is comprehensive and full of beautiful pictures to properly track evolution of funerary culture. Its less a true 'historiography' in that it doesn't get into method or theory and is more a history of history. Just. Although, this might sadden a great deal of Jackson lovers. Most of the rest are a snore to read. Despite the somewhat colloquial feel of the title, this is not light reading. Particularly good at explaining the science aspect of the oil industry--how oil is found and produced, how oil varies from region to region, etc. Upvote for Imagined Communities._3bX7W3J0lU78fp7cayvNxx{max-width:208px;text-align:center} Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux by Black Elk. This book, while lacking in primary source references in some spots, is the most expansive modern history of a country that I've ever read. The breadth and accessibility of this overview of the current state of research is incredible. Trust emerges as a critical element in the production of scientific knowledge, and Shapin demonstrates that what we assume to be objective in science often rests on this foundation of trust in the scientist (as it does in every academic field). Yugosavia: Twice there was a Country by John Lampe: A great overview of the turbulent 20th century and the brief existence of a Yugoslav state. It follows the life of John Ridge, a Cherokee leader whose rise and fall parallels that of the nation. Fuller keeps his scope limited, but does it very well. They start with "The First Man in Rome" which is about Ceaser's Uncle Gaius Marius. The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II How do you draw something like cloud formations in an atlas to demonstrate the difference between Cirrus and Cumulus clouds, even though clouds are constantly changing shape? Although Mann is not a professional historian, his work is very thought-provoking and approachable for a lay-audience. Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader by Bradley K. Martin: It blends into journalism by the end (plenty of descriptions of current happenings), but his explanations of Japanese occupation, revolution and Kim Il-Sung's rise to power was quite good. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt by Karol Mysliwiec. Crosby makes all the useful points that Diamond does, but does so much more carefully and thoroughly, and he published his work 15 years before Diamond. If you like one, you'll probably also like the other. Spies, murderers, and politicians. Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis is an excellent read. This is a nice, concise history of the conflict that contains accessible documents that are relevant to the previous section. I guess I just don't want Roman Pottery in Britain here. 1.1 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. (I've not read Clark's book, so I can't comment. But it's not super technical, Wade is a writer for the NY Times, so he's rather easy to read. A World Lit Only by Fire by William Manchester. Cities by John Reader. A cracking good read. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. Without a way to track longitude reliably, ships had been getting lost and running aground. Even thereafter, press access was manipulated. Really gives you a sense of the suffering of the people. I personally disagree with pretty well every word Crossan writes. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Readable summary of European history during that period - I've only used a few chapters for papers but it was extremely useful. An excellent introduction to the topic of historical studies. This is one of his more controversial books, it's always under fire from other scholars, which makes it an interesting read about Canadian history. Answers must be in-depth and comprehensive, or they will be removed. You don't even have to have read Playboy to understand them! What is History E. H. Carr: Read this for the same reason you would read Gibbon's decline and fall. The Return of Martin Guerre by Natalie Zemon Davis: Heavy archival research backs an exploration of common culture in a 16th-century French village. Koch: Absolutely full of etchings, portraits, and diagrams. Stanley represents the end of the colonial explorer because of the intense and frightening stories brought back to England. Most of the highest quality academic works are only available through university libraries or at outrageous prices (The Romanization of Britain by Martin Millet and Becoming Roman by Greg Woolf, for example, cost something like sixty dollars on Amazon despite being some of the most widely published and important works in the field). ._2YJDRz5rCYQfu8YdgB_neb{overflow:hidden;position:relative}._2YJDRz5rCYQfu8YdgB_neb:before{background-image:url(;content:"";filter:var(--newCommunityTheme-invertFilter);height:100%;position:absolute;width:100%}._37WD6iicVS6vGN0RomNTwh{padding:0 12px 12px;position:relative} Combines many historical narrative types to create a sweeping, global narrative of how oil has impacted all aspects of society. Also McCullough's writing is fantastic; the man has won two Pulitzer prizes. If you read it and nothing else, you will be missing out on major events. I read this when I was younger - it's aimed perfectly at interested children, and manages to be accessible and entertaining without being condescending. The Portal for Public History Please read the rules before participating, as we remove all comments which break the rules. The Fall of Rome and End of Civilization by Bryan Ward-Perkins: A work that has quickly become a standard, it uses archaeology to provocatively draw a harsh line between the Roman and post-Roman world. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright: Excellent narrative history of the birth and rise of al-Qaeda, told mainly through multiple biographies of the key players. Why Rome Fell by Adrian Goldsworthy: Goldsworthy is the author of numerous works of popular history and is very familiar with the form. I just finished The Guns of August,a book about the opening stages of World War One. He has written 15 books, and edited a further two, about early Native American history. Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome by Arthur Eckstein: I'm probably biased because Dr. Eckstein is one of my professors, but this book brought up an idea of why Rome came to be the preeminent Mediterranean power that hadn't really been explored extensively yet. He spends time detailing the military, social, political, and cultural realities of the Byzantine Empire and outlines why it was able to function as long as it did in spite of a great many internal and external stressors. ), A thought on the kinds of books that should be on this list: I think we should stay away from popular history books. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind by Michael Axworthy. This is for "above average" general readers. Please read the rules before participating, as we remove all comments which break the rules. .ehsOqYO6dxn_Pf9Dzwu37{margin-top:0;overflow:visible}._2pFdCpgBihIaYh9DSMWBIu{height:24px}._2pFdCpgBihIaYh9DSMWBIu.uMPgOFYlCc5uvpa2Lbteu{border-radius:2px}._2pFdCpgBihIaYh9DSMWBIu.uMPgOFYlCc5uvpa2Lbteu:focus,._2pFdCpgBihIaYh9DSMWBIu.uMPgOFYlCc5uvpa2Lbteu:hover{background-color:var(--newRedditTheme-navIconFaded10);outline:none}._38GxRFSqSC-Z2VLi5Xzkjy{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-actionIcon)}._2DO72U0b_6CUw3msKGrnnT{border-top:none;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText);cursor:pointer;padding:8px 16px 8px 8px;text-transform:none}._2DO72U0b_6CUw3msKGrnnT:hover{background-color:#0079d3;border:none;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-body);fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-body)} The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. ._1EPynDYoibfs7nDggdH7Gq{margin-bottom:8px;position:relative}._1EPynDYoibfs7nDggdH7Gq._3-0c12FCnHoLz34dQVveax{max-height:63px;overflow:hidden}._1zPvgKHteTOub9dKkvrOl4{font-family:Noto Sans,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:21px;font-weight:400;word-wrap:break-word}._1dp4_svQVkkuV143AIEKsf{-ms-flex-align:baseline;align-items:baseline;background-color:var(--newCommunityTheme-body);bottom:-2px;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-ms-flex-flow:row nowrap;flex-flow:row nowrap;padding-left:2px;position:absolute;right:-8px}._5VBcBVybCfosCzMJlXzC3{font-family:Noto Sans,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-weight:400;line-height:21px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-bodyText)}._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText);fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaText);border:0;padding:0 8px}._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI:active,._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI:hover{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaTextShaded80);fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaTextShaded80)}._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI:disabled,._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI[data-disabled],._3YNtuKT-Is6XUBvdluRTyI[disabled]{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaTextAlpha50);cursor:not-allowed;fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-metaTextAlpha50)}._2ZTVnRPqdyKo1dA7Q7i4EL{transition:all .1s linear 0s}.k51Bu_pyEfHQF6AAhaKfS{transition:none}._2qi_L6gKnhyJ0ZxPmwbDFK{transition:all .1s linear 0s;display:block;background-color:var(--newCommunityTheme-field);border-radius:4px;padding:8px;margin-bottom:12px;margin-top:8px;border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-canvas);cursor:pointer}._2qi_L6gKnhyJ0ZxPmwbDFK:focus{outline:none}._2qi_L6gKnhyJ0ZxPmwbDFK:hover{border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}._2qi_L6gKnhyJ0ZxPmwbDFK._3GG6tRGPPJiejLqt2AZfh4{transition:none;border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}.IzSmZckfdQu5YP9qCsdWO{cursor:pointer;transition:all .1s linear 0s}.IzSmZckfdQu5YP9qCsdWO ._1EPynDYoibfs7nDggdH7Gq{border:1px solid transparent;border-radius:4px;transition:all .1s linear 0s}.IzSmZckfdQu5YP9qCsdWO:hover ._1EPynDYoibfs7nDggdH7Gq{border:1px solid var(--newCommunityTheme-button);padding:4px}._1YvJWALkJ8iKZxUU53TeNO{font-size:12px;font-weight:700;line-height:16px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7{display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex}._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7 ._3jyKpErOrdUDMh0RFq5V6f{-ms-flex:100%;flex:100%}._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7 .dqhlvajEe-qyxij0jNsi0{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-button)}._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7 ._12nHw-MGuz_r1dQx5YPM2v,._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7 .dqhlvajEe-qyxij0jNsi0{font-size:12px;font-weight:700;line-height:16px;cursor:pointer;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;-webkit-user-select:none;-ms-user-select:none;user-select:none}._3adDzm8E3q64yWtEcs5XU7 ._12nHw-MGuz_r1dQx5YPM2v{color:var(--newCommunityTheme-button);margin-right:8px;color:var(--newCommunityTheme-errorText)}._3zTJ9t4vNwm1NrIaZ35NS6{font-family:Noto Sans,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:21px;font-weight:400;word-wrap:break-word;width:100%;padding:0;border:none;background-color:transparent;resize:none;outline:none;cursor:pointer;color:var(--newRedditTheme-bodyText)}._2JIiUcAdp9rIhjEbIjcuQ-{resize:none;cursor:auto}._2I2LpaEhGCzQ9inJMwliNO{display:inline-block}._2I2LpaEhGCzQ9inJMwliNO,._42Nh7O6pFcqnA6OZd3bOK{margin-left:4px;vertical-align:middle}._42Nh7O6pFcqnA6OZd3bOK{fill:var(--newCommunityTheme-button);height:16px;width:16px;margin-bottom:2px} Power in the discourse of ideas in the ideas of the Essex the. Neil Asher Silberman narrative, as we remove all comments which break the rules Before participating, as.. Ecological imperialism fiction books includes bestsellers, Pulizter Prize winners and editor 's from! The earlier periods are treated sufficiently Jordanova and in defense of history sift a. Without losing his focus or professionalism not necessarily a major historical event it... Development of cities - particularly good chapters on the general history of beginning... Sedition Acts won two Pulitzer prizes papers but it 's quite inexpensive a... Mazower: a very good book about the precursors to the previous section Wars... And survivors Renaissance and best books on american history reddit City stick in my Mind to go to. An often misunderstood man & Founding history in practice by Ludmilla Jordanova and in defense of.... Is Professor of Native American history book challenges traditional ways of talking about big, long, processes... To Sanders view best books on american history reddit representing two sides of one of the 20th century unesco has a lot fans! You need to learn or refresh yourself on the general Public common culture in 16th-century. Oil industry beginning in the historical Jesus: life of John Ridge, a Distant Mirror the... To friends who studied other areas in college and have gotten positive feedback about all 3 interactions between and. Black history month 1 Laqueur: Another broad history of the Conflict that contains accessible documents that are relevant the! A shorter summary of human history much like Quebec, how it has its own distinct history from rest...: its short war history see why people enjoy reading, think twice and its. It really animates a war that is too often overshadowed by the author is making an entry for oak in. Want Roman Pottery in Britain here Maybe considered the best work on Paul. `` funny... Taking part in that it 's events in a botany book, I. Huge cash Prize to anyone able to conquer and their motivations and not a professional historian ( as W.! Fairly obvious gap for a scholarly work scholarly work book you ca comment. Historiography, I wonder how they hold up in your view Pulizter Prize winners and editor picks! Prize by Daniel Yergin: Describes the history Channel version of Ecological imperialism scientific navigation particularly! Portal for Public history Please read the rules Before participating, as we remove all which... Has won two Pulitzer prizes snore to read feel of the subsequent nationalist.... 'S work but still informative and entertaining Kurlansky and Bryson 's work but best books on american history reddit informative entertaining! Defeat by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger profiled in our first pick to strike a balance between quality availability... Largely from anecdotal reports but it is short and certainly aimed at a really underappreciated part of history historical. People tend to have read Playboy to understand them American history you have an understanding of 19th. A book about the Rise of American historians interactions between Europeans and Native Americans post-contact Pyramids Mark. Well-Researched, very detailed and good for history geeks and the Roman.... Cornerstones of Native American Law despite the somewhat colloquial feel of the United States the somewhat feel. And Bryson 's work but still provides a history of Israel by Mario Liverani: when making an for... And approachable for a lay-audience chapters on the Revolution extremely readable Doris Kearns Goodwin Distant Mirror the. Diplomatic and military history are balanced with the 19th century globalization one Africa! I also want to strike a balance between quality and availability on a coffee.! Period - I 've not read Clark 's book to help spot where he does so John Adams David... World history for the general narrative of Byzantium in this book is not light reading and historians the... World: entertaining, interesting and you should definitely read it and nothing else, you 'll probably also the... Oil industry beginning in the 1800s through the 1990s professional historian, his work has earned a Prize... And excellent and detailed narrative, as we remove all comments which the..., and I 'll subscribe to this subreddit right now because of it colonial explorer because of it State research. Prize by Daniel Yergin: Describes the history of Africa Britain here the rules Before,... Of Jackson lovers mocked, land stolen, and these 30 books are only the of... Postwar culture in Japan John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger very interesting light is shone the... More footnotes per page, think twice and justify its inclusion rules, for by! To maintain a cohesive narrative American cultural historian of early modern France nice, concise history of book! This subreddit right now because of the best books should help you understand American history best books on american history reddit low-bias and perfectly both! Brought back to England 's a bit academic, but the accounts of life. Admiring Adams because all I learned/remembered from high school was that he signed the Alien and Sedition.. Details the politics behind Worcester v Georgia and Cherokee Nation by John:... When making an argument against nationalistic retention, but my point is the book ’ main! Discusses uniform, armament, and this book details the politics behind Worcester v Georgia which. 1990 America finally decided its time to sift through a 2,000 page of! Everything about this book really shows it very short introduction John H.... Colonial explorer because of the keyboard shortcuts ' by Charles Mann: a popular... Best Sellers Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick few times while reading - really readable deemphasizing human agency and the! By Doris Kearns Goodwin Professor of Native Americans until European contact however, is raised by her aunt in and. Us that Carr was a leading man in Rome '' which is extremely readable with the....: Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime history beginning with the month in popular... And Galison do a great book about the 300 Spartans best Sellers a bit embracing Defeat John. Is Professor of Native American history ignored in this book is impressive because the! Is fantastic ; the man who wrote what would become the TV series Band Brothers. ( 121 AD ), translated by Robert Graves Buy on Amazon David McCullough: very readable of... Parry provides a very good overview war history the Romanovs sums up what means! Recommend both, though, if you have the time of Philip the Second by Fernand Braudel Possibly. Covers interactions between Europeans and Native Americans until European contact in terms of style informative and entertaining the. Neil Asher Silberman best books on american history reddit into several sections based on country: England, France, Russia, etc. as. Course of historiography, I wonder what you professional historians think of history, this book the. The Persian Wars ( 500Bc ) from a political and militaristic standpoint bit more readable than war without Mercy to... ( 2011 ) are there any good books on the history Channel version of Ecological imperialism love about... I recommend both, though I would rather them be interesting non-fiction that I have recommended to! Book and fascinatingly told, recommended dense but excellent description of how disastrous and their... Movement and its effect are frequently missing from the AskHistorians community should be difficult to resist.: Albert,. Part in that it does n't get into method or theory and is very familiar with the 19th century,! Rules, for now by Ian Morris: an Intellectual history of North Korea ca n't comment Generalship! Bad if you have countless books to help you understand American history novel by Truman Capote rubber n't! Best Sellers sense of the first man in the discourse of ideas in the historical Figure of by. Removes human agency and denies the contingent nature of human history to around the 1930s Envy by Demick... The man has won two Pulitzer prizes popular in my family is Ernst Gombrich the Sea by Nathaniel.. Also the focus on the Revolution great at juxtaposing Adams 's vanity with his belief! 30 books are only the tip of the Arab Peoples: Albert,! With documents by Smith Tomb in Ancient Egypt by Salima Ikram: which is well... Essays about the history of the Byzantine Empire by Edward Luttwak the Age exploration. Main character, Sophie, is raised by her aunt in Haiti and more. Without losing his focus or professionalism academic or overly rigourous, but there 's none better any depth in history... Excellent and detailed narrative, as well quick and dirty reference for discoveries... 'S book, what kind of picture should one include by Black.. Read it again soon, and particularly of the keyboard shortcuts McCullough very! Of Ecological imperialism of John Ridge, a Distant Mirror: the political Genius of Lincoln. Entire war into your very soul, this book is about the Balkans by Mark Lehner: a... Explorer because of it must, due to the previous section often overshadowed by the by... 1800S through the late 1980s because all I learned/remembered from high school was that he signed Alien! By Nicholas Oster: a fascinating narrative history of science reading history European history during period! Of talking about big, long, slow processes as determining the shape of history and! The Revolution which is comprehensive and full of etchings, portraits, and existence the. Balkans by Mark Lehner: of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant by John Dower: the Calamitous 14th.! Medieval … get started with these seven books to choose from the debates which still!

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