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Bookclub Wednesday!

Hello everyone,

Welcome to our weekly e-book advice thread!

We now have discovered that lots of people come to this sub to ask for books about historical past or sources on sure subjects. Others make posts a couple of e-book they themselves have learn and need to share their ideas about it with the remainder of the sub.

We thought it could be a good suggestion to try to bundle these posts collectively a bit. One massive weekly put up the place everyone can ask for books or (re)sources on any historic topic or timeperiod, or to share books they not too long ago found or learn. Giving opinions or asking about their factuality is inspired!

After all it’s not restricted to *simply* books; podcasts, movies, and many others. are additionally welcome. As a reminder, [r/history]( past/) additionally has a beneficial checklist of issues to [read, listen to or watch]([]( past/wiki/recommendedlist))

Comments ( 22 )

  1. Any recs for South American Wars of Independence (particularly in the north, but I’m not picky)? The only one that I could find on the subreddit booklist was by Robert Harvey, and, well, I read his bio of Simón Bolívar and it was awful. Factual errors, perpetuating myths, and none of it cited. My Spanish is coming along nicely, so English or Spanish books are both welcome.

  2. Happy Wednesday everyone!

    Finally got through [Lincoln]( by David H. Donald, and it’s fantastic. A bit on the longer side, but you won’t find this book dissappointing. Very well written, and full of interesting details. Highly recommend!

  3. Looking for a good book on the Salem Witch Trials. I’m also interested in anything on the early Puritans as well.

    For anyone still in the Halloween spirit, Aaron Mahnke (creator of the Lore podcast) has an excellent series on the Salem trials in the first season of his Unobscured podcast.

  4. I’ve recently been super into books about the female spies of ww2, and I have several recommendations!

    Odette by Jerrard Tickell
    – the biography of a French mother who served as a courier in Nazi-occupied France and survived interrogation and imprisonment in Ravensbrück concentration camp.

    D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose
    – follows several women as they organize networks of spies and agents behind enemy lines in France, and describes their contribution to the success of D-Day.

    A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

    -a biography of Virginia Hall, American spy with a wooden leg who became the most feared allied agent in France.

    Some more women’s history recs:

    -The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

    -The Woman they could not Silence, also by Kate Moore

    -A Game of Birds and Wolves by Simon Parkin

    -A House in the Mountains by Caroline Moorehead

  5. I am a beginner and I want to start to learn the history of the 20th century.

    Recommend some book for it, please.


  6. Can someone please recommend a book (or documentary) that talks about the Turkic khaganates that plagued Northern China from 200-1000 CE. My understanding is that the Great Wall of China was built over time to defend against constant raids from the North and I’m fascinated by this interaction.

  7. Best history book(s) you’ve read?

  8. History of Islamic gunpowder empires like safavids?

  9. Anyone have any good recommendations of scholarly work on the minutiae of urbanization?

    I wrote up a more detailed description of my specific inquiries in [this post](

    But to summarize, I want any literature that delves into the human-scale, nitty-gritty, of what the process of urbanization (cities starting, developing, expanding, and reproducing) was like in various historical urbanization events.

    While I’d appreciate any recs in such a purview, specific periods of interest include Indian (North as well as South) urbanization, pre-contact Americas (both agricultural and non-agricultural based urban development) and the Mediterranean (Italic/Hellenic expansions).


  10. Thoughts on “Work” by James Suzman?

    So, I just finished this one, and I’ve quite enjoyed the writing as well as the compilation/contextualization of informotion, so far.

    However, I would like to get some more opinions. So far, the one thing that stands out to me, is perhaps the tendency to fall back on linear progression narratives (as well as some “original affluent society” stuff in there). Is this indicative of larger problems? Or is it more of a rhetorical artifact?


  11. Read 2 books this week reviews copied and pasted

    A while back in another of these posts I asked for suggestions about East Germany and someone suggested **The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall by Mary Elise Sarotte** which I’ve got round to reading and it was good.


    >Pretty good. Not very long, 180 pages of main text and another 100 pages for the notes and sources. The first chapter sets out the longer term context and history of the wall and then the book basically covers all of 1989 and the process that led to the end of the Berlin Wall. The book leans heavily and convincingly into the fall of the Berlin Wall. being a total accident, with a lot of focus on the things that seem trivial and the various cockups by the GDR leadership. Has a good mix of points of view, the leadership, foreign journalists, activists etc. Personally I enjoyed the bits about the Polituburo and the leadership with the high level politics the most.

    I’ve just now finished **The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power, by Martyn Rady**


    >Overall pretty good. 330 pages plus another 70 for sources. First book I’ve read specifically about the Habsburgs so I can’t really compare it to anything else. Goes all the way from the medieval era to the end of WWI. The writing is good and accessible. Good mix of info both personal to the Habsburg’s lives as well as their policy and territory. It also has a few chapters on secondary topics like freemasonry in Habsburg lands or scientific exploration. It took me a while to enjoy the book, it didn’t do anything wrong but maybe I just wasn’t as interested in the medieval stuff or the 16th century. But once I got to the Thirty Years War I thought it got a lot more enjoyable. It also has a good further reading list, which is divided by chapter, so if you really want to learn a lot about the Habsburgs this is probably a good place to start.

    Next up will be **Fracture: Life and Culture in the West 1918-1938, by Phillip Blom**.

  12. Can anyone recommend books on the tragic loss of life in world war1?

  13. “A World Undone :the story of great war 1914-1918” by G.J. Meyer

  14. George Washington, John Adam’s, Thomas Jefferson. Amazing books.

  15. ” The eagle we hold as a symbol for power and majesty. If mother eagles did not push their young ones out of the nest, however, we would know the eagle as a symbol for hedonism and cowardice. Afterall, childhood is the cradle of character and no young adult we praise as temperate and courageous started off as a “docile” and “disciplined” child. The case is rather that the parents made themselves available for the children as resources to connect with, to emulate, to help regulate their emotional states and develop their views of the world. This we recognise as the virtuous mean of parenting and such parents afforded their children spaces and opportunities where they could play and experiment, make mistakes and figure things out for themselves. For it is only through the forge of trial and error that we arrive to virtue.”

    Hey there everyone, I just finished and posted my own commentary and break-down of Aristotle’s account on temperance in the Nicomachean Ethics. For those interested please read me [here](

  16. Follow up to [this thread]( Any book recommendations about the British navy in the 18th c?

  17. I just finished “Ordeal by Battle” by F.S. Oliver.  It was published in 1916 during World War I, but it is not about combat or significant campaigns.  It is a study of contrasts between the civil, social, and military segments of Great Britain and Germany in the years leading up to war and how their actions or inactions contributed to its outbreak.

    The prose is very wordy and somewhat dense, as you might expect from British writers of the day, but the ideas and context come through clearly.  What was most striking to me is that if you replace “Great Britain” with “America” and “Germany” with “China,” you would have thought much of it was written today.  Many of the parallels are striking.

    For those interested in a deeper understanding of how societies come to blows because of innate differences and worldviews, I highly recommend this book.  It contains many insights for the 21st Century.

  18. Is there a good single volume history of the Roman empire?

  19. My wife just moved to the US and she’s looking for a good book on US History. Her English is good, but she’d like to read something a little less dry and shorter than a college textbook. I would greatly appreciate any recommendations! Thanks!

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