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Best History Books

Looking for the best history books to read? Below you’ll find a curated list of well-written, easy to read history books.

If you’re an avid history fan who would like to expand your knowledge, this list of best history books of all-time will make it easier for you to absorb information and learn at the same time.

The 10 Best History Books

1. John Adams by David McCullough

Synopsis: In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot — “the colossus of independence,” as Thomas Jefferson called him — who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

2. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer

Print | Audiobook | eBook


Synopsis: This worldwide bestseller has been acclaimed as the definitive book on Nazi Germany; it is a classic work. The accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing, and the coverage of the war-from Germany’s early successes to her eventual defeat-is must reading.

3. 1776 by David McCullough

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Synopsis: In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence – when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Synopsis: Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

5. The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

Synopsis: Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and how it could have been stopped but wasn’t. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, THE GUNS OF AUGUST will not be forgotten.

6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Synopsis: Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.


7. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Civilizations Rise and Fall #1) by Jared Diamond



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Synopsis: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a national bestseller: the global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race.

8. Hiroshima by John Hersey

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Synopsis: On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey’s journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic “that stirs the conscience of humanity” (The New York Times).

9. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown


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Synopsis: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. 

 10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

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Synopsis: On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

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