The Best History Books of 2015 - List by Smithsonian™

The Best History Books of 2015

Books in list (10)


Title: Fortunes Fool

In Fortune's Fool, Terry Alford provides the first comprehensive look at the life of an enigmatic figure whose life has been overshadowed by his final, infamous act. Tracing Booth's story from his uncertain childhood in Maryland, characterized by a difficult relationship with his famous actor father, to his successful acting career on stages across the country, Alford offers a nuanced picture of Booth as a public figure, performer, and deeply troubled man. Despite the fame and success that attended Booth's career--he was billed at one point as "the youngest star in the world"--he found himself consumed by the Confederate cause and the desire to help the South win its independence...
Author(s): Terry Alford
ISBN 13: 9780195054125
Pages: 416
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: SPQR - A History of Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.
Author(s): Mary Beard
ISBN 13: 9780871404237
Pages: 608
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Empire of Cotton

The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckerts rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the worlds most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world.
Author(s): Sven Beckert
ISBN 13: 9780375414145
Pages: 640
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (3) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Oregon Trail

An epic account of traveling the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned wayin a covered wagon with a team of mules, an audacious journey that hasnt been attempted in a centurywhich also chronicles the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country. Spanning two thousand miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific coast, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America.
Author(s): Rinker Buck
ISBN 13: 9781451659160
Pages: 464
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Gay Revolution

The sweeping story of the modern struggle for gay, lesbian, and trans rights--from the 1950s to the present--based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, legal activists, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day.
Author(s): Lillian Faderman
ISBN 13: 9781451694116
Pages: 816
Rate book Rate this book

Title: All the Wild That Remains

Archetypal wild man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Now, award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists from Stegner's birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of Abbey's pilgrimages to Arches National Park in Utah, braiding their stories and asking how they speak to the lives of all those who care about the West.
Author(s): David Gessner
ISBN 13: 9780393352375
Pages: 368
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The American Slave Coast

The American Slave Coast offers a provocative vision of US history from earliest colonial times through emancipation that presents even the most familiar events and figures in a revealing new light. Filled with surprising facts, fascinating incidents, and startling portraits of the people who made, endured, and resisted the slave-breeding industry, The American Slave Coast culminates in the revolutionary Emancipation Proclamation, which at last decommissioned the capitalized womb and armed the African Americans to fight for their freedom.
Author(s): Ned Sublette;Constance Sublette
ISBN 13: 9781613748206
Pages: 752
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Stalins Daughter

The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of historys most monstrous dictatorsher father, Josef Stalin. Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedythe loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father.
Author(s): Rosemary Sullivan
ISBN 13: 9780062206121
Pages: 672
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Prince of Darkness

n "Prince of Darkness, "a groundbreaking and vivid account, eminent historian Shane White reveals the larger than life story of a man who defied every convention of his time. He wheeled and dealed in the lily white business world, he married a white woman, he bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, he owned railroad stock on trains he was not legally allowed to ride, and generally set his white contemporaries teeth on edge when he wasn't just plain outsmarting them. An important contribution to American history, Hamilton's life offers a way into considering, from the unusual perspective of a black man, subjects that are usually seen as being quintessentially white, totally segregated from the African American past.
Author(s): Shane White
ISBN 13: 9781250099815
Pages: 368
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Invention of Nature

Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his investigation of wild environments around the world; his discoveries of similarities between climate zones on different continents; his prediction of human-induced ...
Author(s): Andrea Wulf
ISBN 13: 9780385350662
Pages: 496
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (3) other book lists, learn more.

 


Read full article:
The Best History Books of 2015


Next book list: The Best History Books of 2014 - List by theguardian™ >>