Best History Books

21–40 of 50 results

  • War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth about U.S. War Crimes

    The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth about U.S. War Crimes


    In Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”, an American soldier indiscriminately guns down Vietnamese civilians from the helicopter. Did this kind of blatant killing of civilians happen in the war? Was this scene accurate?
    In 2005, Deborah Nelson joined forces with military historian Nick Turse to investigate an extraordinary archive: the largest compilation of records on Vietnam-era war crimes ever to surface. The declassified Army papers were erroneously released and have since been pulled from public circulation. Few civilians have seen the documents.The files contain reports of more than 300 confirmed atrocities, and 500 other cases the Army either couldn’t prove or didn’t investigate. The archive has lette… more about book…

  • Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters

    The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters


    How come Vietnam didn’t become more like North Korea is now?
    Understanding North Korea through its propaganda: A newly revised and updated edition that includes a consideration of Kim Jung Il’s successor, Kim Jong-Un What do the North Koreans really believe? How do they see themselves and the world around them? Here B.R. Myers, a North Korea analyst and a contributing editor of The Atlantic, presents the first full-length study of the North Korean worldview. Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, rom… more about book…




    Friday Free-for-All | June 27, 2014
    In 1517, Martin Luther nails his ninety-five theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, and a dance of death begins between a radical Anabaptist with many names and a loyal papal spy known mysteriously as “Q.” In this brilliantly conceived literary thriller set in the chaos of the Reformation-an age devastated by wars of religion-a young theology student adopts the cause of heretics and the disinherited and finds himself pursued by a relentless papal informer and heretic hunter. What begins … more about book…

  • and Gentlemen

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul…


    Was New York of the 1970s the shithole movies make it out to be?
    A passionate and dramatic account of a year in the life of a city, when baseball and crime reigned supreme, and when several remarkable figures emerged to steer New York clear of one of its most harrowing periods.By early 1977, the metropolis was in the grip of hysteria caused by a murderer dubbed “Son of Sam.” And on a sweltering night in July, a citywide power outage touched off an orgy of looting and arson that led to the largest mass arrest in New York’s history. As the turbulent year wor… more about book…

  • Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West)

    The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West)


    Olive Oatman was captured by Native Americans in Arizona in 1851, and integrated into a Mojave tribe. She was given her (blue) tattoo to ensure her passage into the afterlife. In 1857 she was finally set free after being located by local settlers. This photo was taken after her rescue. [964×979]
    In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year old pioneer traveling west toward Zion, with her Mormon family. Within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures. The Blue Tattoo tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America. Orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohave, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. She was fully ass… more about book…

  • Hamilton

    Alexander Hamilton


    After Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, was Thomas Jefferson still friends with or correspond with him afterwards?
    A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Elli… more about book…

  • Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland


    The shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews. more about book…

  • the Enemy: Stalin

    Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan


    What widely held historical ideas are in the process of being overturned?
    With startling revelations, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa rewrites the standard history of the end of World War II in the Pacific. By fully integrating the three key actors in the story–the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan–Hasegawa for the first time puts the last months of the war into international perspective.From April 1945, when Stalin broke the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact and Harry Truman assumed the presidency, to the final Soviet military actions against Japan, Hasegawa brings to … more about book…

  • Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed

    King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa


    I was debating some holocaust deniers and I was reading up on it, and I was wondering to myself “has a historical event of this magnitude been believed in by a society and turned out to be false?” Well…………has one?
    In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold Ii of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million–all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of… more about book…

  • of the British Army Film and Photographic Unit in the Second World War (Helion Studies in...

    History of the British Army Film and Photographic Unit in the Second World War (Helion Studies in…


    There’s a lot of close-to-combat photographs from WWII, but I don’t often hear much about the photographers. Were WWII war photographers armed? Were they subject to neutrality/immunity/respect? Were they deployed with soldiers as part of the army?
    At the beginning of the Second World War the Nazi hierarchy had, at an early stage, fully recognized the importance of controlling the depiction of military conflict in order to ensure the continued morale of their combat troops by providing a bridge between the soldiers and their families. Promoting the use of photographic record also allowed the Nazis to exercise control over negative depictions of the war. In contrast, the British military and political decision makers were reluctant to em… more about book…

  • Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

    If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home


    How was sex approached in eras where family co-sleeping was normal?
    Why did the flushing toilet take two centuries to catch on? Why did Samuel Pepys never give his mistresses an orgasm? Why did medieval people sleep sitting up? When were the two “dirty centuries”? Why did gas lighting cause Victorian ladies to faint? Why, for centuries, did people fear fruit? All these questions will be answered in this juicy, smelly, and truly intimate history of home life. Lucy Worsley takes us through the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen, covering the architectu… more about book…

  • History of the Snowman

    The History of the Snowman


    What is the origin of the snowman? And more specifically, the image everyone gets in their head (carrot nose, coal eyes, etc)?
    Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing snowballs on top of each other, and who decided they would use a carrot for a nose? Most puzzling of all: How can this mystery ever be solved, with all the evidence long since melted? The snowman appears everywhere on practically everything – from knickknacks to greeting cards to seasonal sweaters we plan to return. Whenever we see big snowballs our first impulse is to deck them out with a top hat. Humorist and writer Bob … more about book…

  • in History: Prostitution in Western Society

    Whores in History: Prostitution in Western Society


    What was prostitution like in the “Wild West” ? Did they shave their legs ?
    Blending social history and sexual politics, this book aims to retrieve prostitution from the hands of male writers who have defined the “oldest profession” from their own point of view as the client sex. The author challenges orthodox views on prostitutes and, in this narrative account, proclaims herself on the side of the unrepentant whore, the most maligned woman in history. From the high-ranking temple whores of Egypt and the courtesans of Greece and Rome, she tells the story of the prost… more about book…

  • The World at War

    Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945


    Why is WWII history so fascinating?
    Winner of the Pritzker Prize for Military HistoryA New York Times Notable BookFrom one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences.  For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire conflict. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—o… more about book…

  • Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World: A Study of Social History and the Brothel

    The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World: A Study of Social History and the Brothel


    What was sex in ancient Rome like?
    In recent years, a number of classical scholars have turned their attention to prostitution in the ancient world. Close examination of the social and legal position of Roman meretrices and Greek hetairai have enriched our understanding of ancient sexual relationships and the status of women in these societies. These studies have focused, however, almost exclusively on the legal and literary evidence.McGinn approaches the issues from a new direction, by studying the physical venues that existe… more about book…

  • The Wright Brothers

    Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies


    Orville Wright died January 30, 1948 , after 2 world wars involving planes. What was his opinion, if any, in their involvement in warfare?
    From acclaimed historian Lawrence Goldstone comes a thrilling narrative of courage, determination, and competition: the story of the intense rivalry that fueled the rise of American aviation.   The feud between this nation’s great air pioneers, the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. On the other, a… more about book…

  • Meanings in Chinese Art

    Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art


    Can anyone tell me any information about the carvings on this jade slab my dad has? He got it from a client in 1992. /r/whatisthisthing is stumped
    Can decorative objects increase one’s wealth, happiness, or longevity? Traditionally, many Chinese have believed that they could–as long as they included the appropriate auspicious symbols. In this book Asian Art Museum curator of Himalayan and Chinese decorative art Terese Tse Bartholomew, culminating decades of research, provides a thorough guide to such symbols.Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art is richly illustrated with photographs of art objects and original hand-painted drawing… more about book…

  • the Great

    Alexander the Great


    I’ve heard it said that Alexander the great was arguably the single most important figure in the history of western civilization. Why is this?
    Tough, resolute, fearless. Alexander was a born warrior and a ruler of passionate ambition who understood the intense adventure of conquest and of the unknown. When he died in 323 B.C.E. at age thirty-two, his vast empire comprised more than two million square miles, spanning from Greece to India. His achievements were unparalleled—he had excelled as leader to his men, founded eighteen new cities, and stamped the face of Greek culture on the ancient East. the myth he created is as potent toda… more about book…

  • Cats and Dumbos: WW II's Fighting PBYs

    Black Cats and Dumbos: WW II’s Fighting PBYs


    The Naked Gunner, Rabaul, 1944 [1000×1051]
    The colorful, humorous, and sometimes miraculous story of the U.S. Navy’s ugly-duckling seaplane the Catalina Patrol Bomber, in the words of those who flew her. more about book…

  • Games: A History of War on Paper (MIT Press)

    War Games: A History of War on Paper (MIT Press)


    Is there historical evidence to support the trope of medieval generals moving around figures representing troops on a large map?
    For centuries, both mathematical and military thinkers have used game-like scenarios to test their visions of mastering a complex world through symbolic operations. By the end of World War I, mathematical and military discourse in Germany simultaneously discovered the game as a productive concept. Mathematics and military strategy converged in World War II when mathematicians designed fields of operation. In this book, Philipp von Hilgers examines the theory and practice of war games through … more about book…