Nominate your favorite history book!

Still looking for nominations for your favorite history books of all time. You can leave nominations in the comments to this post, or here.

Please do.


2 Responses to Nominate your favorite history book!

  1. There have been a fascinating group of nominees, but I can’t believe I am the first to nominate something by C. Vann Woodward. I’ll pick THE STRANGE CAREER OF JIM CROW, but I could have chosen any of several by him.

    Other nominations (some straddle the line between history and journalism)
    SENATOR JOE McCARTHY – by Richard Rovere — there have been later books on the topic, but Rovere was someone who lived through the period and had personal knowledge of his tactics
    THE EUROPEAN RIGHT: A Historical Profile: edited by Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber — an excellent collection of articles on the OTHER fascist movements in Europe between the Wars
    AMONG THE BELIEVERS: V.S. Naipaul — dated in some respects because it was a contemporary look, but one of the best books to understand Islam in practice and its sad failings (without the emphasis on extremism that more recent books have)

    and finally a real rarity (I worked with the author’s grandson, and even he had never seen a copy and had to borrow mine)
    SOUTH OF HITLER (Also called PLOT AND COUNTER-PLOT IN CENTRAL EUROPE) by M. W. Fodor — who is forgotten now but was considered one of the great journalists of the 30s. The book has many stories that are available nowhere else and has the advantage of being written before the war which changed many people’s perspectives on the events. (Literally opening the book at random, I find the wonderful response of General von Seeckt after a three hour lecture by Hitler “(W)hen the Fuehrer had finished his Phillipics against the Soviets, the General got up, put his monocle in his eye, and said, curtly: ‘I am too old to understand all that you have said to me, Herr Hitler. Goodbye!'”)

    Anyone know if Project Gutenberg is including anything by Fodor? They should.


  2. elektratig says:

    A daunting task, but here are a few that are (a) widely regarded as leading authorities or must-reads in their subjects over a number of years, (b) well-written and readable, and (c) personal favorites:

    Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War (Cornell University Press, 4 volumes)
    Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
    Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1789
    Stanley Elkins and Erik McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 1789-1800
    David Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861
    Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August
    Robert Conquest, The Great Terror


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