1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Dismiss Notice
  6. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

Historical Book Recomendation Thread

Discussion in 'World History' started by Babbler, Nov 28, 2008.

Tags:
  1. Babbler

    Babbler Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,399
    I think it would be nice if we had a historical book recommendation thread, where people could suggest books of a historical nature on certain topics, and people could ask for suggestion for reading material on a certain topic.

    I'll start by recommending A Short History of Canada by Morton for anybody interested in single volume history of Canada, and 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal by Christopher Moore on Confederation. I'll ask anybody what's a good one volume history of South Africa.
     
  2. Sharwood

    Sharwood Rich, doctor nephew

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,954
    Location:
    A little place outside Atlanta
    Can't answer about a good history of South Africa, but I'd recommend Sir Winston Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples for anyone looking for information on, well, the history of English-speaking peoples, on both sides of the Atlantic (there isn't much on other British colonies, it's primarily Britain and the US). It's primarily a general overview in places and Churchill has a tendency to romanticise, but it's still full of a great deal of knowledge, especially on Churchill's own ancestors.
     
  3. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    16,046
    Location:
    In orbit
    This could be an endless thread... but here it goes:

    Ian Kershaw, Hitler (Part 1: 1889-1936, Hybris, Part 2: 1936-1945, Nemesis). Reportedly the 'definitive' biography. Very good, thorough and detailed, with lots of original source-quotes. (After this, you'll definitely be done with Mr Schicklgruber.)
     
  4. Hammurabi II

    Hammurabi II Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Ohio
    does anyone have any good recommendations for a book on the unification of Germany?
     
  5. ZB2

    ZB2 New wave Ideology

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Europe
    STALIN: Court of the Red Tsar

    By Simon Sebag Montifiore

    700 pages of beautifully written text that reads almost like a movie script. Covering the Great mans' early life, then thoroughly covering the Revolution onwards. Sources are many surviving people who knew the man, as well as access to the letters that were sent to and from the Politiburo, and anyone else who ever mailed him a letter.
     
  6. Sharwood

    Sharwood Rich, doctor nephew

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,954
    Location:
    A little place outside Atlanta
    I can't give you one, but it might be best if you mention what unification you're talking about. 1871, or 1989? Help people give proper recommendations.
     
  7. Lockesdonkey

    Lockesdonkey Liberal Jihadist

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,403
    Location:
    Why do you care?
    1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris. Yale University Press, 2008.

    A very informative, detailed, and nuanced look at the development of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine before 1948) and of the Palestinian Arab community, the complex imperial and regional power politics surrounding Palestine in the period 1920-1948, the complex intercommunal politics within Palestine at the same time, the intercommunal Palestinian Civil War of 1947-48 and the interstate War of 1948. Morris is obviously favorable to the Israeli point of view (especially considering his move to the right in the last few years), but he does a good job of explaining the Arab governments' predicament in May 1948; specifically, why they went into a war they knew they would lose.
     
  8. Hammurabi II

    Hammurabi II Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Ohio
    :blush: My bad, I was talking the 19th century unification. Sorry about the confusion!! :cringe: Thanks for pointing that out!
     
  9. Jan H

    Jan H Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Limburg (B)
    In Europe, Geert Mak
    Amazing book about the history of 20th century Europe
     
  10. 7ronin

    7ronin 海軍少佐

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,990
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Diego, Baja Norte
    I just finished reading this; it is an excellent book. I was fascinated by how the various factions within the Jewish state were at times their own worst enemies.
     
  11. Thorbal

    Thorbal not enough ram!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,167
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    You may be interested in Bismarck´s autobiography as well. Not a historical textbook, but a very interesting source. Deliberately inaccurate some times, so read up some historical textbooks first, but it is a nice read after all. I think the English version is called "Bismarck: The Man & The Statesman" and consists of 2 volumes. The original Text is called "Gedanken und Erinnerungen" (direct translation "Thoughts and Reminiscenses").
     
  12. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki Anton's key

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Helsinki, Funland
    Thanks for reminding me - I recently finished Young Stalin by him, which I can recommend to everyone. Making reservation for this now. My recommendation (thanks Lucearaful) is the The Assassination of Julius Ceasar by Michael Parenti. Familiar story told differently.
     
  13. Lockesdonkey

    Lockesdonkey Liberal Jihadist

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,403
    Location:
    Why do you care?
    I was similarly fascinated by how the Arabs were consistently their own worst enemies.

    The Arab world needs some Benny Morrises (and New Historians in general) of its own...(shakes head in disgust and exasperation).
     
  14. ignas

    ignas kunigaikstis

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Lithuania
    "From Sarajevo to Potsdam" by A. J. P Taylor. Insight into 1914-1945 Europe's development and phenomenons that occured.

    The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956, Parts I - II by A.Solzhenitsyn. Gory book about Russian GULAG.
     
  15. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    16,046
    Location:
    In orbit
    Gory, maybe, but pretty thorough and accurate with plenty of first-hand testimony.
     
  16. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,926
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Frances and Joseph Gies have written a series of books on daily life in the middle ages. Each book is short (200 pages), but written well. The authors quote generously from primary sources. Some books include Life in a Medieval Village, Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval City, Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages; Cathedral, Waterwheel, and Forge: Technology in the Middle Ages; and Women in the Middle Ages. There are others that I have not yet read. I particularly like the ones I've bolded.

    In a similar vein, William Manchester's A World Lit Only by Fire and Dorothy Mills' The Middle Ages are both very readable and very enjoyable books on the medieval era.

    For a specific topic -- the Hundred Years War -- Desmond Seward has written a good narrative book on the subject titled (appropriately enough) The Hundred Years War.

    Frederick Lewis Allen has written two books -- Only Yesterday and Since Yesterday on the 1920s and 1930s in America. Both are very informal and readable, although there is a questionable chapter in one of the books about the land market in Miami. It seemed overly formal for the rest of the book. In a similar vein, Good Life in Hard Times: San Francisco's Twenties and Thirties by Jeffery Fromm provides an excellent look into San Francisco during those decades. It's divided into ten or so chapters, each on a different element of the city. One favorite chapter is entitled "All Aboard for the Office" and is on the ferry routes -- very informative.


    Along the lines of military history, I would recommend The Influence of Air Power Upon History by Walter J. Boyne. I've used it in a number of term papers. Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War is also interesting, but limited in scope to Germany's air programs.
     
  17. RalofTyr

    RalofTyr Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    Nailed to the Tree of Woe
    Books by the Gies are often boring and uninspired. I've run into similar passages, like "Medieval buildings were so close together, one could shake the other's hand" quoted in numerous other books.

    A world lit by firelight was indeed interesting, but a rather long and boring read. It was a little too scholarly.

    Life in medieval France by Chamberlin, E. R. was a little more interesting, because everything was broken down and not a long stream of information.


    The Children's Crusade; a history, Gray, George Zabriskie, 1838-1889, was a lot better.
     
  18. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Freedonia
    When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam's Greatest Dynasty - Hugh Kennedy. A fantastic read about the Abbasid Revolution, court life in Baghdad, and the politics and lives of the Caliphs. It's not very long, only about 200 or so pages, but it gets the job done.

    Discovering the Rommel Murder: The Life and Death of the Desert Fox - Charles F. Marshall. An interesting examination of the persona of Erwin Rommel; it contains large sections of his journal as well as his letters written to his wife from the Front, and an interesting investigation of the events surrounding his death in 1944.

    A Brave Black Regiment: The History of the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry - Luis F. Emilio. A fascinating look at the service of the most highly decorated unit of the Civil War, and the first African-American regiment raised in the North, written by one of the commanding officers of the unit, albeit years after the war.
     
  19. lutzj

    lutzj The Last Thing You See

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    New England
    Gah! Beat me to 'em. Don't forget The Third Chimpanzee, although I don't know
     
  20. Sui Generis

    Sui Generis Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,219
    Can someone tell me a good book about the thirty years war and that time period. It is a blank spot for me.
     

Share This Page

Ebates: Get Paid to Shop