The facts, just the facts, about the world as it really is, The geopolitical reality behind the “pivot to Asia”, An intriguing murder mystery set in 18th century China. 541,145 ratings — Writing historical nonfiction step 1: research, research, research. 47,292 ratings — published 2019, avg rating 4.34 — This list is generated from 129 "best of" book lists from a variety of great sources. Historical Fiction Reader American Heritage History of World War II by Steven E. Ambrose and C. L. Sulzberger—The best short history of World War II, The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44 by Rick Atkinson – Friendly fire and bumbling generals in WWII, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson – “The greatest catastrophe in human history”, Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma – The fateful year when the world stepped back from war, Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of World War II by Jennet Conant—The amateur scientist who helped deliver radar and the atomic bomb. Read the review. How the Koch brothers are revolutionizing American politics, The President who launched the Mexican-American War, How today’s conservatism grew in the cotton fields of California, Murder and corruption under Hollywood’s bright lights, The shameful story of Japanese-American Internment in WWII, The shocking reality behind the secret US war on “terror”, Understanding the secret American campaign against Al Qaeda, From the Summer of Love to the Jonestown massacre, How the U.S. military wages war in Afghanistan, Citizens United, bribery, and corruption in America, A wrenching view of how the U.S. military fought the Vietnam War, Capitalism reexamined from an historical perspective, We never think about it, but our civilization is built on sand, A survey of Big History by the man who created the field, Exploring the arc of history over 70,000 years, More than you ever wanted to know about the history of paper, After the Columbian Exchange, nothing was ever the same, This book will challenge everything you know about ancient history, An extraordinary episode in Israeli history, Before Edward Snowden was “The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell”, How a novel helped speed the collapse of the Soviet Union, A gripping true-life tale of Cold War spycraft, A revealing account of life under the Nazis in occupied Europe, Shocking revelations: the secret military history of the Internet, How the CIA infiltrated the National Student Association, How Homeland Security went abroad to capture an Iranian arms dealer, The female Jewish spy who helped pave the way to the State of Israel, History versus fiction: How Netflix’s Versailles distorts the facts, Does history repeat itself? Mary was the niece of Gifford Pinchot, a Teddy Roosevelt confidante, the first head of the U.S. Forest Service, and a former two-term Governor of Pennsylvania. published 1995, avg rating 3.74 — published 2003, avg rating 4.16 — published 2015, avg rating 3.77 — published 1992, avg rating 3.81 — Diamond hypothesized that the arc of human history was dramatically shifted by geographic, environmental, biological, and other factors, resulting in the worldwide dominance of the leading industrial powers during the past 500 years. 113,598 ratings — Some revisit conflicts that have shaped the modern world, as … Now, Talbot has delved more deeply into the record and taken a far more critical look at Dulles’ career. If you’ve wondered how anyone could insist that the United States is a “Christian nation” when so many other faiths are practiced within our borders—and so many Americans shun religion entirely—you should enjoy One Nation Under Gods: A New American History by Peter Manseau. A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Some nonfiction categories—like literary nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, and creative nonfiction—overlap with historical nonfiction, and many bestselling books can be categorized in two or more of these genres. published 2007, avg rating 4.05 — 85,837 ratings — Unlike many of the pioneering books in Big History, Ansary’s is written in a breezy, conversational style that brings the past to life. Within each of the several lists, titles are all arranged in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names. As Charles C. Mann explains, in this revised edition of his 2006 bestseller, latter-day investigations historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, and ecologists have turned up persuasive evidence that the Americas before Columbus were far more heavily populated, the leading civilizations far more sophisticated, and their origins far further back in time than earlier generations of scholars had suspected. They shaped twentieth-century Chinese history, Kim Jong Il’s North Korea from the inside out, An amazing true story of Israeli spies in the country’s War of Independence, A survivor’s eye-opening tale of life in the North Korean gulag, Blaine Harden: how North Korea came to be what it is today, Escape from North Korea: a first-person account, Indian history portrayed through biography, Mao, Truman, and the birth of Modern China, A revealing history of U.S.-China relations. Following several lists defined (often arbitrarily) by category that include more than 100 good nonfiction books about history. Explore our selection of history books here! There is leeway when writing memoir: that truth is yours. While all that is present in The Splendid and the Vile, Larson’s focus is on the emotional reality of life in and around 10 Downing Street during that fateful year. The story of Churchill’s courage and his brilliant if unorthodox leadership style is well known. If you enjoy reading history in fictional form, check out 20 most enlightening historical novels (plus dozens of runners-up). published 1982, avg rating 4.03 — If you’ve been taught that God handed down the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. I drop those that disappoint me.) The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask—Who knew that street addresses meant so much? 100,574 ratings — In fact, Morris has little patience for the Great Man Theory of History: “the most that any of these great men/bungling idiots did was to speed up or slow down processes that were already under way. Read 29 662 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In just four hundred pages, one of the most prolific authors of the twentieth century manages to upend many of the prevailing beliefs about the history of the Jewish people. published 2011, avg rating 4.14 — Jade City by Fonda Lee is $2.99! The list below begins with my 20 favorite nonfiction books about history (excluding biographies). 314,215 ratings — The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic by Benjamin Carter Hett – How democracy died in Germany: is there a lesson for America today? A new sub-discipline was born. If you details wrong, you’ll undo every good thing your book accomplishes. What we didn’t know—or, at least, what I didn’t know—was that J. Edgar Hoover and Ronald Reagan were personally and directly engaged not just in monitoring but in managing the secret government campaigns that helped raise the temperature to the boiling point again and again. Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty—Why are so many homeless in America? Was the Spanish Flu of 1918 a greater disaster than World War II? 46,556 ratings — published 2010, avg rating 4.39 — Writing historical nonfiction step 1: research, research, research. 66,057 ratings — Maybe you’re looking for history books for your kids or maybe you’ve just got a series aficionado on your hands like I do. 41,291 ratings — Stand a few feet away from a globe and squint: if the globe is properly positioned, what you’ll see is one huge, three-tentacled landmass (Asia-Africa-Europe); a second, much smaller one that consists of two parts joined by a narrow connector (North and South America); and several even smaller bits of land scattered about on the periphery (Australia, Greenland, Japan, Indonesia). Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney – Was the Spanish Flu of 1918 a greater disaster than World War II? published 2005, avg rating 4.07 — published 2001, avg rating 3.85 — The New Jim Crow is one of the most important books published in the English language in a great many years, because it dispels so many of our cherished illusions and takes no prisoners in naming those responsible or in proposing remedies. To be honest, the book sounds intense and awesome. (If I review a book, it almost always means I read and enjoyed the book. That’s the world as the Joint Chiefs of Staff must view it. She was also so striking that practically everyone who spoke about her commented on her beauty. 69,428 ratings — Also read TIME’s lists of the 10 best fiction books of 2020, the 100 must-read books of the year and the 10 best video games of the year . The historical record reveals a great deal about Dulles’ career in espionage, highlighting his central role in the overthrow of the Iranian and Guatemalan governments in 1953 and 54, in the notorious MKULTRA program that administered mind-altering drugs to unwitting subjects in at least seven countries, and in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. There’s a broad array of subjects and stories that fall under the umbrella of historical nonfiction, … Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit – Why do so many people hate Western values? Kinzer’s thesis is that American entry into war with Spain in 1898 marked the crucial turning point in the protracted and acrimonious debate raised by these events. Nabeel’s Song: A Family Story of Survival in Iraq by Jo Tatchell – The Iraqi view of life under Saddam Hussein, Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz by Omer Bartov—The Holocaust under the microscope of history, Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles—An impressionistic history of libraries and librarians through the ages, Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio by Misha Glenny – An intimate look at drug trafficking in Brazil, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann – Pre-Columbian civilization in the Amazon, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt – An historian explains how we came to think the way we do, The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan – A thought-provoking view of world politics, The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski – How Africa came to be what it is today, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund—The facts, just the facts, about the world as it really is, The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC – 1492 AD by Simon Schama – Simon Schama on Jewish history from 1000-1492. 39,189 ratings — The books listed here do not include My 10 favorite books about business history. 199,513 ratings — The central event in this story was the U.S. seizure of Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines and the annexation of Hawaii, all in 1898. Epicurus was one of the central figures in the Axial Age (roughly 600 to 200 BCE), which gave the world Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, and other seminal thinkers across the grand sweep of Asia and Europe. Read the review. Journey through important moments in history with Hachette Book Group. Cultural critic Lauren Elkin challenges this assumption by celebrating the women throughout history who have dared to move throughout urban spaces on foot. Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles— An impressionistic … 88,866 ratings — The Emperor of All Maladies won the 2011 Pulitzer in General Nonfiction (the jury called it “An elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.”), the Guardian first book award, and the inaugural PEN/E. 147,614 ratings — Who knew that street addresses meant so much? In this list I narrowed down the topic a bit by focusing on books within the last 100 years or so, including some very contemporary ones, and I kept just a few genres: biography, memoir, history, social sciences, culture, science, and nature. Some lists count more than others. published 2005, avg rating 3.47 — Higginbotham’s book draws from hundreds of hours of interviews. 149,160 ratings — 135,464 ratings — Congratulations to all of our nonfiction books that made the 100 Notable Books of 2020 list by the editors of The New York Times Book Review! To be a credible historical nonfiction author, you absolutely must do your homework. 43,688 ratings — published 1946, avg rating 3.74 — 17,957 ratings — That brief, inglorious conflict represented the advent of the U.S. as a world power. Joan’s eBooks LLC has a fine selection of historical nonfiction books about women for you to discover, purchase and read. Jade City. When writing historical nonfiction, there is less room. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. A Cambridge University historian wonders, Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox – How Sherlock Holmes foreshadowed today’s “scientific detecting”, The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding – An intimate take on 20th-century German history, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild – World War I: Learning history the hard way, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild — The American role in the Spanish Civil War, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather – Roman generals, barbarians, and a compulsive historian to tell the tale. 69,772 ratings — Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond – Why is economic development so uneven around the world? And, in never straying from the 30,000-foot perspective that characterizes the field, it’s crammed with insight that’s missing from conventional histories that illuminate the trees but miss the forest. 604,468 ratings — While many historians still engaged in the stale debate about whether “Great Men” or social forces are dominant in history, Diamond and Morris convincingly laid out the case for the greater influence of the larger context in which human history takes place, delving not just into geography but also (in Morris’ case) into biology, sociology, and archaeology. Together, the two books provide a well-rounded picture of American history as it really happened, not as we were taught it in high school. button, and you're on your way. 321,557 ratings — Also, you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, plus a guide to this whole site, on the Home Page. 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