Unusual history books

The Human Tide

The Human Tide

Paul Morland

A dazzling new history of the modern world, as told through the remarkable story of population change.

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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle

Clare Hunter

The Hare with Amber Eyes meets The History of the World in 100 Objects: an eloquent history of the language of sewing over centuries and across continents.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant?...

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The Butchering Art

The Butchering Art

Lindsey Fitzharris

In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know...

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Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside

The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming  role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives. 

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The Secret Lives of Colour

The Secret Lives of Colour

Kassia St Clair

The unforgettable history of colours and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-coloured volume

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The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

Thomas Morris

We also hear of the weird, often hilarious remedies employed by physicians of yore - from crow's vomit to port-wine enemas - the hazards of such everyday objects as cucumbers and false teeth, and miraculous recovery from...

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It's All a Game: A Short History of Board Games

It’s All a Game: A Short History of Board Games

Tristan Donovan

From board game cafes to puzzle books, we need diversion more than ever. This cheeky but nostalgic look at the history of board games is the perfect Christmas gift.

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1947: Where Now Begins

1947: Where Now Begins

Elisabeth Asbrink, Fiona Graham

As the clock strikes the end of the war, the time begins to turn towards a new age - the one we call now.

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In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World

In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World

Simon Garfield

A delightful and illuminating exploration of the human instinct to make things small, from the bestselling author of Just My Type and On the Map

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Milk of Paradise: A History of Opium

Milk of Paradise: A History of Opium

Lucy Inglis

A compelling and comprehensive history of opium, a drug that has both healed and harmed since civilisation began.

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The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present

The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present

Ronald Hutton

Why have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe's history

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Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp

Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp

David Sornig

I'm here already, in the bleak, awful hour on Dudley Flats in which the final dereliction of Elsie Williams will come to pass. I'm beginning with it, so you won't be under any illusion as to how it ends.

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 Read reviewThe Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

Masha Gessen

Putin's bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.

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Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet

Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet

Tom Nancollas

An enthralling history of Britain's historic rock lighthouses, exploring the enduring appeal of these magnificent, isolated sentinels.     

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 Read reviewA History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Raj Patel, Jason W. Moore

Nature, Money, Work, Care, Food, Energy, and Lives.

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Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today

Simon Morrison

On a freezing night in January 2013, an assailant hurled acid in the face of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, dragging one of Russia's most illustrious institutions into scandal.

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