Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: essential-history-reading
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-30 18:06
Crowdsourced History Reading -- Supplemental List

Off my shelves as listed there and without regard to topical overlaps etc.:


Freya Stark: The Valleys of the Assassins and Other Persian Travels
Freya Stark: Perseus in the Wind: A Life of Travel
Stacy Schiff: Cleopatra
Kara Cooney: When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt
Elizabeth Norton: Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England
Elizabeth Norton: The Lives of Tudor Women
Linda Porter: The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary"
Sarah Gristwood: Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
Henrietta Leyser: Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500
Anna Maria Sigmund: Women of the Third Reich
Fatima Mernissi: Forgotten Queens of Islam
Simone de Beauvoir: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe
Anton Gill: Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim
Sarah B. Pomeroy: Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity
Giles Tremlett: Isabella of Castile: Europe's First Great Queen
Julia Fox: Sister Queens: Katherine of Aragon and Juana Queen of Castile
Jenny Uglow: Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories
Jenny Uglow: George Eliot
Madeleine Albright: Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948
Marjorie Chibnall: The Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English
Elizabeth Wayland Barber: Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years - Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans Montpensier: Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle
John Guy: A Daughter's Love: Thomas and Margaret More
Mary Wortley Montagu: Selected Letters

Jonathan D. Spence: Mao Zedong: A Life
Kim DePaul, Dith Pran: Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors
Peter Scholl-Latour: Der Tod im Reisfeld (Death in the Rice Fields)
Vasily Grossman: An Armenian Sketchbook
Banine: Days in the Caucasus
Robert K. Massie: Peter the Great: His Life and World
Rebecca West: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-41
Jacob Burckhardt: The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
Chris Lowney: A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain
Paul Preston: The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution and Revenge
Tom Reiss: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Alan Moorehead: The White Nile & The Blue Nile
Giles Milton: Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History
Gerard Prunier: Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe
Roald Amundsen: Race to the South Pole
Robert Falcon Scott: Journals
Albert Schweitzer: Out of My Life and Thought
Ezekiel Mphahlele: Down Second Avenue
Anthony Sattin: The Gates Of Africa: Death, Discovery And The Search For Timbuktu
Bruce Chatwin: Songlines
Bruce Chatwin: In Patagonia
Inge Scholl: Die weiße Rose (The White Rose)
Alan Booth: Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan
Solomon Volkov: St Petersburg: A Cultural History
Sun Shuyun: The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth
Der Ling: Two Years in the Forbidden City
Nancy Marie Brown: The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages
Judith Armatta: Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic
Roger Crowley: Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
Roger Crowley: City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire
Roger Crowley: The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades
Barbara W. Tuchman: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century
Barbara W. Tuchman: The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
William Raymond Manchester: A World Lit Only by Fire
Katharine Sim: Desert Traveller: The Life of Jean Louis Burckhardt
Marco Polo: The Travels
Niall Ferguson: The House of Rothschild (2 parts)
Timothy Snyder: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Hannah Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism

Donald Kagan: The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict, 431-404 BC
Donald Kagan: Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy
Donald Kagan: The Fall of the Athenian Empire
Tacitus: Annals & Histories
Barry S. Strauss: The Spartacus War
Edward Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


Shirley Jackson: The Witchcraft of Salem Village
Doris Kearns Goodwin: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
John Kenneth Galbraith: The Great Crash, 1929
Meriwether Lewis, William Clark: Journals
Bernard Bailyn: The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Ron Stallworth: Black Klansman
Robert F. Kennedy: Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
John F. Kennedy: Profiles in Courage
Michael Lienesch: In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement
Sojourner Truth: Narrative of Sojourner Truth
Carl Sandburg: Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years (2 parts)
Various Authors: Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South
Various Authors / Library of America: Reporting Civil Rights
James F. Simon: What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States
Christopher Corbett: Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express


Desmond Seward: Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors
Jenny Uglow: A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration
Sarah Foot: Aethelstan: The First King of England
Jim Bradbury: Stephen and Matilda: The Civil War of 1139-53
Richard White: King Arthur in Legend and History
James Lydon: The Making of Ireland: From Ancient Times to the Present


Edmund Morris: Beethoven: The Universal Composer
Jim Al-Khalili: The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance
Mark Pendergrast: Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World
Ralph S. Hattox: Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East

Charles Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle
Andrew Hodges: Alan Turing: The Enigma
Langston Hughes, Carl Van Vechten: Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten
Sarah Bakewell: At The Existentialist Café
Agatha Christie, Mathew Prichard: The Grand Tour: Letters and Photographs from the British Empire Expedition 1922
James Boswell: The Life of Samuel Johnson
Lisa Jardine: Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution
Various Authors: Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society

Richard Holmes: The Age of Wonder

Elizabeth Ward, Alain Silver: Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Simon Callow: Charles Dickens
Jackson J. Benson: Wallace Stegner

Jackson J. Benson: John Steinbeck
Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Walter Isaacson: Einstein: His Life And Universe
Charles Nicholl: Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind
Marilyn Yalom: Birth of the Chess Queen: A History
John Stubbs: Donne: The Reformed Soul
Sharon Bertsch McGrayne: Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries
Eve Curie: Madame Curie: A Biography
Erika Mann: Mein Vater, der Zauberer
Jesse Owens: Jesse: The Man Who Outran Hitler


@Chris: I'm going to add these now.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-28 14:31
Essential History Reading (NF): State of the List

The list is now up to 897 books -- 104 more to get to 1001.  Surely we can do that??


So, calling for contributions once more.  Non-U.S. / non-European still preferred, but really ... anything goes!



Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-22 21:11
@Elentarri, Lillelara, Linda Hilton, Markk, Murder by Death, Obsidian Blue, SirSurly, Tea Stitch Read, and Tigus

I've gone through Moonlight Reader's 1001 books list and identified those entries that are historical nonfiction but currently not yet also on Chris's History Nonfiction list.  Please have a look at the below books you contributed to MR's list and let Chris and me know whether you want them to be added to Chris's list as well.


(@Elentarri, Markk and Tigus: I directly compared the two master lists without referring back, for each individual book, to your original submission posts.  So apologies if any of the below are already part of your submissions for Chris's list after all.)


Davidovits, Joseph: Why the Pharaohs Built the Pyramids with Fake Stones
Dunn, Christopher: Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt
Firestone, Richard: Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes
Hanson, Victor Davis: Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power
King, Ross: Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Mayor, Adrienne: The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy
Montgomery, David R.: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations
Schoch, Robert M.: Voices of the Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations
Watts, Edward J.: Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny

Alexievich, Svetlana: Chernobyl Prayer
Durrell, Lawrence: My Family and Other Animals
Junger, Sebastian: The Perfect Storm
Lansing, Alfred: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Ohler, Norman: Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Du Maurier, Daphne: Vanishing Cornwall
Heyerdahl, Thor: Kon-Tiki
Moody, Anne: Coming of Age in Mississippi

Brittain, Vera: Testament of Youth
Burlingame, Michael: Abraham Lincoln: A Life
Caro, Robert A.: The Path to Power
Gordon, Gilbert Andrew Hugh: The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command
Kennedy, Paul M.: The Rise & Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change & Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
Mackesy, Piers: The War for America, 1775-1783
Sledge, E.B.: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
Twain, Mark: Life on the Mississippi

Bakewell, Sarah: At the Existentialist Café
Barnett, Cynthia: Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
Berendt, John: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Bryson, Bill: A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cherny, Andrei: The Candy Bombers
McAuliffe, Mary: Dawn of the Belle Epoque
McAuliffe, Mary: Twilight of the Belle Epoque
Summers, Julie: Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War
Swaby, Rachel: Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science

X, Malcolm and Haley, Alex: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Barry, Paul: The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer

Eichenwald, Kurt: Conspiracy of Fools
Fessler, Ann: The Girls Who Went Away
Hunter, Susan: AIDS in America
Johnson, Paul: A History of the American People
Olbermann, Keith: Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values
Oshinsky, David: Polio: An American Story
Uwiringiyimana, Sandra: How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
Yates, James: Mississippi to Madrid: Memoir of a Black American in Abraham Lincoln's Brigade

Ashdown, Paddy: Game of Spies
Berg, A. Scott: Wilson
Epstein, Dwayne: Lee Marvin: Point Blank
Helfenstein, Charles: The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Horwitz, Tony: Confederates in the Attic
Karnow, Stanley: Paris in the Fifties
Morris, James McGrath: Eye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press



For purposes of reference: Chris's list includes scholarly and popular historical nonfiction, as well as such things as first hand accounts (diaries, autobiographical writings, interviews, etc.) and other major primary historical sources, scientific, technological and cultural history, and narratives of the fairly recent past (approximately up to the 1990s).  On that basis, all of the above-listed books would fit in one context or another.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-21 22:01
Crowdsourced History Reading -- Miscellaneous Addenda


* Colin Thubron - The Lost Heart of Asia

(Central Asia; post-USSR trip with historic sidelights)

* Mark Twain - A Tramp Abroad

(19th century; Germany, Austria, Italy)
* David Dary - The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends, and Lore

(19th century; US)

* Terry Townsend - Jane Austen's Hampshire

(19th century; England)
* Elizabeth von Arnim - The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen

(19th century; Germany)
* Victor Hugo - Le Rhin (The Rhine: A Tour from Paris to Mayence by the Way of Aix-la-Chapelle)

(19th century; France and Germany)
* Thomas Jefferson - Memorandum on a Tour from Paris to Amsterdam, Strasburg, and back to Paris

(18th century; France, Germany,  and Netherlands)
* Annette Fimpeler - Die Schifffahrt und ihre Fahrzeuge auf dem Niederrhein

(Middle Ages through 19th century; Germany and Netherlands -- unfortunately not in English)



* Isak Dinesen - Out of Africa / Shadows on the Grass

(20th century; Kenya)

* Gregory Doran, Antony Sher - Woza Shakespeare!: Titus Andronicus In South Africa

(20th century; South Africa during Apartheid / touring Shakespeare)

* Bernal Díaz del Castillo - Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España

(16th century; the classic eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico)
* Gabriel García Márquez - Vivir para contarla (Living to Tell the Tale)

(20th century; Colombia)

* Xinran - The Good Women of China

(20th century; China)
* Reginald Fleming Johnston - Twilight in the Forbidden City

(20th century; China)
* Vladislav Tamarov - Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story

(20th century; Afghanistan and Russia)

* Clea Koff - The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo

(20th century; Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia)

* National Museum of the American Indian / Smithsonian Institution - Stories of the People: Native American Voices

(19th-20th century; U.S.)

Rina Swentzell, Luci Tapahonso, Tony Chavarria (eds.) / Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (Santa Fe, NM) - Here, Now, and Always: Voices of the First Peoples of the Southwest

(20th century, U.S.)

Maria Grammatico - Bitter Almonds

(20th century; Italy)
Marcel Pagnol - La gloire de mon père

(19th-20th century; France)

* Voltaire - Letters on England

(18th century; England)

* Oscar Wilde - De Profundis

(19th century; England)

* Heinrich Böll - Irish Journal

(20th century; Ireland)

* Evelyn Doyle - Tea and Green Ribbons

(20th century; Ireland)

* Hildegard of Bingen - Selected Writings

(Middle Agles; Germany)

* Otto von Bismarck - Gedanken und Erinnerungen (Thoughts and Reminiscences)

(19th century; Germany -- Bismarck's memoirs)

* Joseph Roth - What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933

(Interwar; Germany)

Thomas Mann - Tagebücher (Diaries) 1944-1946

(20th century; U.S. and Germany)

* David E. Murphy / Sergei A. Kondrashev / George Bailey - Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War

(Cold War; Germany, U.S., and Russia)

* Richard von Weizsäcker - Address on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of WWII, May 8, 1985

(20th century; Germany -- to the best of my knowledge, in German only)




* C.W. Ceram - Gods, Graves & Scholars: The Story Of Archaeology

(chiefly the history of (worldwide) archeology as a field of its own from the 18th century onwards, but with individual chapters hearkening back to earlier times; e.g., re: Prehispanic America and Mesopotamia)

* William Dalrymple - The Last Mughal

(19th century; India)

* Peter Finn, Petra Couvée - The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book 

(20th century; Russia)

* Mary S. Lovell - Straight on Till Morning: A Biography of Beryl Markham

(20th century; Kenya, Britain, U.S.)
* María Rosa Menocal - The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

* Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Kwang-ching Liu - The Cambridge Illustrated History of China

* Régine Pernoud - Aliénor d'Aquitaine

(Middle Ages; France and England)

* Frank O'Connor - The Big Fellow: Michael Collins and the Irish Revolution 

(20th century; Ireland)

* Tom Standage - The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine

(18th century; Europe)

* Muriel Spark - Emily Bronte: Her Life And Work

(19th century; England)
* Daniel Stashower - Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

(19th-20th century; Scotland and England)
* Florian Illies - 1913: The Year before the Storm

(20th century just pre-WWI; Europe)

* Joseph J. Ellis - His Excellency: George Washington

(American Revolution)

* Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
(20th century; U.S.)

* Dean King, John B. Hattendorf - Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian

(more than a guide to the novels, this is actually quite a neat little book with a lot of background on early 19th century naval warfare and commerce generally, as well as the history of the (worldwide) locations metioned in O'Brian's novels -- including places in Africa, South America, and Asia)


@Chris: I'm going to add these myself. ETA: Added.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-07-17 23:46
Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 10: Stragglers and Addenda
Ancient Egypt - David P. Silverman
A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya - Linda Schele,David A. Freidel
Joseph Fouché: Bildnis eines politischen Menschen - Stefan Zweig
Debt: The First 5,000 Years - David Graeber
A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes - Stephen Hawking
The Story of My Life: The Restored Edition (Modern Library Classics) - Helen Keller,James Berger
The Gulag Archipelago Abridged An Experiment in Literary Investigation - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
An Autobiography - Robert Herrick,Agatha Christie

* 5 books that didn't seem to fit onto any other list, and

* 3 addenda which will also go, retroactively, onto the "first hand accounts", "women's history" and "literary and cultural history" lists.



* David P. Silverman: Ancient Egypt
* Linda Schele & David A. Freidel: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

* Stefan Zweig: Joseph Fouché
* David Graeber: Debt: The First 5,000 Years
* Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time



* Helen Keller: The Story of My Life
* Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago

* Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?