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Best History Books

Recommendations from 39 articles, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Alicia Keys and 147 others.
Best History Books
95 books on the list
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Sapiens book cover
Sapiens
A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari - 2018-05-15 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be ens...
Guns, Germs, and Steel book cover
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond - 2005-07-17 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasi...
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich book cover
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
A History of Nazi Germany
William L. Shirer - 2011-10-11 (first published in 1960)
Goodreads Rating
Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known.No other powerful empire ever bequeathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich. When the bitter war was over, and before the...
A People's History of the United States book cover
A People's History of the United States
Howard Zinn - 2015-11-17 (first published in 1980)
Goodreads Rating
"A wonderful, splendid book--a book that should be ready by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future." --Howard FastWith a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this edition of the classic national bestseller chronicles American history from the bottom up, throwing out th...
1491 book cover
1491
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
Charles C. Mann - 2006-10-10 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who a...
Recommended by
John Leguizamo
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee book cover
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
An Indian History of the American West (Arena Books)
Dee Alexander Brown - 1987-12-01 (first published in 1970)
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Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history The New York Times called "Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking...Impossible to put down."Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the s...
Recommended by
Rob Schneider
The Guns of August book cover
The Guns of August
Barbara W. Tuchman - 1994-03-08 (first published in 1962)
Goodreads Rating
Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and how it could have been stopped but wasn'...
Team of Rivals book cover
Team of Rivals
The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin - 2009-02-01 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
The bestselling and prize-winning study of one of the most legendary American Presidents in history, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is the book that inspired Barack Obama in his presidency.When Barack Obama was asked which book he could not live without in the White House, his answer was instant: Team of Rivals. This monumental and brillian...
The Silk Roads book cover
The Silk Roads
A New History of the World
Peter Frankopan - 2017-03-07 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South ...
A Short History of Nearly Everything book cover
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson - 2004-09-14 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
In Bryson's biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To ...
SPQR by Mary Beard
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
Grant by Ron Chernow
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil Macgregor
They Were Her Property by Stephanie E Jones-Rogers
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Manhunt by James L. Swanson
1776 by David McCullough
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
The Cigarette by Sarah Milov
The Season by Kristen Richardson
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne
A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
Enemy at the Gates by William Craig
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney
Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo
1493 by Charles C. Mann
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Decolonising the Mind by Ngugi Wa Thiong'O
The Birth of Plenty by William Bernstein
America on Fire by Elizabeth Hinton
My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst
The War Before the War by Andrew Delbanco
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2 by Edward Gibbon
The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis
American Radicals by Holly Jackson
The Most Dangerous Man in America by Bill Minutaglio
Pliny by Pliny
The Nazi Doctors by Robert J. Lifton
Orientalism by Edward W. Said
The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence by Harlow Giles Unger
The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper
Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Against the Gods by Peter L. Bernstein
Bolivar by Marie Arana
John Adams by David McCullough
Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz
Leningrad by Anna Reid
History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky
The Crowded Hour by Clay Risen
The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
Hiroshima by John Hersey
Agrippina by Emma Southon
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Lakota America by Pekka Hamalainen
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Magna Carta by Dan Jones
Lady Bird and Lyndon by Betty Boyd Caroli
Enemies by Tim Weiner
The Crusades by Thomas Asbridge
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles MacKay
The Myth of the Rational Market by Justin Fox
The Age of Augustus by Werner Eck
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott
The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott