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These Are Some of the Most Fascinating Books on History

Not all of us enjoyed our high school history classes, did we? Reading history books back in the day, with the dry and factual descriptions of various wars, societies, and leaders, could be quite a task, so much so that many are permanently put off by the subject itself. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. 
Today, we will look at some captivating books that are sure to get you interested in history. These must-read books cover a wide range of topics – from the birth of America and the history of food to a detailed understanding of Adolf Hitler – and they are sure to make you look at our world and our past from a different perspective. 

1. 1776

History Books, 1776
Author: David McCullough
Year: 2005
What’s it about? 
As the title suggests, this book describes the events that led to the start of the American Revolution, also called the U.S. War of Independence. American Historian, David McCullough, beautifully narrates the story of the birth of the United States of America by focusing on the most important year in the country’s history - 1776. It was a turning point in American history as the American Revolutionary War, where 13 of Great Britain's North American colonies threw off British rule, came to an end. The book shows us how both sides of the war felt and thought and gives us insights into all the key figures involved in it. For instance, we get to know how George Washington was worried about the chance of victory for the colonists while also showing how King George III viewed the colonists during that time. 
Rich in historical detail, 1776 also has great drama and excitement that leads up to the year of America’s birth. It also includes some brilliant illustrations of historical battlefield maps and portraits of some of the major characters involved in the war. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the history of America and its birth. 

2. A History of Ancient Rome 

History Books, Ancient Rome 
Author: Mary Beard
Year: 2015
What’s it about? 
Ancient Rome fascinates all of us. "A History of Ancient Rome" provides a fresh and clear perspective on ancient Rome. Unlike many other books on the subject, however, Mary Beard focuses on how Rome grew, not why it collapsed. "The Romans were as divided about how they thought the world worked, or should work, as we are... There is no simple 'Roman' model for us to follow,” she writes about the Romans.
The book begins in 63 BC when Cicero, a statesman of Rome, stopped a threat to the state by Catiline, a failed politician from the upper class. It ends in 212 BC with Caracalla's decree offering citizenship to all free men living within the Empire. In just 600 pages, the author does a terrific job of covering 1,000 years of an amazing civilization, while also providing an in-depth knowledge of democratic struggles and the lives of people who lived during that era.

3. The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World 

History Books, A Maritime History of the World
Author: Lincoln Paine
Year: 2013
What’s it about? 
Lincoln Paine’s "The Sea and Civilization" is a monumental retelling of the maritime history of the world. It presents a comprehensive account - from when humankind took to the waters back in the stone ages to the present day. The author draws on archeology, linguistics, art, and written records to investigate the history of civilization beautifully. Such a subject can often be a little too heavy for the average reader, but the author has written the book in an engaging, readable, and dry witty style that is a pleasure to read.
In its 700-odd pages, you will get to learn so a lot about every culture, civilization, and even ship you probably never knew before.

4. The English and Their History 

History Books, The English and Their History 
Author: Robert Tombs
Year: 2014
What’s it about? 
As the title clearly says, "The English and Their History" outlines the history of England. It’s a comprehensive and thoroughly researched, thoughtful and exhaustive history of England and its people. Clocking in at over a thousand pages, reading the book may appear a daunting task at first, but it is very much worth the effort.
Robert Tombs has taken evidence from economic and social history sources to give an idea of what life was like for ordinary people in England. The early chapters are focused on various invasions, battles, and changes in the monarchy. Then there are chapters covering the Industrial Revolution which are particularly intriguing. The sections on the impact of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War 1 and World War 2 are also illuminating. There are also some fascinating discussions on immigration, terrorism, education, and health towards the end.
In summary, The English and Their History helps us understand the history of England and what it means to be English with great conviction.

5. A History of Food

History Books, History of Food
Author: Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat
Year: 1987
What’s it about? 
You would have already guessed what the book is about from its title. But "A History of Food" is more than just a simple story of cuisine. It’s unique in the way it integrates historical anecdotes with factual data to present an enthralling account of food’s history for the laymen. The book explores people's relationship with food from the times we were hunter-gatherers to the present day. It is also quite witty and interesting. The book is divided into nine parts and each one – from ‘Collecting, Gathering. Hunting’ to ‘Luxury Foods' – provides rich details on humanity’s ancient relationship with food.
This is an extensive, detailed, and meticulously researched book that will delight every food lover.

6. Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 

History Books, Hitler
Author: Volker Ullrich
Year: 2013
What’s it about? 
There have been many interesting books written on Adolf Hitler over the past few decades but this new biography is an incredible study of the man who went on to become the embodiment of evil. Volker Ullrich's ‘Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939’ is heavily researched and covers the events in Hitler's life up to 1939. In between, various chapters try and highlight parts of Hilter's dark personality. 
“Hitler was “someone seduced by himself,” someone who was so inseparable from his words “that a measure of authenticity flowed over the audience even when he was telling obvious lies," writes the author in Hitler: Ascent.
The detailed book helps the reader gain a better perceptive of the man and the many myths behind his rise to power. We also get to learn how Hitler was troubled by feelings of inadequacy and economic inferiority and what exactly led to the formation of his manic psychosis. It’s an absorbing read about one of the most notorious yet sadly influential characters in modern history.

7. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

History Books, Genghis Khan
Author: Jack Weatherford
Year: 2004
What’s it about? 
Genghis Khan is generally perceived as a negative figure in most parts of the world. However, the book “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” sheds light on the Mongolian warrior-ruler from a new angle. We get to know how he helped develop trade, abolished torture, granted religious freedom, created a hitherto unprecedented egalitarian society, and brought new forms of cultural communication in nearly every country he conquered.
Jack Weatherford makes us see that Genghis Khan wasn't just a ruthless conqueror; there was a lot more to him. “In one of his most important lessons, he told his sons that conquering an army is not the same as conquering a nation. You may conquer an army with superior tactics and men, but you can conquer a nation only by conquering the hearts of the people,” writes the author.
Apart from presenting a different and fascinating side of Genghis Khan, the book also shows previously unknown details about the Mongols. For example, did you know that the Mongols promoted pragmatic, non-dogmatic intellectual development? Or that they improved agriculture and invented paper money? 
The author has collected information from original Mongolian documents and spoke to many famous political scientists to present an engaging account that almost reads like a captivating novel.
Share these interesting books with other history lovers...
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