History books are essential to every society. They help to pass the culture and traditions of various communities to generation after generation. Some history books serve as a warning of the occurrence of certain events in the current world. For instance, history books about war show how millions of people were killed such that everyone would not want that thing to happen again. Some are for inspiring people through various legends. Historical books are many, but here are among the must-read books. Here are some of the best history books available for you.
Be sure to check out: Best History Magazines | Historical Knowledge
Top 15 Best History Books In 2020 | Understanding the Past Events
1. Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam
The book has a style of a novel by Fredrik Logevall. When you read the unit, you will have better knowledge as to why America went to war in Vietnam.
The author of the book is Fredrik Logevall. It illuminates the hidden history of the American and Fresh encounters in Vietnam. The unit covers a definitive history of the crucial formative time from 1940-1960 in Vietnam.
- The book is widely researched and professionally written.
- It consists of 864 pages.
- The unit offers hard answers to the unanswered question concerning the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the coming up of another.
2. Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age
The book is traumatizing, and it will leave you in stitches. It is well written and has many lessons to learn from.
The author of the book is Modris Ekstein, who is a history professor at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus. It describes the origins, the outcomes, and the effects of the Great War of 1914-1918.
- The book consists of 416 pages.
- It unearths the roots of modernism.
- The unit explores the lives of ordinary people, functions of modern writings, and historical events to redefine the manner we see the past and toward our future.
3. Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the 20th Century
The book captures exciting stories of the typical Germans who lived through World War II.
The author of the book is Konrad Hugo Jarausch. It shows how the lives of ordinary Germans were terrified and ruined by the things they saw and did. The unit also displays the mistakes of youths who were caught up in the Nazi movement.
- The book shows the brutal dictatorship of Hitler.
- It reveals the intimate human details of historical events.
- The unit consists of 464 pages.
4. A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
The author of the book is Sonia Purnell. It is an award-winning book and has won many awards such as the Best Book of the Year by New York Public Library.
The book talks of a lady by the name Virginia, who fixed a massive spy network throughout France. It shows how Virginia called explosives and weapons down from the skies and how she became the linchpin of the Resistance. The unit explains how she came back to save more lives.
- The book shows how Virginia led a triumphant guerrilla campaign.
- It consists of 368 pages.
- The unit shows the secret life of Virginia Hall.
5. Democracy: A Life
The book is fascinating to read. Though compact, it is rich in education in a democracy.
The author of the book is Paul Cartledge. It offers a comprehensive history of the ancient political system. Moreover, he also draws the differences between ancient and modern forms of democracy, providing a great understanding of both.
- The book consists of 416 pages.
- It shows the origin of democracy in ancient Greece.
- The unit compares and contrasts modern democratic forms and contemporary political thought.
6. The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation
The author of the book is Gene Roberts. It was published on September 4, 2007.
The book shows how news stories, photographs, and editorials in the American press changed the thinking of the nation on civil rights during the 1950s and 60s. It uncovers numerous facts that had gone unreported in many books concerning the movement.
- The book shows the role of journalists who played a significant role in transforming the South.
- It consists of 544 pages.
- The unit is ideal for those people who want to learn more about the civil rights movement.
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The author of the book is Ron Chernow. It was published on October 10, 2017.
The book tells the life story of Ulysses S. Grant. He outlines the achievements of Grant at the end of the war and after. The unit shows Grant as an enigmatic man whose bravery cannot go unnoticed.
- The book describes Grant as a heroic leader who led the army.
- It consists of
- The unit provides a crucial understanding of the general and president whose luck rose and fell at an alarming speed.
8. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
The author of the book is Jared Diamond. It was published by W.W Norton & Company on April 1, 1999.
The book helps people to understand human history. Jared argues that environmental and geographical factors shapes today’s world. For a society to succeed, it starts with food production, develops a religion, creates potent weapons of war, and adventure on the sea to conquer preliterate cultures.
- The book explains why Western civilization became hegemonic.
- It analyses the fundamentals of cultural progress.
- The unit consists of 480 pages.
9. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
The author of the book is Jack Weatherford, who is a professor of Anthropology at Macalester College. Broadway Books published it on March 22, 2005.
The book talks about the growth and influence of Genghis Khan and his successors. It also shows the effect of Genghis on European civilization.
- The book consists of 352 pages.
- It shows how the Mongol Army conquered more people and land than the Romans.
- The unit describes Khan as a secular and great leader.
10. Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944
The author of the book is Anna Reid. Walker Books published it on September 4, 2012.
The book shows how millions of Lenigraders died of starvation. It also shows how Leningrad gives the voice to the dead as well as shedding some light on one of the twentieth century’s superior calamities.
The Leningrad tries to answer unanswered questions such as:
- Why did Germans not conquer the city?
- Why did the city not collapse of anarchy?
- Who and what decided those to live and those to die?
11. Churchill: Walking with Destiny
The author of the book is Andrew Roberts. Its publisher was Viking on November 6, 2018, as the 5th edition.
The book talks about the life of Winston Churchill, the man who believed in himself as the Britain Saviour. Robert describes Churchill as a visionary and iconic war leader right from his birth to his lasting legacy.
- Robert s says that Churchill who helped save civilization from the evils of Nazism.
- He teaches about the problems leaders face today.
- The unit also talks about the fundamentals values of courage.
12. The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
The author of the book is Thomas Asbridge. It was published on March 8, 2011, by Ecco Publishers.
The book talks of the fierce struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas vividly shows the Holy War that existed between the Islamic and Christian Worlds. The unit covers the period between the years 1095-1291.
- The book consists of 784 pages.
- It exposes the full passion, horror, and ruthless grandeur of the Crusading era.
- The unit shows how the holy wars restructured the medieval world.
13. The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality
The author of the book is Anna-Lisa Cox. Its publication date is June 12, 2018, by PublicAffairs Publishers.
The book tells the story of Griers’ story and their struggle for equality. It shows how their hard encounters played a significant role in shaping the Midwest and the entire nation.
- The book consists of 304 pages.
- It helps us to understand the history of racism in the Midwest.
- The unit uncovers the hidden story of the African and American farmers for dearly fought for justice and equality against white supremacy.
14. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote
The author of the book is Elaine Weiss. Viking Publishers published it on March 6, 2018.
The book shows the suffrage of women in the United States. It helps to capture the turning point for American women.
- The book consists of 416 pages.
- It shows how WWI played a vital role in changing society.
- The unit tells the birth of the WLA movement and the women backing it.
15. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
The author of the book is David W. Bright. It was published by Simon % Schuster on October 16, 2018.
The book talks about Frederick Douglass, who has freed from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. It shows how Frederick condemned slavery.
- The book consists of 912 pages.
- It illuminates the challenges of Douglass’s life.
- The unit shows Frederick rose from slavery to leading civil war.
History books are essential to current and future generations. They help people to know where they have come from and where they are. Most history books talk of great legends that fought hard to ensure we attain the freedom we enjoy today. It is through their sacrifices and risking their own lives we live freely away from any fear. Some legends fought for justice and equality. The above are among the must-read history books. Get one and understand more of the past. you may also check Best Personal Finance Books
Why Should You Read History Books?
“HISTORY” – does it sound like a bunch of events, deaths, and dates? And why not? We survived our childhood memorizing all these! It’s time you come out of the concept of boring history. History is like a moral story containing solutions and advice for everything. By reading and knowing history books, you will see modern problems are just the spiced-up version of the past hazards.
If the world back then dealt with and survived all those issues, the facilitated modern world can also. The struggles for existence, exploring love for motherland, the game of thrones in every dynasty, developing skills and techniques can be so exciting and inspiring at the same time. Why pay for Netflix if reading history books can give you both entertainment and knowledge? History books also give:
- Awareness of the past
- Warning for mistakes
- Inspiration from the life story
- Better knowledge of heritage
- Solutions to fight problems
Where Should I Start Reading a History Book?
First of all, history is not a dull subject. This is the place where details, facts, events can be explored and judged. There’s no need to read everything in the world, but knowing one’s past can be delightful. Before you grab a book, make sure they are divided into chronological order.
In this way, you can develop connections between the happenings. Whether you are a student or a grownup, understand that history is not a messy or ugly thing. The more you read, the better you can relate. So start with something that begins with the ancient world, and then gradually jump to different topics.
Next, follow your interests! Need a technique to enjoy history better? Go for books instead of PDFs. Try going to the dead libraries once. No distractions, no noises, lots of books, and you drowning in history! History will not seem so dull if you drown in it.
What are the 3 Stages of Reading?
Did you know you could grasp history better if you follow the 3 stages of reading? The 3 steps are:
- The Skim
- The Slow read
- The Post Read
Reading is not all! Grasping and implementing them in situations will make your reading time meaningful. Here’s how you will do it!
In this step, you will be preparing yourself for the reading.
- Choose the purpose of your reading and check for titles and context
- Search for the prominent points
- Formulate all your questions relevant to the study
- A quick scan for keywords and ideas
The Slow Read
This is the stage where you work on strengthening your reading skill aka the step where you set everything in your mind.
- Pay attention to the tone of the writer.
- Try to crack the secret meanings behind the logics.
- Highlight the important parts.
- Get answers to the previous queries.
The Post Read
This is the step where you combine your reading with your research.
- Evaluate whether the books were efficient enough.
- Fill up the reading gaps.
- Discuss or impart for better understanding.
- Feel the urge to know more.
Implement the steps and embrace the history books for a better today and tomorrow.
How Do You Read a History Book Quickly and Effectively?
To many of us, reading may seem lame and weird. This case is convincing even for the bookworms. And if the topic is history, may God save us! To be honest, history is fun if you know how to read it. How are you supposed to judge your evolution if you do not know your past? So yes, learning history is essential. Follow the steps for quick and efficient learning of your history book:
- Start with a light book like Steel or Germs.
- Find the era that appeals to you.
- Take history as fiction.
- Relate to your surroundings.
- Follow techniques to remember names and dates.
- Take breaks instead of forcing yourself to read.
- Take important notes.
- Write reviews at the end of each chapter and read them occasionally.
- For effective learning, choose history books from different writers.
Basically, if you are imposing the imagination theory, you will find history repeating around you.
How to Read a Book without Getting Bored?
Relax! It’s okay if you get bored by reading a book. Especially if you are forced to read, reading may seem like the toughest job in the universe. However, if you try to bring some changes in your reading habits and focus on storytelling, books won’t seem much tedious then. It’s always fun to advise and impart. On a serious note, here are a few things that you can try for reading without getting bored.
- Drive the troubling g thoughts and focus on something happy.
- Choose a comfy position & eliminate distraction.
- Read for short intervals instead of reading at a stretch.
- Take time for dull topics.
- Formulate and answer questions from what you have read
For a change, you can try an e-reader, but remember to switch off the pop-up notifications. Try the history books as a bedtime story. Who knows- you may relive the same historic moments in your dreams!
How to Prevent Book Pages from Turning Yellow?
If you want to treasure your books for a long time, obviously you can’t let them get yellow. It looks pretty gross. Pages turn yellow because of the oxidation of cellulose and lignin present in the pages. But having the clean, white pages is something we all yearn for! There are a few things you can do to prevent your books from getting dirty yellow.
- Books abhor sunlight. Keep them away
- Arrange for plenty of air circulation
- Keep the humidity range from 30%-50%
- Use lining paper to prevent yellow
Sorry, but your books will age too. You can store them for a long time in this manner, but eventually, they will turn yellow. There’s no need to be hurt as it shows the book was read and loved. They won’t have the fresh parchment smell or the holy white, yet they are your treasures. What’s a history book without a bit of yellow?
So, we finally reached the end. Now history books won’t teach you how to perform a surgery, or how to manage your finances, or how to get a job! But history books will tell you about all the great minds who worked behind gifting this beautiful earth. The past is responsible for the present and present works upon the future. In this way, knowing the past brings a brighter future. Read the history books, get inspired by the events, develop your moral understanding, and let it reflect on your activities. Someday you might be written in these pages of history books.