historical nonfiction books
Writing historical nonfiction step 1: research, research, research. Read 29 662 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. If you enjoy reading history in fictional form, check out 20 most enlightening historical novels (plus dozens of runners-up). Error rating book. Read the review. 230,939 ratings — published 1998, avg rating 3.92 — Historical nonfiction is a broad category that covers any sort of nonfiction writing that depicts historical, real-life events. To be honest, the book sounds intense and awesome. published 2003, avg rating 4.16 — Leave a comment. 55,376 ratings — 1919 Versailles: The End of the War to End All Wars by Charles L. Mee, Jr.—The World War I peace treaty that led to World War II, A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies, and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston – The political scandal that roiled the British Establishment, Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World It Made, by Richard Rhodes – An outsider’s take on the Spanish Civil War, Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History by Steven J. Zipperstein – In a prelude to the Holocaust, the Kishinev pogrom shocked the world, The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944: J. M. Keynes and the Reshaping of the Global Economy by Ed Conway – The clashing personalities determined our economic history, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando de Soto – Hernando de Soto on property rights, capitalism, and inequality, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson – A human-centered history of the Digital Revolution, The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen – The mind-boggling story of America’s top-secret military research, Money: The Unauthorized Biography—From Coinage to Cryptocurrencies by Felix Martin – Misunderstanding money helped cause the Great Recession, The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace by Eric Rauchway – FDR, the gold standard, and the Great Depression, The Patient Assassin by Anita Anand – The story of the Amritsar Massacre that sped up the Indian independence movement, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary – The Islamic perspective on history, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan – Jesus of Nazareth and the origins of anti-Semitism, A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook—Urbanization, globalization and the future of humanity. published 1970, avg rating 3.88 — The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World—and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen—When did globalization begin? Jade City by Fonda Lee is $2.99! I generally trust "best of all time" lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. If you want to learn more about the women who shaped history, check out our selection of eBooks. The Devil in the White City book. 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. 10,854 ratings — published 2014, avg rating 4.33 — Call it selective memory: we tend to forget that the survival of our democratic system was by no means assured on March 4, 1933, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as president. This adult fantasy novel incredibly violent, according to reviews. Following several lists defined (often arbitrarily) by category that include more than 100 good nonfiction books about history. As James Bradley makes clear in The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia, FDR steadfastly resisted the aggressive, well-funded campaign of the China Lobby to force the U.S. government to embargo oil sales to Japan in the late 1930s. 789,349 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! In fact, if you yourself believe that claim, it’s even more important that you read this surprising and revealing book. 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. A prominent Israeli columnist’s sober assessment: Will Israel survive? 41,291 ratings — And the CIA was deeply involved in her murder. She was also so striking that practically everyone who spoke about her commented on her beauty. 199,513 ratings — Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document or media content that intends, in good faith, to present only truth and accuracy regarding information, events, or people. published 2005, avg rating 3.47 — 31,081 ratings — 47,292 ratings — 604,468 ratings — published 1992, avg rating 4.26 — published 1999, avg rating 4.42 — 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. The central subject of this extraordinary book is the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer in October 1964. published 1956, avg rating 4.08 — When writing historical nonfiction, there is less room. published 2020, avg rating 4.03 — Similiar to our list of 100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime, this list of 50 non-fiction books contains recommendations you might actually read (if you haven't already).This curated list covers the gamut of non-fiction, from compelling war stories to key feminist texts, to unbelievable struggles for survival, to tales of life in the culinary trade. Browse our history book collection by country, century or topic, and learn more about some of the world's most pivotal, revolutionary times. However, for most of cultural history, this someone was presumed to be male. An account of Jewish history full of surprises, An historian explains how we came to think the way we do, A revisionist history of intelligence in World War II, The CIA murder conspiracy that ended JFK’s plan for peace, A thought-provoking view of world politics, An intimate view of Winston Churchill in WW2, Astonishing new evidence about the Americas before 1492, America’s surprising religious history in a highly readable book. 64,486 ratings — Nonfiction books are rooted in truth. Find our notable fiction books here and their complete list here. 85,837 ratings — published 2017, avg rating 4.07 — Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang—They shaped twentieth-century Chinese history, A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power by Paul Fischer – Kim Jong Il’s North Korea from the inside out, Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel by Matti Friedman—An amazing true story of Israeli spies in the country’s War of Independence, Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden – A survivor’s eye-opening tale of life in the North Korean gulag, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom by Blaine Harden – Blaine Harden: how North Korea came to be what it is today, A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa—Escape from North Korea: a first-person account, Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives by Sunil Khilnani – Indian history portrayed through biography, A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949 by Kevin Peraino – Mao, Truman, and the birth of Modern China, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret – A revealing history of U.S.-China relations, China in World History by Paul S. Ropp – Chinese history in less than 200 pages. published 2005, avg rating 4.41 — published 2011, avg rating 4.34 — The book won a 1997 Pulitzer Prize and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris – Is history too important to leave to historians? This post was updated on January 16, 2021. A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II 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. Take a quick look back at five centuries of great writing Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl – From the ashes of the Holocaust, a gift of lessons for living, The Secrets of the Notebook: A Woman’s Quest to Uncover Her Royal Family Secret by Eve Haas—One woman’s obsessive quest to learn how her grandmother died in the Holocaust, The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings – A revisionist history of intelligence in World War II, Operation Chastise: The RAF’s Most Brilliant Attack of World War II by Max Hastings—Bomber Command’s most successful attack on Nazi Germany was not on its cities, The Nazi Menace: Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and the Road to War by Benjamin Carter Hett—How the Western democracies stumbled into war with Nazi Germany, 12 Seconds of Silence: How a Team of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon by Jamie Holmes—The WWII technology breakthrough with the proximity fuse, The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb by Sam Kean—The secret mission to stop the Nazi atomic bomb, Engineers of Victory: The Problem-Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War by Paul Kennedy – The problem-solvers who won World War II, The Saboteur: The Aristocrat Who Became France’s Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando by Paul Kix—A story of an anti-Nazi commando worthy of Hollywood, The Last Ditch: Britain’s Secret Resistance and the Nazi Invasion Plans by David Lampe—Why Hitler didn’t invade Great Britain, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson – Why the U.S. failed to speak out against the rise of Hitler’s Germany, Churchill’s Shadow Raiders: The Race to Develop Radar, WWII’s Invisible Secret Weapon by Damien Lewis—How German radar technology helped Britain win World War II, Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben MacIntyre – A new spin on why the Normandy invasion succeeded, Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured Allied Victory by Ben MacIntyre – How the Allies fooled the Nazis with a corpse and assured victory, Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben MacIntyre – The story of the original special forces, War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan—A scholar surveys armed conflict through the ages, Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945 by Rana Mitter—A gripping history of China in World War II, Madame Fourcade’s Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler by Lynne Olson—The truth about the French Resistance, dug out of old records, A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Ingenious Young Women Whose Board Game Helped Win World War II by Simon Parkin—How wargames helped win World War II, From Kraków to Berkeley: Coming Out of Hiding by Anna Rabkin—“Survival is sweet revenge:” The odyssey of a Holocaust survivor, The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman—A moving death camp survivor’s memoir, 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik – The sad story of FDR’s complicity with the Holocaust, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander — The New Jim Crow: reexamining mass incarceration in America, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire by Kurt Andersen – Conspiracy theories, fake news, and other delusions in American history, Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding… Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis by Sam Anderson—America revealed through the lens of a single mid-sized city, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass – Nixon, Kissinger, and the genocide history has ignored, “The Rest of Us”: The Rise of America’s Eastern European Jews by Stephen Birmingham—Start here to understand Jews in America, Republican Gomorra: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party by Max Blumenthal – When religion dominated the views of American conservatives, The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley – Teddy Roosevelt and the dark side of American foreign policy. What is less well known is how he managed from day to day to persist in the face of such overwhelming odds during the critical first year of his five years in office. The best history books of all time have proven to be truly galvanizing to the present since their publication. Two decades ago a UCLA geography professor named Jared Diamond published Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. You may also be interested in my posts, 12 good books about the Holocaust, including both fiction and nonfiction, and 5 top nonfiction books about World War II (plus many runners-up). There’s a broad array of subjects and stories that fall under the umbrella of historical nonfiction, … Many of those biographies might also be classified as history, as they cast light on the times in which their subjects lived. The Diary of a Young Girl book. button, and you're on your way. published 1986, avg rating 3.74 — published 2017, avg rating 4.11 — Why is economic development so uneven around the world? The books listed here do not include My 10 favorite books about business history. 100,574 ratings — 97,594 ratings — Now comes British journalist and historian Max Hastings with a revisionist view in The Secret War. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari – Exploring the arc of history over 70,000 years, Paper: Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky – More than you ever wanted to know about the history of paper, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann – Astonishing new evidence about the Americas before 1492, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann – After the Columbian Exchange, nothing was ever the same. 101,421 ratings — Higginbotham’s book draws from hundreds of hours of interviews. published 1999, avg rating 4.16 — published 2019, avg rating 4.34 — published 2011, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America (Hardcover), The Diary of a Young Girl (Mass Market Paperback), Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption (Hardcover), Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Hardcover), In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (Hardcover), The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Hardcover), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Hardcover), Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (ebook), The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (Hardcover), The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Hardcover), Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Paperback), In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Paperback), A People's History of the United States (Paperback), The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Paperback), The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom (Paperback), Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Paperback), The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (Hardcover), The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Hardcover), The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (Kindle Edition), SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Paperback), The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History (Hardcover), Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Hardcover), Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire (Maus, #1), Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Mass Market Paperback), Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Hardcover), The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (Hardcover), Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Paperback), Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest (Paperback), How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (Paperback), White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Hardcover), Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Paperback), Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War (Hardcover), The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Kindle Edition), Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War (Hardcover), 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Paperback), Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (Paperback), Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President (Hardcover), Best Historical Juvenile Fiction/Nonfiction, LitPick video book review for Limerick Comics. 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. FDR, the gold standard, and the Great Depression, J. Edgar Hoover, Ronald Reagan, and the violence in 1960s Berkeley, When America’s secret government ran amok, Friendly fire and bumbling generals in WWII, “The greatest catastrophe in human history”, The fateful year when the world stepped back from war, The amateur scientist who helped deliver radar and the atomic bomb, From the ashes of the Holocaust, a gift of lessons for living, One woman’s obsessive quest to learn how her grandmother died in the Holocaust, Bomber Command’s most successful attack on Nazi Germany was not on its cities, How the Western democracies stumbled into war with Nazi Germany, The WWII technology breakthrough with the proximity fuse, The secret mission to stop the Nazi atomic bomb, A story of an anti-Nazi commando worthy of Hollywood, Why the U.S. failed to speak out against the rise of Hitler’s Germany, How German radar technology helped Britain win World War II, A new spin on why the Normandy invasion succeeded, How the Allies fooled the Nazis with a corpse and assured victory, A scholar surveys armed conflict through the ages, A gripping history of China in World War II, The truth about the French Resistance, dug out of old records, “Survival is sweet revenge:” The odyssey of a Holocaust survivor, The sad story of FDR’s complicity with the Holocaust, Conspiracy theories, fake news, and other delusions in American history, America revealed through the lens of a single mid-sized city, When religion dominated the views of American conservatives, The conflict between the U.S. and Al Qaeda, Berkeley in 1969: Black Panthers, the FBI, and the Vietnam War, Teddy Roosevelt: progressive, champion of primary elections, and a racist, The ugly US-Iran war, past, present, and future, Life in the maelstrom of Hurricane Katrina, Teacher training, normal schools, and “bad teachers”, The case that helped put the FBI on the map, A stirring account of the watershed 2008 election, Early 20th-century America viewed through the life of one extraordinary woman, Economic inequality deconstructed in a brilliant historical study, An entertaining history of the post office, When a U-boat sank the Lusitania and changed history, Historical perspective on “the vast Right-Wing conspiracy”. It was Epicurus who laid the foundation for science and the scientific method by his insistence that nothing should be believed unless it could be established through direct observation and logical deduction. The Ultra Secret. 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 . Read the review. Racist attitudes were so prevalent and unchallenged in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th Century that the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science—the founder of anthropology in the U.S.—could observe, “The Aryan family represents the central stream of progress, because it produced the highest type of mankind, and because it has proved its intrinsic superiority by gradually assuming control of the earth.” In hindsight, then, it should be no surprise that such celebrated figures as Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and his successor, William Howard Taft, would speak openly about America’s “destiny” to dominate Asia and the Pacific, imposing the benefits of Aryan civilization on the “Pacific niggers” (their term for Filipinos) and “Chinks.” This is the persistent theme of best-selling author James Bradley’s portrayal of Roosevelt and Taft in The Imperial Cruise. Explore our selection of history books here! 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. That’s the world as the Joint Chiefs of Staff must view it. We sometimes have to use the lens of what was in order to see what is. Historians typically zero in on the stuff of politics and policy, and in wartime on the ebb and flow of battle. (This post contains affiliate links; please see disclosure for details.) 159,100 ratings — 265,473 ratings — Agent Zigag. The Man Who Never Was. The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia by James Bradley – “Who lost China?” Nobody. published 2011, avg rating 3.99 — Tamim Ansary will help you understand human history as an extraterrestrial might view it. The story of Churchill’s courage and his brilliant if unorthodox leadership style is well known. 38,772 ratings — If you think history is a cold recitation of dates and the names of kings and battles, you owe it to yourself to check out Big History. 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. It was that action which triggered Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbor and attack the Dutch West Indies (now Indonesia) to secure an alternative source of oil. Read the review. published 2009, avg rating 3.91 — published 2016, avg rating 4.20 — The picture that emerges is shattering. As Erik Christiansen ... Politicizing History in Postwar America, post-World War II Americans were drawn to historical nonfiction as a means of grappling with the horrors they'd just endured on the world stage. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond – Why is economic development so uneven around the world? Each is followed by a linked title to my review. Was the Spanish Flu of 1918 a greater disaster than World War II? No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, history is history, and it never hurts to remember it. 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. Read the review. She was JFK’s lover. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The World War I peace treaty that led to World War II, The political scandal that roiled the British Establishment, An outsider’s take on the Spanish Civil War, In a prelude to the Holocaust, the Kishinev pogrom shocked the world, The clashing personalities determined our economic history, Hernando de Soto on property rights, capitalism, and inequality, A human-centered history of the Digital Revolution, The mind-boggling story of America’s top-secret military research, Misunderstanding money helped cause the Great Recession, The story of the Amritsar Massacre that sped up the Indian independence movement, Jesus of Nazareth and the origins of anti-Semitism, Urbanization, globalization and the future of humanity. There is now an International Big History Association. It was far from clear that a catastrophic clash of the extremes could be prevented. How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley—Donald Trump’s playbook revealed in a penetrating new book, “How Fascism Works”. In The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire, award-winning journalist and author Stephen Kinzer recalls the four-year period 1898-1902, when the United States made its debut as a world power. There’s nonfiction, which Sarah has been talking about a lot in the podcasts and on our Twitch stream. The Iraqi view of life under Saddam Hussein, The Holocaust under the microscope of history, An impressionistic history of libraries and librarians through the ages, An intimate look at drug trafficking in Brazil, Simon Schama on Jewish history from 1000-1492. Pairing includes one fiction book pairing includes one fiction book first and then following it up the! 166 reviews from the world 's largest community for readers in history with Hachette book Group sign in. 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