10 Best History Books That You Will Ever Read

Someone once said We honor history by remembering it, and I couldn’t find a better place to mention it than now. Historical books that give us a glimpse into the past could be the most interesting for some people while the case is just the opposite for others.

For those who love history and are always curious about what happened in the past, during the world war, the evolution of humanity, societal developments, the holocaust, etc, history books are the best source to feed your curiosity. 

There are numerous books written by brilliant writers about history that give us an informative and engaging narrative of the past. These books serve as your one-stop destination for getting information about different eras and periods in history that will be remembered forever.

We have created a list of best history books written by brilliant authors:

These books are not only great as reading material but they are also informative and influencing. Have a look below:

1. A Study of History

A Study of History

A Study of History was published in 1934 which is a 12 volume universal history. It was published by the British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. With the help of this book, the author’s goal was to trace the development and decay of 19 world civilizations in the historical record. In ‘A Study of History’  you will find the application of the author’s model to each of these civilizations, and he has brilliantly written about the stages through which they all pass.

 The stages namely are genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration. The author believes that the civilization of mankind are born out of more primitive societies. According to him, it is not the result of racial or environmental factors, rather it can be seen as a response to challenges. He wrote that civilizations develop in different ways because of their different environments and approaches to the challenges they face.

The author has brilliantly described the different levels and origin of human civilization and that is why A study of history is a must-read.

2. The History of an Ancient World

The History of an Ancient World

The history of an ancient world is a lively narrative history book written by Susan Wise Bauer. With the help of this book, the author has attempted to  show similar sets of events in the culture that gave birth to our own. 

The history of an ancient world: from the earliest account to the fall of time is the first volume in a bold new series. The book recites the tale of all people and shows us their life stories. The historical book explains the connection between events that happened in the past in China, the Middle East and Europe. 

The author in the book has given equal weightage to each of these countries. The individual lives belonging to the era are discussed with detail in The history of an ancient world. The book is great to read about the cultural interconnection that you can sense with the different timelines mentioning the passage of time. 

Apart from this, you will also find a lot of maps in the book giving us a clear geographical vision. Also,the book has connected the lives of Kings and rulers with the common people.  

3. A World Lit Only By Fire

A World Lit Only By Fire

A World Lit Only by Fire was published in the year 1992 and is considered one of the finest works of the author William Manchester. The history book stores information about the European Middle Ages which is divided into three sections, namely “The Medieval Mind”, “The Shattering”, and “One Man Alone.”

The historical book has stored a detailed explanation concerning the fall of the roman empire. Apart from this, it focuses on the year 500 and includes the notable occurrences that happened during the era.

 In the “Author’s Note” of the book William Manchester has stated “It is, after all, a slight work, with no scholarly pretensions. All the sources are secondary, and few are new; I have not mastered recent scholarship in the early sixteenth century.”

4. Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The fate of human societies is written by Jared Diamond. The book was published in 1997. In this book, the professor of geography and physiology has attempted to explain the theory of geographic determinism. According to the author geographical causes are responsible for creating differences between societies and societal differences.

The book focuses on the major idea that history and human societies are highly influenced by material factors such as geography, the biology of immunity, and food production. And with the help of this major idea, Jared Diamond has concluded why some societies are more successful than others.  

5. The Crusades

The Crusades

The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land is written by Thomas Abridge. In his book, the author has kept an account of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge is famous for being a celebrated historian who shows a vivid range of knowledge concerned with history. 

The author has covered the years 1095 to 1291 which is considered one of the most fascinating periods in history. The giant book with the magnificent epic Holy War includes the war of the Christian and Islamic worlds. 

The book is full of adventure and thrill that will keep you hooked and let you view the crusades with a newer perspective. 

6. Over The Edge of The World

Over The Edge of The World

Over the Edge of the World is a biography of Ferdinand Magellan written by biographer Laurence Bergreen. The book was first published by William Morrow and Company in the year 2003.

The historical book explains the journey of Magellan from Spain to attempt the circumferential movement of the globe. The birth of Ferdinand happened in the year 1480 into a wealthy Portuguese family. After that, he became a skilled sailor and naval officer. The book keeps an account of Ferdinand’s circumnavigation across the globe that lasted three years. The 16th-century adventure of Magellan was filled with thrill and violence.

 With the help of ‘Over the edge of the world’ the award-winning author has explored the oceans and history from the eyes of Ferdinand.

7. 1419


1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus is a non-fiction book by Charles C. Mann, the American author and science writer. The book was published in the year 2005. The great work by the author won him the National Academics communication Award for best creative work.

The book is not only a great reading material but it also helps the public to understand different topics concerning science, engineering or medicine.1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus is considered to be the groundbreaking work of author in science history and archeology. 

The findings in this book are contrary to the ones Americans study in books about history. This is the book the New York review of books has called, “A journalist masterpiece”.

8. 1776


1776 is a book written by David McCullough, published by Simon and Schuster in the year 2005. The book by the author will give you a glimpse of the events that occurred during the start of the American Revolution.

 The powerful drama is an extensive account based on the archives from the American and British history. The book shows us things from the military perspective instead of political one. It consists of several colorful illustrations and maps of the historical battlefield that were designed by British engineers.

9. Battle Cry of Freedom

Battle Cry of Freedom

Battle Cry of Freedom: The civil war era written by James M. McPherson covers two decades, the final moments of the Civil war’s end at Appomattox and the beginning of the Mexican American War. The book was originally published in the year 1988 but an abridged illustrated version of the book has recently been published in the year 2003.

The book written on civil war won the author Pulitzer Prize. The detailed book will give you a clear image of the American Civil War and puncture all the myths that you have concerning the war. Full of new interpretation and information, this is your one-stop destination for studying the history of civil war. 

10. The Guns of August

The Guns of August

The Guns of August is a volume of history by Barbara W. Tuchman which was published in the year 1962. The book focuses on the first month of World War 1. The period of history which is considered as the cruelest and dark war that the world as ever witnessed created a far-reaching impact on humanity. And this book gives us a clear glimpse of that.

You will get to learn new things about history and see World War 1 from a totally different perspective. The informative narrative about the cruel war focuses on the details such as what were the events that led to the war and what were the earliest stages of the war.

After you will get some introductory chapters, then the author will slowly go into the details explaining everything by also mentioning the sentiments before and during the war. 


These were some of the greatest books ever written in history. The books give us a glimpse of the past by honoring some of the moments that changed the course of time completely. These books written by various authors store complete information about some of the most significant historical events. 

So next time when you are looking for some stuff to read about history, refer to these books that will definitely serve the purpose. Apart from these, there must be many other history books that are equally as good.

If you have read or happen to know any good history books apart from this, please let us know about them in the comment section. Also if you have any feedback or questions, you can give it to us by simply commenting below.

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