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At over 1,000 pages, this is an epic portrait of King’s rise to greatness, the strengths and weaknesses of the man behind the movement, and a country on the verge of revolution. Each is followed by a linked title to my review. Higginbotham’s book draws from hundreds of hours of interviews. Read the review. This is the story of the death of renowned diplomat and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld. Read the review. The central subject of this extraordinary book is the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer in October 1964. In this year alone, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet. While all that is present in The Splendid and the Vile, Larson’s focus is on the emotional reality of life in and around 10 Downing Street during that fateful year. Vatican is one of the world’s most visited places, replete with palaces, museums, Raphael frescoes, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the works of Fra Angelico, Giotto di Bondone and other masters. Read the review. Here, the best nonfiction books of 2020. Historian Alexis Coe’s You Never Forget Your First is a book about George Washington, America’s first president. I generally trust "best of all time" lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. It was far from clear that a catastrophic clash of the extremes could be prevented. The Plaza Hotel has become synonymous with wealth, fame, and glamour, and it’s also had its share of scandals. The books on this list thus far have focused on the history of humanity and specific people, but geographer Laurence C. Smith explores looks at natural history in Rivers of Power. While many historians still engaged in the stale debate about whether “Great Men” or social forces are dominant in history, Diamond and Morris convincingly laid out the case for the greater influence of the larger context in which human history takes place, delving not just into geography but also (in Morris’ case) into biology, sociology, and archaeology. A lot of historical nonfiction is included. This one is a no-brainer. And in The Plaza, author Julie Satow traces the history and the stories behind famous hotel. With John Lewis’s recent passing, many people (myself included) have become even more interested in the important work Lewis did in his lifetime. The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years Slate’s books team selects the definitive works of reporting, memoir, and argument of the past quarter-century. This is an eye-opening portrait not just of a hotel but of a city. Anyone who seeks to understand how World War II was really waged should read this book without delay. The list below begins with my 20 favorite nonfiction books about history (excluding biographies). In this extraordinary book, Prof. Alexander explains how the country’s criminal justice system has been warped to the point of nonrecognition by a series of Presidential actions, Congressional legislation, and Supreme Court decisions; how the system of arrests, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing really works now; and the catastrophic consequences of this sequence of events for our cities, our African-American and Latino communities, and ultimately all of ourselves. If you’re looking for a biography on civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters is an excellent read. If you think history is a cold recitation of dates and the names of kings and battles, you owe it to yourself to check out Big History. Through a geopolitical lens, Planet Earth, and the machinations and foibles of earthly leaders, look a lot different than they do in most history books. When Americans today think of Richard Nixon, four or five episodes in his public life usually come to mind: Watergate, the Cambodia invasion, the opening to China, his TV debates with John F. Kennedy, and, perhaps, his kitchen confrontation with Nikita Khrushchev when still Dwight Eisenhower’s vice president. A graphic novel that is part science book, part historical nonfiction, and has beautiful illustrations? Drawing from genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony, and contemporary interviews, Olusoga retraces how Black British history has shaped the country. Rejecting historians’ definition of the discipline as beginning with the advent of written records just 5,500 years ago, Christian’s course began with the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years in the past. And because this was a year like no other, we looked back at the most 2020 books of 2020, from prescient science fiction novels to political tell-alls. Historian and Wolfson judge Richard Evans talks us through the six history books that made the 2020 shortlist. You won’t want to put it down. Many of those biographies might also be classified as history, as they cast light on the times in which their subjects lived. And where did our beliefs about the afterlife come from? Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond – Why is economic development so uneven around the world? But author Stephanie Coontz really shines a light on the history of marriage and romantic love. That is to say, they need to be both educational and entertaining. button, and you're on your way. Other good nonfiction books about history. Historians typically zero in on the stuff of politics and policy, and in wartime on the ebb and flow of battle. After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time. Also read TIME’s lists of the 10 best fiction books of 2020, the 100 must-read books of the year and the 10 best video games of the year . Grebe’s book is an eponymous celebration of this … She starts from the moment it opened in 1907 and welcomed millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt as its first guest to today’s Billionaire Row. Donald Trump’s playbook revealed in a penetrating new book, “How Fascism Works”, 12 good books about the Holocaust, including both fiction and nonfiction, 5 top nonfiction books about World War II (plus many runners-up), 20 most enlightening historical novels (plus dozens of runners-up), Top 10 historical mysteries and thrillers reviewed here (plus 100 others). This is the true history of Genghis Khan, written by anthropologist Jack Weatherford. We just can’t escape people, it seems. A prominent Israeli columnist’s sober assessment: Will Israel survive? Is history too important to leave to historians? Read the review. by Michael Benninger | Dec 20 2019 This has been a banner decade for publishers of nonfiction, as sales have steadily outpaced fictional literature every year since 2013. Recently, The Brothers, Stephen Kinzer’s dual biography of Dulles and his older brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, also spotlighted the two men’s unsavory roles in funneling American capital to help build Hitler’s Germany and in the CIA’s attempts to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Sukarno in Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, and Fidel Castro in Cuba. And of course, Fetter-Vorm pays close attention to the detailed illustrations. Be it biography, history, nature writing or any other form of true story, non-fiction writing is often loaded with just as much suspense and character as the most exciting novel. Who knew that street addresses meant so much? This Pulitzer-Prize winning book is a masterpiece of military history. Compiled by art history professor Anja Grebe, The Vatican: All the Paintings, is counted among the best history books on Vatican artwork. Some lists count more than others. Among those who made their home there were five women writers: modernist poet H. D.; detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers; classicist Jane Harrison; economic historian Eileen Power; and author and publisher Virginia Woolf. FDR, the gold standard, and the Great Depression, J. Edgar Hoover, Ronald Reagan, and the violence in 1960s Berkeley, When America’s secret government ran amok, Friendly fire and bumbling generals in WWII, “The greatest catastrophe in human history”, The fateful year when the world stepped back from war, The amateur scientist who helped deliver radar and the atomic bomb, From the ashes of the Holocaust, a gift of lessons for living, One woman’s obsessive quest to learn how her grandmother died in the Holocaust, Bomber Command’s most successful attack on Nazi Germany was not on its cities, The WWII technology breakthrough with the proximity fuse, The secret mission to stop the Nazi atomic bomb, A story of an anti-Nazi commando worthy of Hollywood, Why the U.S. failed to speak out against the rise of Hitler’s Germany, How German radar technology helped Britain win World War II, A new spin on why the Normandy invasion succeeded, How the Allies fooled the Nazis with a corpse and assured victory, A scholar surveys armed conflict through the ages, A gripping history of China in World War II, The truth about the French Resistance, dug out of old records, “Survival is sweet revenge:” The odyssey of a Holocaust survivor, The sad story of FDR’s complicity with the Holocaust, Conspiracy theories, fake news, and other delusions in American history, America revealed through the lens of a single mid-sized city, When religion dominated the views of American conservatives, The conflict between the U.S. and Al Qaeda, Berkeley in 1969: Black Panthers, the FBI, and the Vietnam War, Teddy Roosevelt: progressive, champion of primary elections, and a racist, The ugly US-Iran war, past, present, and future, Life in the maelstrom of Hurricane Katrina, Teacher training, normal schools, and “bad teachers”, The case that helped put the FBI on the map, A stirring account of the watershed 2008 election, Early 20th-century America viewed through the life of one extraordinary woman, Economic inequality deconstructed in a brilliant historical study, An entertaining history of the post office, When a U-boat sank the Lusitania and changed history, Historical perspective on “the vast Right-Wing conspiracy”. And Coe includes a healthy dose of humor too. What happens when we die? How democracy died in Germany: is there a lesson for America today? It was that action which triggered Japan’s decision to bomb Pearl Harbor and attack the Dutch West Indies (now Indonesia) to secure an alternative source of oil. This book is the story of Edward Oscar Heinrich, who has been called (you guessed it) “the American Sherlock Holmes.” Heinrich cracked at least 2,000 cases in his 40 year career and pioneered forensic science as we know of it today. Take your pick of my four weekly newsletters. You may notice that some authors appear more than once on this list. But what makes Weatherford’s book the most fascinating account of Khan is the focus on how the leader shaped our culture. Here are the best non-fiction books, including celebrity memoirs, investigations into the royal family, and more, to publish in 2020. Amazingly, it worked, notably in the hands of Daniel Sutton, a non-medical entrepreneur, who marketed his secret method as “safe, quick and pleasant” and apparently variolated more than 10,000 people without a single death from smallpox. Nabeel’s Song: A Family Story of Survival in Iraq by Jo Tatchell – The Iraqi view of life under Saddam Hussein, Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz by Omer Bartov—The Holocaust under the microscope of history, Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles—An impressionistic history of libraries and librarians through the ages, Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio by Misha Glenny – An intimate look at drug trafficking in Brazil, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann – Pre-Columbian civilization in the Amazon, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt – An historian explains how we came to think the way we do, The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan – A thought-provoking view of world politics, The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski – How Africa came to be what it is today, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund—The facts, just the facts, about the world as it really is, The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC – 1492 AD by Simon Schama – Simon Schama on Jewish history from 1000-1492. Read the review. The World War I peace treaty that led to World War II, The political scandal that roiled the British Establishment, An outsider’s take on the Spanish Civil War, In a prelude to the Holocaust, the Kishinev pogrom shocked the world, The clashing personalities determined our economic history, Hernando de Soto on property rights, capitalism, and inequality, A human-centered history of the Digital Revolution, The mind-boggling story of America’s top-secret military research, Misunderstanding money helped cause the Great Recession, The story of the Amritsar Massacre that sped up the Indian independence movement, Jesus of Nazareth and the origins of anti-Semitism, Urbanization, globalization and the future of humanity. A new York times bestseller may earn a commission: a personal history be! Era has always been an obsession for fans of historical nonfiction and.... My 10 favorite history best non fiction books about history did FDR betray the Jews of Europe recent months genre! 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