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OpryLeigh's avatar

What is the best history fact (or based on fact) book you have ever read?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) July 19th, 2009

I currently have a book on my Amazon wishlist (roll on payday) called Life in a Victorian slum. I can’t wait to read that one.

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22 Answers

sakura's avatar

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

has been made into a film and I think there are some follow up books

EmpressPixie's avatar

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Highly enjoyable. Somewhat historical. Somewhat vampiric.

Or America by Tendall and Shi. Sure, this one is a, you know, high school text book, but it’s also a pretty good read.

ShanEnri's avatar

Haven’t read them myself, but I have been told that “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Platoon” are very fact based. The only ones I can say anything about are “Russia:A History” and the true crimes books written by Ann Rule.

marinelife's avatar

Anything by Bill Bryson.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The First Man in Rome. It’s by the same author of The Thorn Birds, and it’s about the Roman consul Sulla.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

The Young Hitler I Knew, by August Kubizek. Gives great insight into that maniac’s way of thinking. It was panned by Ian Kershaw, which only makes me think that much more highly of it, as Ian Kershaw is a bit of an ass. A smart historian, but still an ass.

unixdudeaz's avatar

If you like American Civil War history, then I’d recommend “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara…it’s the book on which the movie “Gettysburg” was based.

monsoon's avatar

There are these books by Francine Rivers called the “Mark of the Lion” trilogy, and they’re about early Christians about 15 years after the death of Jesus.

I read them when I was a Christian years ago, and maybe if I read them now I wouldn’t think they were so great, but I still think that those early Christians were totally hardcore and awesome. The books are from a Christian perspective, so not purely historical, but very well-written.

Jack79's avatar

I once read an actual history book which I think was called “the Oxford Concise History of the World” or something like that written by a guy called (I think) Jim Robertson (or Robinson or something?). It was good exactly because it was short, and you got a general idea of what we consider “history” and how different events were linked to each other and eventually led to the world we live in today. It was certainly not in-depth, and many historians could probably argue that it wasn’t well-balanced, or that certain geographical areas should have been covered more than others, but I felt it was pretty useful in getting the general gist of world history, rather than concentrating on one particular country and period as we usually do (at school I majored at Ancient Greek history and at University I wrote a thesis based on more recent European History, and of course we did a lot of WWII stuff too).

SuperMouse's avatar

I was saddened this evening to hear of the death of Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes, one of the best biographies/historical novels I have ever read.

IBERnineD's avatar

Deliverance Dane!!! It’s based on the Salem Witch Trials and very good!!

aiwendil's avatar

@Sakura- there are other books that go along with The Other Boleyn Girl. There is The Boleyn Inheritance that comes after and The Constant Princess that takes place before.
They are very good books (anything by Phillipa Greggory is good). It’s pretty obvious that the books are about the Boleyn girls, Anne and Mary, Anne being The Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar


it’s a book published in 2005 about the present condition of America as the most dominant country in this day and age. It calls out a lot of things such as the mortgage crisis, pretty much saying it will happen very soon if we don’t pull our heads out of our asses. a very well thought out, and well written piece. The author, however, is eluding me.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@unixdudeaz if the book is anything like the movie, I’ll pass…

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I really enjoyed the series on Genghis Khan by Conn Iggulden (Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow, Bones of the Hills).

mattbrowne's avatar

Pillars of the Earth.

sakura's avatar

Thanks @aiwendil I will look out for them :)

FujiokaHaruhi192's avatar

The Diary of Anne Frank and Island Of The Blue Dolphins was okay too considering I had to read it for school. Oh and Little House on the Prarie.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@FujiokaHaruhi192 I read Island of Blue Dolphins years ago and loved it, I still have the book I think :)

FujiokaHaruhi192's avatar

lol I now I thought it was quite good too. :) I’m glad I’m not the only one. =)

FujiokaHaruhi192's avatar

That’s great I’m glad there are others out there that love it!

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