My submission for Chris's crowdsourced nonfiction history reading list, part 2. These are the more recent history (back half of 20th century) and one general world history book.
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Vietnam Era)
The original account of Charles Manson and the Manson Family, written by the attorney who prosecuted the cases. I’m uncertain if this should be considered “true crime” rather than “historical crime”, as this book was written only a few years after the trials, rather than from a historian’s perspective.
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson (Vietnam Era)
A more historical account of Manson and Family, very detailed and graphic, with some perspective on the sociopolitical climate of the time. The audio format works well here.
The Man With The Candy: The Story of The Houston Mass Murders (Vietnam Era)
It’s pretty amazing that 28 teenagers could disappear within a few square miles with zero interest from local law enforcement, or even the general public. Similar to Helter Skelter, this was written very shortly after the actual events, so it may be a better fit under “true crime” than “historical crime”. I’d like to read a well-researched account from a more historical perspective.
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple (Vietnam Era)
A thorough examination of the evolution of The Peoples Temple from its socialist ideals and Christian roots to a cult willing and able to commit the 1978 atrocity of mass suicide and murder of over 900 men, women, and children. My review here.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic (General World History)
This is the companion book to the British Library exhibition of the same name, examining historical artefacts with a connection to magic, using the Potter books for context. Truly a lot of fun.