Photo by Taha Samet Arslan

Reading history books will let readers travel back in time. It gives vital information about what happened in the past. It helps to connect the present to the past.

History is the study of past events. It is precisely in human affairs and is understood chiefly when presented chronologically. Knowing the past is highly vital for any human being and society. Past gives people insights into their evolving behavior in love, life, mutuality, war, diplomacy, and peace.

Reading history books has the following benefits.

  1. It makes the readers aware of the past and the shared history. It provides awareness of the events and processes of the past and interconnects them.
  2. History serves as a warning. When you don’t pay attention, history may repeat itself. People learn from the biggest mistakes of humanity in the past so as not to repeat them.
  3. Humanity gets inspired by historical events and legends for a better and more satisfying life.
  4. History provides comparative insights into the histories of other civilizations. Without history, there is no politics. History is the root, and politics is the fruit.
  5. Without the knowledge of interconnected global history, the new generation will be ill-informed about the struggles that have shaped the past and helped the present become what it has now.

Looking for a way to escape from reality and pass the time? Digging deeper into the pages of history books is a perfect way to go. History is a bit messy stuff, but it is not hostile and not all hard to process. The more you know about history, the more the messes make sense, both in a modern and historical context. Some of the best history books give you brilliant knowledge in enjoyable prose.

To that end, a few history books belong on any historian’s shelves. The top picks stretch across time and the globe, but many of their favorites are about Western civilization, recent history, the United States, and others.


1. Edward Hallett Carr’s What Is History? Carr’s book is nevertheless essential because it teaches readers how to navigate, read and understand history. Primarily criticized for its dangerous relativism, the book is now known to be foundational to the field. Thanks to its explanation of how bias and perspective can affect how one interprets historical events. This should arguably be your first book if you’re making your start-up forays into history.  

2. 1491 by Charles C. Mann. In this book, Mann details the various civilizations residing in South, North, and Central America. He explains their cultures and customs, offering a glimpse into a lost way of life and reminding readers that, for better or worse, history is inclined to be retold by the victors rather than the vanquished.

3. Janice P. Nimura’s Daughters of the Samurai.   In the 1870s, five girls from Japan went to the USA to learn something about western culture and then bring it back to their country. They spent around ten years in the U.S., then returned to their native country with new ideas about women’s place in society and their education. Nimura’s book is an excellent read for anyone who understands the formation of early global bonds and the development of women’s rights.  

4. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies. This book isn’t the history of one particular person, place, or period. It examines what happened to various people in various locations and times based on agriculture, luck, and even disease. History happened the way it happened, not because a group of people was innately better than any other. It happened simply because some folks first learned to grow more food than the subsequent culture and developed better weapons. But for slight changes, it all could have been different. (Not necessarily better, mind you, just different.)

5. Those Were The Days by Kenny Harmon. Narrates the history of T.V., music & movies of the 1950s & 1960s, the Pacific’s account of the war, the Korean War & Vietnam, the history of drag racing, the history of the NFL, history of Jim Thorpe 1 of the greatest athletes, the story of a great grandfather being an outlaw in Missouri during the 1880s & numerous excellent photos!   

In Closing

Thus, by reading history books, humanity can learn from the past; one can do better in the present and relatively predict the future. Take note! A world without history books would be a dangerous place.

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