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Subject: Recommend a good history book rss

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Wesley
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I've never really cared for reading non-fiction, but I've decided I need to read some history books. I haven't decided anything more specific than that, although I would prefer books that are broad versus very specific ones. What are some history books that are worth reading?
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Michael Carter
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It's hard to recommend anything without a topic, but Shelby Foote's 'The Civil War: A Narrative' trilogy is fantastic and an entertaining read. Anthony Everitt's 'The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire' is a pretty good and concise overview of the rise of the Roman Republic.
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Wesley
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mlcarter815 wrote:
It's hard to recommend anything without a topic, but Shelby Foote's 'The Civil War: A Narrative' trilogy is fantastic and an entertaining read. Anthony Everitt's 'The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire' is a pretty good and concise overview of the rise of the Roman Republic.


Yeah, I knew it was an overly broad topic, but I figured people would recommend their favorites regardless of anything I specified. And I really don't have anything specific in mind. Just good history books that everybody should read.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Tor Gjerde
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As you preferred it broad: The Cartoon History of the Universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cartoon_History_of_the_Univ...).
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Andy Andersen
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The Civil War of 1812, by Alan Taylor

Oxford History of the United States, various authors, seven volumes. A broad history of the US - excellent.

A Bright Shining Lie, Neil Sheehan. Vietnam

I love history books. Good luck in finding good matches.
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American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
by Colin Woodard
http://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cult...

This is how history should be taught. An eye-opening book. Completely changed how I see America.
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Rob
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An excellent and thorough treatment of my favorite period in American history.

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A History of the World in 6 Glasses is a magnificent broad history of human civilization.



Highest recommendation.
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Andy Andersen
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tesuji wrote:
American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
by Colin Woodard
http://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cult...

This is how history should be taught. An eye-opening book. Completely changed how I see America.




Looks like the same idea (from 1981) and made me rethink the way I looked at American regionalism.
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Orangemoose wrote:
tesuji wrote:
American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
by Colin Woodard
http://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cult...

This is how history should be taught. An eye-opening book. Completely changed how I see America.




Looks like the same idea (from 1981) and made me rethink the way I looked at American regionalism.

I haven't read that one but have seen comparisons with the Woodward book. The Woodward book talks about the history and reasons why the regions became what they did, whereas the Garreau book doesn't cover the history side so much, from what I understand.
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Billy the Hut
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The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity
By Jill Lepore

 
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The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk, the standoff between Great Britain and Russia over Central Asia

Dreadnought by Robert Massie, a thrilling book on how the Great War started
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Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough are both very readable authors of history.
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Andy Andersen
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LennyS wrote:
Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough are both very readable authors of history.


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It would be difficult to go wrong with a Barbara Tuchman book. Here are the ones I've read and enjoyed:

The Guns of August (WWI)
A Distant Mirror (Medieval history)
The Proud Tower (pre-WWI)
Stilwell and the American Experience in China (WWII)
The First Salute (American Revolution)
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One of the best history books I have ever read and I read a lot of history.



Can't go wrong with David McCullough. This is my favorite of his.



Although this is a close second.



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I really enjoyed Rubicon. The writing style makes it really easy to read - more like a narrative than a history book.
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WAIT! Before we go any further, are you from Oklahoma?
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Want to learn about Texas, Mexico, the Alamo, the U.S. Civil War, and how they were all related? Then look no further.



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Wesley
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Spielfreak wrote:
WAIT! Before we go any further, are you from Oklahoma?


Nope, never even been.
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I enjoyed What If?: The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been as well. Single topic chapters typically start with a solid background history primer followed by a bit of uchronic speculation.
Not quiet history, but entertaining non the less.
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What about Chinese history?

God's Chinese Son by Jonathan Spence... it's kind of specific in scope but it's a massive story about a guy who was convinced God came to him in a vision and told him he was Jesus' brother and that he needed to build a new kingdom in China. Bloody and insane.

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Guns, Germs And Steel by Jared Diamond
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Investigates and attempts to explain differences in technology and power between different ethnic groups. Highly influential, very readable and informative.
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One general and vast:


One specific and riveting:

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