1. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

2. Xenophon – The Persian Expedition

3. E.P.Thompson – The Making of the English Working Classes

4. Thomas Babington Macualay – History of England from the Accession of James II

5. H.G.Wells – History of the World

6. Paul Kennedy – Rise and Fall of the Great Powers

7. J.M.Roberts – History of Europe

8. Juvenal – The Satires

9. Why the West Rules, For Now – Ian Morris

10. Thomas Madden – The Tiber and the Potomac

11 thoughts on “Top Ten History Books

  1. Consider:

    1. The Histories – Herodotus

    2. Jewish Antiquities/Jewish War – Flavius Josephus

    3. The Church History -Eusebius

    4. History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides

    5. The Story of Civilization (11 Volumes) – William and Ariel Durant

    6. Complete Works – Procopius

    7. History of Ukraine-Rus’ – Mykhailo Hrushevsky

    8. Lives – Plutarch

    9. Discoverors/Creators/Seekers/Americans – Daniel J. Boorstin

    10. Europe – Norman Davies

  2. What about Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer?

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  3. “Postwar” – Tony Judt
    The best history book I’ve read for quite a while. Weighs in at 900 or so pages but I would have wished it were longer.

  4. I also love Daniel J Boorstin’s Books – The Discoverers (explorers), The Creators (artists) and The Seekers. There are also The Americans Series – Colonial Experience, National Experience, and Democratic Experience, but I haven’t read those since I am not an American.

  5. Other authors i like reading that happen to include history in their topics include Daniel Yergin (the Prize), Jared Diamond (Guns Germs and Steel, and Collapse) and also Alberto Manguel (A History of Reading).

  6. Am I allowed to add one more author? Nancy Goldstone. She writes brilliant books about the Queens of History!! Titles include – Four Queens, The Lady Queen, RIval Queens and The Maid and the Queen. The Maid of course refers to Joan of Arc. Nancy also writes other great history books with her husband Laurence Goldstone as well. But these four are all hers!!!

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