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Best General History Books You Should Enjoy

Until you’ve consumed all of the best General History books, can you even claim to be a true fan?

1. A General History of the Pyrates (Dover Maritime) (1999)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyFamed for his enduring fictional masterpieces Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe also possessed considerable expertise in maritime affairs. As a commission merchant, importer, shipowner, and an active journalist who reported “ship news” and interviewed surviving pirates, Defoe achieved a high degree of authority on the subject of buccaneers. His knowledge was such that his book, A General History of the Pyrates, remains the major source of information about piracy in the first quarter of the 18th century.Reprinted here in its entirety, this fascinating history abounds in…
Author(s): Daniel Defoe

2. History: Fiction or Science?: Astronomical methods as applied to chronology. Ptolemy’s Almagest. Tycho Brahe. Copernicus. The Egyptian zodiacs. (Volume 3) (2016)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyDr Prof Anatoly Fomenko et dissect in the Part I of ‘History:Fiction or Science?’ the Almagest of Ptolemy compiled allegedly in 150 a.d. and considered to be the corner stone of classical history. Their report states: Almagest was compiled in XVI-XVII cy from astronomical data of IX-XVI cy.This presumably antediluvian tractate of Almagest catalogues 1028 observable stars with a fairly high precision of 10′-15′ (arc minutes) of longitude. Now, the rotation of the Earth makes the night sky make a turn of 1 arc degree every four minutes. One arc…
Author(s): Dr Anatoly T Fomenko, Dr Gleb V Nosovskiy, et al.

3. A History of World Societies, Volume 1: To 1600 (2011)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyA History of World Societies introduces students to the global past through social history and the stories and voices of the people who lived it.  Now published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, and informed by the latest scholarship, the book has been thoroughly revised with students in mind to meet the needs of the evolving course.  Proven to work in the classroom, the book’s regional and comparative approach helps students understand the connections of global history while providing a manageable organization.  With more global connections and comparisons, more documents, special features and activities that teach historical…
Author(s): John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al.

4. A History of American Law, Revised Edition (A Touchstone Book) (1986)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyA History of American Law has become a classic for students of law, American history and sociology across the country. In this brilliant and immensely readable book, Lawrence M. Friedman tells the whole fascinating story of American law from its beginnings in the colonies to the present day. By showing how close the life of the law is to the economic and political life of the country, he makes a complex subject understandable and engrossing. A History of American Law presents the achievements and failures of the American legal system in the context of America’s commercial and working world, family…
Author(s): Lawrence M. Friedman

5. History: Why It Matters (2018)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyWe justify our actions in the present through our understanding of the past. But we live in a time when politicians lie brazenly about historical facts and meddle with the content of history books, while media differ wildly in their reporting of the same event. Frequently, new discoveries force us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about the past.So how can any certainty about history be established, and why does it matter? Lynn Hunt shows why the search for truth about the past, as a continual process of discovery, is vital for our societies….
Author(s): Lynn Hunt

6. The Histories (Penguin Classics) (2009)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyIn AD 68, Nero’s suicide marked the end of the first dynasty of imperial Rome. The following year was one of drama and danger, with four emperors—Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian—emerging in succession. Based on authoritative sources, The Histories vividly recounts the details of the “long but single year” of revolution that brought the Roman empire to the brink of collapse.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best…
Author(s): Tacitus, Rhiannon Ash, et al.

7. History of Modern Art (2003)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyLong considered the survey of modern art, this edition retains its encyclopedic nature and chronological approach, but comes thoroughly reworked by Michael Bird—an experienced art history editor and writer—with refreshing new analyses, a considerably expanded picture program, and a more absorbing and unified narrative. It traces the development of trends and influences in painting, sculpture, photography and architecture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. For those who appreciate and want to learn more about art in the 20th…
Author(s): H. H. H Arnason, Peter Kalb

8. The Histories (Oxford World’s Classics) (2008)

 Best General History Books You Should Enjoy“The father of history,” as Cicero called him, and a writer possessed of remarkable narrative gifts, enormous scope, and considerable charm, Herodotus has always been beloved by readers well-versed in the classics. Compelled by his desire to “prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time,” Herotodus recounts the incidents preceding and following the Persian Wars. He gives us much more than military history, though, providing the fullest portrait of the classical world of the 5th and 6th centuries. Translated by Robin Waterfield, a distinguished translator whose version of Plato’s…
Author(s): Herodotus , Robin Waterfield, et al.

9. The Histories (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) (2013)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyWalter Blanco’s acclaimed translation of The Histories is now available in its entirety in this revised and expanded Norton Critical Edition. Herodotus’s history is the earliest continuous prose narrative in Western literature. His long narrative―longer than either of the Homeric epics―continues to hold us spellbound because of the author’s storytelling powers and intelligent curiosity. The perfect introduction to Herodotus, this Norton Critical Edition includes the complete text of The Histories. The translation is fully annotated and is…
Author(s): Herodotus , Walter Blanco, et al.

10. The Histories (2003)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyTranslated by Aubrey de Sélincourt with an introduction and Notes by John M. Marincola.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators….
Author(s): Herodotus , John M. Marincola, et al.

11. The Histories (Oxford World’s Classics) (2008)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyIn The Histories Cornelius Tacitus, widely regarded as the greatest of all Roman historians, describes with cynical power the murderous `year of the Four Emperors’–AD 69–when in just a few months the whole of the Roman Empire was torn apart by civil war. W.H. Fyfe’s classic translation has been substantially revised and supplied with extensive historical and literary notes. The Introduction examines the subtleties of Tacitus’s writing and gives the necessary political and social background.About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each…
Author(s): Tacitus, W. H. Fyfe, et al.

12. 2000 Years of World History: The history of human civilization told in one breath, unrestricted by national boundaries. Written for the general … A must read for even professional historians. (2017)

 Best General History Books You Should Enjoy2000 Years of World History is a new presentation of the history of the world. The history of the world’s civilizations is told in one continuous run with minimum emphasis on the separation of nations.National histories serve the needs of individual nationals. American history deals with those events considered significant to America, and likewise French history focuses on those that have meanings to the French. However, studying the histories of the Americans, the French, and others does not equate with studying the history of the world.No nation is an island. Past…
Author(s): Mr. Chao C Chien

13. The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today (2013)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyWhile history has been kind to the American generals of World War II—Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley—it has been less kind to the generals of the wars that followed, such as Koster, Franks, Sanchez, and Petraeus. In The Generals, Thomas E. Ricks sets out to explain why that is. In chronicling the widening gulf between performance and accountability among the top brass of the U.S. military, Ricks tells the stories of great leaders and suspect ones, generals who rose to the occasion and generals who failed themselves and their soldiers. In Ricks’s hands, this story resounds with larger meaning:…
Author(s): Thomas E. Ricks

14. History: A Very Short Introduction (2000)

 Best General History Books You Should EnjoyThere are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold’s addition to Oxford’s popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past. Such key concepts as causation, interpretation, and periodization are…
Author(s): John H. Arnold

Best General History Books You Should Enjoy

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some general history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Kafir language: comprising a sketch of its history; which includes a general classification of South African dialects, ethnographical and geographical: remarks upon its nature: and a grammar

Author(s): John Whittle Appleyard
ID: 1027906, Publisher: Printed for the Wesleyan Missionary Society, Year: l850, Size: 14 Mb, Format: pdf

Subjectivity and Knowledge: Generalization in the Psychological Study of Everyday Life

Author(s): Charlotte Højholt; Ernst Schraube (Eds.)
ID: 2444041, Publisher: Springer, Year: 2020, Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

Author(s): Fred Kaplan
ID: 2480250, Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Year: 2020, Size: 5 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are really chart-busters according to USA Today, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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