History Books

Age of Enlightenment: A History From Beginning to End

One of the better in the Hourly History series. A good look at the Enlightenment and many of the major philosophies and philosophers. Covering Religion, economy, politics, feminism, and philosophical development, the book provides a good overview of major items in a swift and easy read.

Ancient Egypt

Covering thousands of years in a few pages is tough. Doing it with humor and dry wit is tougher. This book does both. You get a flavor for Ancient Egypt and a few chuckles along the way. A good intro.

Easter Rising – A History from Beginning to End

The Easter Rising was the final catalyst for Irish independence. This book covers it in enough detail to hit all major players and events, but sort enough to cover it in about 40 minutes—a good and interesting read.

From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

A good read on the history of technology. Former Chair of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, brings policy experience and well researched and entertaining history to bear in this sort, readable and critical work. Showing the parallels of development from the printing press, telegraph, telephone, internet, and development into AI and the IoT, Wheeler provides guideposts to future development and policy issues. Discussing the security, privacy, and policy challenges, Wheeler also recognizes the inexorable march towards progress, including discussing those opposed to it at each major technological development. An entertaining read and an important one.

History of America’s Labor Movement in Ten Strikes

A well-written look at the history of the U.S. labor movement from the 17th Century to 2016. Written by a labor historian and certainly a pro-union perspective on the labor movement, the book is well written – discussing 10 key moments that helped define the current state of the labor movement. While the title is a bit of an overreach – as the history of the country is intertwined with the labor movement but not dominated by it – the book is a must-read for everyone interested in politics, labor relations, American history, and a labor-oriented view of the changes in the labor movement over the last 400 years.

John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court (Southern Biography Series)

John Marshall set the foundation for American jurisprudence and constitutional interpretation in the formative days of the Republic. Largely underappreciated in today’s world, the student of American history, jurisprudence, or politics needs to read and appreciate this book and understand the man that is John Marshall. A great and easy read that covers the man as well as his influence on the law.

Second Founding

An excellent look at the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Covering the political and social implications of the amendments and taking the reader from the Missouri Compromise through Plessy v. Ferguson, the book is a sort but an extraordinarily well-written account of the Reconstruction Amendments and the promise of the “Second Founding.” A noted historian writes for the interested reader in a format that is more narrative and less textbook. A phenomenal read and one that serves as a reminder of how far we came and how far we have to go. Highly recommended.

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans

David Abulafia wrote the definitive survey on the human history of the oceans in this well-researched, massive book. Weighing in at over 1,000 pages and heavy enough to use for exercise, the book takes a long time to get through and has some spots where it bogged down a bit. However, the global perspective focuses on the period from about 500 BCE to 1500 CE, and the format of geographic focus make t incredibly interesting. While there is no way to go deep on any one area, subject, or time frame given the audacious scope, the book is an incredible success as a survey. You will be able to read it and find great nuggets for further research, as well as a ton of references, notes, a comprehensive bibliography, and an easy reading format—a great book.

The Matrix of Western Culture: Perspectives on History, the Arts, and Ideas

This brilliant book ties together literature, philosophy, art, music, architecture, philosophy, and nearly every other element of human knowledge. The book shows the interconnected nature and ribbon threaded throughout human history from the caveman to modern man, focusing on Western European experience. A great read. Phenomenal.

The Middle Ages: A History From Beginning to End

This is one of the better Hourly History books. Covering almost 900 years in 50 pages, key people, trends, and Middle Ages events come to life. An easy read, the book provides breadcrumbs for further reading and exploring.

The Naval Africa Expedition of World War I: The History and Legacy of the Battle for Lake Tanganyika in the African Interior

A great read on a little-studied theater and battle of World War I – the Battle of Lake Tanganyika. Well written and highly interesting. A great read.

Twelve Years a Slave

This book is a powerful testament to the evils and impacts of slavery on one man – Solomon Northrup. Kidnapped from Saratoga, New York, Northrup endured twelve years of slavery until rescued by an abolitionist. The sheer cruelty and abuse of power will make you wince—a must-read for everyone.

U.S.S. Seawolf: Submarine Raider of the Pacific

The story of the Seawolf, as seen through Radioman J.M. Eckberg, is nothing short of brilliant. Taking us through the first several combat cruises of the much-decorated submarine, you could see and smell the experience. The sub, lost during the war, was one of a half-dozen highly decorated submarines in the Pacific theater. A great read.

Vikings: A Concise History of the Vikings

One of the best Hourly History books. Covers the 300 years or so of Viking influence from the Arctic Circle to Byzantium. Discussion includes religion, commerce, exploration, politics, and more—a good and quick intro to the Vikings.

We’re Still Here

I appreciated the ethnographic study conducted by Dr. Silva across many facets. Having family in the Pennsylvania coal country, this book hits close to home. Her rigorous approach to qualitative research and her methodological appendix made my academic researcher self appreciate the content of the work even more. Most impressive, however, is that as a conservative, I am not generally aligned with the politics noted by the author or where the book takes you. Dr. Silva transcends the political while exploring it and maintains objectivity and an exceptional storytelling approach that will help any reader better understand this forgotten segment of America. This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year (and that numbers near 350). A must-read for any politician of any party. It will open your eyes and make you think about our challenges in new ways.

World War I – A History From Beginning to End

A good overview of the First World War, including looks at the Eastern, African, Italian, and Levantine/Mesopotamia campaigns. A quick read, and one that will leave you wanting for more. One of the better in the series.

World War II in Antwerp, Belgium: Experiences of a Young Boy

The author grew up in wartime Antwerp and told the stories of that time in this delightful book. I imagine sitting listening to the 80+-year-old grandfather telling tales of the war. The reader is taken to a different time, and the book brings a real and warm, fatherly feel to an element of World War II that is often overlooked. Great read.


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