Readings Recommends: History

The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement

The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement

Deutsch, Nathaniel

The Jews of the Pale of Settlement created a distinctive way of life little known beyond its borders. Just before World War I, a socialist revolutionary named An-sky and his team collected jokes, recorded songs, took thousands of...

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December, 1941: Twelve Days That Began a World War

December, 1941: Twelve Days That Began a World War

Evan Mawdsley

An account of twelve pivotal days in 1941, when a chain of interlinked events changed world history

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Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910

Jeffrey H. Jackson

In the winter of 1910 the river that brought life to Paris became a force of destruction drowning Parisian streets, forcing its inhabitants to overcome a history of strife and work together. On the hundredth anniversary of the...

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 Read reviewThe Sons of Clovis

The Sons of Clovis

David Brooks

In the mid-1940s, writers James McAuley and Harold Stewart submitted a series of poems to the modernist literary magazine, Angry Penguins , under the fictitious name Ern Malley. This book not only offers an account of the Ern...

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Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train

Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train

Ina Caro

I'd rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James. -Peter Prescott, Newsweek

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The Bible Now

The Bible Now

Richard Elliott Friedman, Shawna Dolansky

The Bible has been a positive force but also has been misread, mistranslated, and misused. Friedman and Dolansky address what the Bible has to say about key issues in current events, including homosexuality, abortion, gender,...

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Fear, Faith and Hope: Remembering the Long, Wet Summer of 2010-2011

Fear, Faith and Hope: Remembering the Long, Wet Summer of 2010-2011

Matthew Condon

Fear, faith and hope are just three of the emotions felt by the people of Queensland during the long, wet summer of 2010-2011. The floods and cyclones of that wet season produced a natural disaster which will continue to influence...

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 Read reviewThe Promise of Iceland

The Promise of Iceland

Kari Gislason

Born from a secret liaison between a British mother and an Icelandic father, Kari Gislason was the subject of a promise - a promise elicited from his father to not reveal his identity. The Icelandic city of Reykjavik, where Kari...

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Cleopatra

Cleopatra

Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra's palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. Famous long before she was...

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Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History

Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History

Eric Chaline

Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully illustrated book that uncovers the fascinating stories of creatures great and small. These are the animals that have played a central role in the evolution of...

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A History of Tasmania

A History of Tasmania

Henry Reynolds

This captivating work charts the history of Tasmania from the arrival of European maritime expeditions through to the modern day.

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Burke & Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition

Burke & Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition

E. B. Joyce, D. A. McCann

Reveals for the first time the true extent and limits of the scientific achievements of the Burke and Wills Expedition.

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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Timothy Snyder

In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. This book offers an investigation into the motives and...

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 Special priceLisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45

Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45

Neill Lochery

This is the story of how a relatively poor European country not only survived the war physically intact, but came out of it much wealthier in 1945 than it had been when war broke out in 1939. The country's emergence as a...

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Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu

Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu

Christopher Heaney, Neil B Chambers

The first-ever account of adventurer Hiram Bingham's search for the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Bingham's dispatches cast him as a romanticized hero and revealed the lost city to the Western world. The reader is taken into the...

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The Gold Rush: The Fever That Forever Changed Australia

The Gold Rush: The Fever That Forever Changed Australia

David Hill

David Hill relates the extraordinary people and staggering events of Australia's great gold-rush years. From the mid- to late-1800s, people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life, including two future prime ministers...

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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Erik Larson

1933, Berlin. William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. As the year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement,...

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Venetian Navigators: The Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North

Venetian Navigators: The Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North

Andrea di Robilant

In the 14th century, Nicolo and Antonio Zen journeyed from Venice up the North Atlantic, encountering warrior princes, fighting savage natives and, just possibly, reaching the New World a full century before Columbus. This title...

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Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land

Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land

Joel Brinkley

A generation after Pol Pot's regime killed one quarter of the nation's population, Cambodia shows every outward sign of having overcome its devastating history - the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline....

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 Special priceThe Road of Bones: A Journey to the Dark Heart of Russia

The Road of Bones: A Journey to the Dark Heart of Russia

Jeremy Poolman

An epic and intimate story of life and death on Russia's greatest road: the Vladimirka

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Marathon: How One Battle Changed Western Civilization

Marathon: How One Battle Changed Western Civilization

Richard A. Billows

The battle of Marathon can perhaps be seen as the most significant moment in our collective history. Richard Billows describes how 10,000 Athenians managed a victory over a Persian military force of 25,000, a defeat that secured...

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In Bligh's Hand: Surviving the Mutiny on the Bounty

In Bligh’s Hand: Surviving the Mutiny on the Bounty

Jennifer Gall, Peter Cochrane

After the mutiny on the Bounty on 28 April 1789, led by Fletcher Christian, Captain William Bligh and 18 others were forced onto a 7-metre-long open boat and cast adrift. It was the beginning of a 47-day, 6700-km journey from...

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The Lure of Russia: 20 Years of Travel & 20 Years of Change

The Lure of Russia: 20 Years of Travel & 20 Years of Change

Gail Ford

Ford visited Russia 18 times in 20 years, leading groups of school students, then music and art groups. Ford provides the historical context to her travels, which provide snapshots of Russian life during pivotal times of momentous...

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The Pocketbook of Aussie History

The Pocketbook of Aussie History

Brendan Gullifer

When was the first Melbourne Cup, and which horse won? Who was the first woman to stand for federal parliament? What's the second verse of 'Advance Australia Fair'? Why was Vegemite renamed Parwill in 1928? Here, in one handy...

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Dampier's Monkey: the South Seas Voyages of William Dampier

Dampier’s Monkey: the South Seas Voyages of William Dampier

His Hon Judge Mitchell

William Dampier, the 'devil's mariner' as he has been called, a far voyager and traveller extraordinaire, lived in an era when the past was being put behind the present, and everything was new - a new world discovered by the first...

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Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Simon Schama

Offers a social, cultural and narrative history of the French Revolution. This title provides an impression of the currents and contradictions which made up this terrible sequence of events.

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 Read reviewBatavia

Batavia

Peter FitzSimons

It is no surprise that the barbarity and evil that came in the wake of the wreck of the Batavia has inspired books, radio and TV documentarys, plays and an opera. Lust, jealously, greed, madness, deception, rape, murder - all the...

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Bligh in Australia: A New Appraisal of William Bligh and the Rum Rebellion

Bligh in Australia: A New Appraisal of William Bligh and the Rum Rebellion

Russell Earls Davis

This account of early Australia focuses on Governor William Bligh (famous as the captain of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame). The Rum Rebellion has for generations been told to school children as one of the better stories of...

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The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

Glynis Ridley

In 1765, eminent botanist Philibert Commerson was appointed official naturalist to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. Jeanne Baret - Commerson's young mistress and collaborator - disguised...

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Speeches That Changed the World

Speeches That Changed the World

Simon Sebag Montefiore

See and hear the 20th century's greatest orators speak the very words that made history - from Winston Churchill and JFK to Kevin Rudd and Barack Obama. This gripping DVD pack provides genuine historical footage of 20 of the most...

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 Special priceTransport: An Australian History

Transport: An Australian History

Robert Lee

Trains, planes, boats and cars. What did Australians do before the invention of modern transport? This title tells the story of how transport in Australia has developed, and how it has impacted our lives. It brings together the...

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The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One

The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One

Miranda Carter

As cousins, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the last Tsar Nicholas II should have been friends - but they happened also to rule Europe's three most powerful states. This book offers an account of how three men who should have...

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The Idea of Justice

The Idea of Justice

Amartya K. Sen

Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? This book offers a fresh approach to mainstream theories of justice. It shows how the principles...

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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-line Dispatches from the Advertising War

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-line Dispatches from the Advertising War

Jerry Della Femina

It was a meeting of the agency's top people to find an advertising theme for Panasonic, a major new Japanese electronics firm. Suddenly the new $50,000-a-year creative supervisor leapt to his feet in a frenzy of simulated...

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The Flight of the Intellectuals

The Flight of the Intellectuals

Paul Berman

It created a worldwide furore when Tariq Ramadan was barred from US entry to accept a prestigious appointment at Notre Dame University. In a gripping portrait, Paul Berman details Ramadan's disturbing ties to radical Islam, and...

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Heart and Soul: Australia's First Families of Wine

Heart and Soul: Australia’s First Families of Wine

Graeme Lofts, James Halliday

A look at the famous families who pioneered the Australian wine industry over generations Heart and Soul takes you on a journey through the history, the people, the vineyards, and the regions of Australia's most famous wineries.

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 Read reviewCrimea: The Last Crusade

Crimea: The Last Crusade

Orlando Figes

The terrible conflict that dominated the mid 19th century, the Crimean War killed at least 800,000 men and pitted Russia against a formidable coalition of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire. This book reimagines this...

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The American Civil War

The American Civil War

John Keegan

The American Civil War was one of the longest and bloodiest of modern wars. It is also one of the most mysterious. This book unpicks the geography, leadership and strategic logic of the war and takes us to the heart of the...

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Europe's Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War

Europe’s Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War

Peter H. Wilson

The horrific series of conflicts known as the Thirty Years War (1618-48) tore the heart out of Europe, killing perhaps a quarter of all Germans and laying waste to whole areas of Central Europe to such a degree that many towns and...

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The Pacific

The Pacific

Hugh Ambrose

Between America's retreat from China in late November 1941 and the moment General MacArthur's airplane touched down on the Japanese mainland in August 1945, five men connected by happenstance fought the key battles of the war...

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Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788

Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788

Richard Broome

'In this book Richard Broome has managed an enviable achievement. The vast sweeping story of Aboriginal Australia from 1788 is told in his typical lucid and imaginative style... ' Professor Lynette Russell, Centre for Australian...

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The Wreck of Western Culture: Humanism Revisited

The Wreck of Western Culture: Humanism Revisited

John Carroll

Humanism built western civilization as we know it today. Its achievements include the liberation of the individual, democracy, universal rights, and widespread prosperity and comfort. So runs the approved view. It is not shared by...

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Macquarie: From Colony to Country

Macquarie: From Colony to Country

Harry Dillion, Peter Butler

In 1810 Lachlan Macquarie became governor of New South Wales. He ruled the colony for 12 years. The story of Macquarie's governorship is in many ways the story of early Australian history. His term encompassed the key events of...

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