The World History Collection

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General World History Recommendations


Spice: the History of a Temptation
by Jack Turner

Spices helped draw Europeans into their age of expansion, but the Western world was far from ignorant of them before that time. Turner's lively and wide-ranging account begins with the voyages of discovery, but demonstrates that, even in ancient times, spices from distant India and Indonesia made their way west and fueled the European imagination.

HistoryWiz Book Collections

Ancient America

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient History

Ancient Rome


The British Isles


Disease and Disaster

The French Revolution




Latin America  

Medieval Europe  

Ancient Near East 

The Middle East

The Renaissance  


Russia and Eastern Europe


South Africa

Tibet & Nepal  

Twentieth Century

United States History

World War I

World War II

Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think
by Victor Davis Hanson


Victor Davis Hanson examines three great military encounters in history: Okinawa, Shiloh, and Delium, and connects past wars with current policy.

Salt: A World History  
by Mark Kurlansky


Salt has a long and intriguing history. Kurlansky demonstrates how important salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning.

Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism
by Thomas L Friedman

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Friedman, a foreign affairs correspondent, has written an excellent book discussing recent history which aids our understanding of modern terrorism. Winner of the New York Times Book of the Year

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
by Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester compellingly connects the biggest volcanic eruption in history with civil and religious unrest in Indonesia today. Krakatoa tells the frightening story in a blend of gentle geology and narrative history.
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The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History
by John M. Barry

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The flu epidemic killed 40 million people on the heels of the great devastation of World War I. This best-selling and critically acclaimed book tells the fascinating story.

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
by Thomas Cahill

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A History of the Jews
by Paul Johnson 


From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life
by Jacques Barzun 


 The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
by Thomas Cahill


The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture
by David Brion Davis


 Uppity Women of Ancient Times
by Vicki Leon


 Plagues and Peoples
by William H. McNeill



Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Babylonians to the Maya
by Dick Teresi


A great book! Teresi, cofounder of Omni magazine, reveals the important contributions to science of the nonwestern cultures that most westerners don't know about.

Words That Shook the World: 100 Years of Unforgettable Speeches and Events
by Richard Greene and others


The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time
by Will Durant


Pulitzer Prize-winning philosopher and historian Durant in probably his greatest work, tackling the greatest subjects of all time.

coverThe World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions by Huston Smith

Smith, the world renowned expert on religions, explains complex ideas clearly. A fascinatingbook, and very well written

Illustrated World Religions
by Huston Smithcover

a somewhat abbreviated version of World Religions with pictures

Galileo's Daughter
by Dava Sobel


Dava Sobel bases her bestselling book on 124 surviving letters to Galileo from the his illegitimate daughter, Sister Mary Celeste.

 Europe: A History
by Norman Davies


a magnum opus, the history of Europe from pre-history to the dismantling of the Soviet Union

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond


Diamond examines the geographical factors that caused Europe to develop in ways that led to global domination

Coal: A Human History
by Barbara Freese


"Deleterious to health and beneficial to wealth, coal contains a tension that makes its story a compelling one." Booklist

Jewish Tales of Reincarnation
by Yonassan Gershom

delightful stories and teachings in which the author shows reincarnation to be a Jewish belief 
Jewish Tales of Reincarnation

The World's Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions
by Phillip Novak
essential sacred readings from Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, Taoist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and primal religion sources