Refresher History Books for Dummies?
August 22, 2012 10:58 AM Subscribe
What are your favorite US/World/European history books to re-educate a woefully forgetful 23-year-old mind?
posted by wintersonata9 to education (25 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I had pretty mediocre history classes throughout middle school/high school and didn't absorb a lot of specifics. I know generally what order Big Events happened in, but I don't remember which U.S. presidents did what, or why the Vietnam War happened, or who was on which side during World War I.
(I know. Awful.)
I'm currently reading through Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the World and really enjoying it. (I'm in the middle of Asian History right now, Volume II.) I'll tackle Cartoon History of the U.S. next.
I like funny/memorable tellings of history/historical events, like Hark! A Vagrant-style. It's hard for me to sit down with, say, a Wikipedia page of presidents and absorb their years in office and major accomplishments just by reading a list. I enjoy reading stories. Even better if it's a novel that is historically accurate, because it seems to stick better in my brain than straight-up lecture-style nonfiction prose. I've been learning a lot about the Cold War recently by reading Le Carre-ish stuff, and that's a lot of fun.
What other books/novels/resources do you recommend?
(Oh, and I work in a bookstore, so I have tons of material available to me. I just want to know which are your favorites before I just pluck blindly from the History shelves.)