I'm in the middle of In Search of Lost Time
. It's interesting me in French history. It's better to learn about it from non-fiction, though, since Proust mixes real figures and facts with ones he made up. What good books are there about any period of French history between 1789 and, say, 1939? Popular or academic books are fine, and they don't have to concern themselves with wars, arms races, and treaties, either. Cultural histories are good.
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Nov 4, 2013 -
You're teaching a massive survey course on the history of the 20th Century. What books are on the syllabus, in what order? [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00
on Oct 25, 2013 -
My wife & I share an interest in history, but where I had a succession of quite good history teachers, she did not. We're many years out of college now, but she wants to broaden her knowledge through (relatively) easy reads. [more inside]
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught
on Sep 26, 2013 -
I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
posted by moxie_milquetoast
on Sep 15, 2013 -
I am looking for fiction or non-fiction books (or movies - documentaries or fiction) about societies that are collapsing or falling apart -- anything from the late Roman Empire to 1990s Yugoslavia. I'm especially interested in books or movies that focus on the lives of regular people while the collapse is happening.
I am specifically NOT looking for sci-fi dystopias or fantasy novels, so please don't recommend any.
posted by empath
on Sep 9, 2013 -
I'm looking for recommendations for unusual guidebooks to Seattle and the surrounding area, with a particular emphasis on ghost stories, the supernatural, the strange in general and the just plain odd. Being well tied in to historical context would be an advantage, as would be meatier text rather than just bullet points and captioned photos.
posted by Artw
on Sep 8, 2013 -
Pretend I came from another planet yesterday. Pretend that today I listened to everything by The Rolling Stones. Pretend that tomorrow I want to read a book about the band/their history/their music. What would that book be? [more inside]
posted by greta simone
on Sep 7, 2013 -
A friend of mine is about to move to Vietnam. I'd like to get him a book as a farewell gift.
Please give me your recommendations for books about Vietnam the country
- that is, books that cover something of the country's history, society and politics other than the American war.
posted by girlgenius
on Jun 1, 2013 -
I've lived all my life in the shadow of the Appalachians. Now, I'm moving to Arizona. What are some books that I should read, or music that I should hear, to help me get the feel of the Southwest? [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley
on May 23, 2013 -
I'm looking for the US equivalent of Dominic Sandbrook's State of Emergency: Britain 1970–1974
—books that explore not just the politics, movements and 'big events' of the decade, but aspects such as pop culture and the changes in daily life and habits. [more inside]
posted by kaisemic
on Apr 10, 2013 -
Can you recommend a good book on papal history that is solid on facts and theology, honest about blemishes, but doesn't revel in scandal? Oh, and I hope I can find it in a Kindle version. [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk
on Feb 26, 2013 -
I've been listening to 'Escape from Camp 14' on audiobook for the past few days, and I was struck by a brief overview of & reference to the story of Charles Robert Jenkins, an American defector to North Korea. I found the concept as mystifying as it was intriguing, so I would like to know if any of you have heard of any non-fiction books about other defection stories that involve citizens of democratic nations obtaining residency in nations that would be deemed objectively totalitarian and renouncing their countries of origin. I'm on the lookout for his book, 'The Reluctant Communist,' but I'd like to hear about other stories of this type as well.
posted by Selena777
on Feb 3, 2013 -
I only really have time to read a single book on the origins of photography. What do you recommend? Think Daguerre and Talbot, no need for hundreds of pages devoted to the camera obscura. I'd also prefer something heavier on text than actual photographs.
posted by Lorin
on Jan 25, 2013 -
I'm finishing up The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman, and while it's a really good read, it does what it says, and covers the beginning of the war. I'm interested in other books on WW1. What do you recommend? I'd like to read both a good, solid overview of the whole war, then maybe later read more in-depth books on certain parts or phases of the war. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah
on Jan 12, 2013 -
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution
? [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty
on Dec 18, 2012 -
I'm looking for your favorite books on early modern European history (~1550-1750 ish) to inform my reading of the Baroque cycle by Neal Stephenson. I usually rely on Amazon ratings to pick good books, but they are coming up short. History buffs of AskMeFi, please help! [more inside]
posted by permiechickie
on Dec 11, 2012 -
Looking for good, critical books and resources on martial arts and fighting. I prefer them to be academic enough to have survived peer review, but will take what I can get. Anything martial arts related would do, I'm interested in understanding martial arts and fighting in a more general sense. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee
on Dec 8, 2012 -
Is there a good book for an older kid about the history of China? Or, related questions, other great world history books for kids? [more inside]
posted by latkes
on Nov 2, 2012 -
Speculative fiction about historical gradualism: I'm looking for SF stories which begin in the real historical world (past or present) and then gradually diverge from it, without
any single decisive turning point. [more inside]
posted by RogerB
on Sep 19, 2012 -
I need help with a book suggestion! All my particulars found within, within, within.. [more inside]
posted by kbanas
on Sep 3, 2012 -
Can you recommend a popular history of Scotland--book, documentary, TV series, whatever--that I can consume before our trip there next summer? [more inside]
posted by WorkingMyWayHome
on Sep 3, 2012 -
I'm doing some research on the nineteenth century in the U.S. and I've realized I need to understand the Civil War better. Can you help me? [more inside]
posted by colfax
on Jun 26, 2012 -
Great non-fiction books for a smart 9 year old search: my kindle owning niece is embarking on summer vacation. I'd like to gift her some good books to fill up her summer days... she reads a huge amount, and I'd really like to encourage this. She's nine but has a roughly 9th grade reading level, so she's definitely capable of handling somewhat advanced books, and she's curious about a wide range of things. Really I'm looking for pretty much anything non-fiction & interesting. [more inside]
posted by lyra4
on Jun 24, 2012 -
I just got back from Brazil and want to read about its history. What are the best books in English? I'm particularly interested in the period from the arrival of the monarchy in 1808 to the founding of the republic in 1889.
posted by ocherdraco
on Jun 1, 2012 -
I want to mainline wonder! Recommend me nonfiction books or films (science, nature, history, culture, the human mind) that will make me fall in love with the world we live in. [more inside]
posted by stuck on an island
on Apr 15, 2012 -
Research-filter: Looking for reading recommendations on two topics: 1) syphilis in the 19th (and very early 20th) century, particularly tabes dorsalis
, and 2) prostitution in Vienna during the same time period. (More broadly: the experience of serious and/or terminal illness during the same period; bonus points for information about women, particularly the emotional trauma of chronic pain, losing one’s beauty/youth/sexuality, etc.) [more inside]
posted by scody
on Apr 9, 2012 -
I saw Cave Of Forgotten Dreams
and loved it. Now I want to read more about early human history. Please recommend some good books on the beginnings of human art in particular and the emergence of human society and the beginnings of conciousness in general. I'm not a scientist and I'm not looking for a textbook, but I'm not afraid of a challenging read, either.
posted by vibrotronica
on Mar 26, 2012 -
DC-area-history-filter! I'm about to move back to the US, where I will be either in DC or North Virginia (working in Ashburn, specifically). I like having a sense of the history that contributed to the physical environment around me. Why is this town here, who built what building, why, and what does the allegory in the decoration mean. Things like that. What books, articles, or whatever should I read to understand these qualities about my upcoming home?
posted by Schismatic
on Mar 1, 2012 -
Know of any books that look at the effects of technology on the delivery of education? [more inside]
posted by drzz
on Mar 1, 2012 -
Reading about the Great Awakening (first or second) and history of American religion? [more inside]
posted by j1950
on Feb 3, 2012 -
I'm looking for a good book about the Scandinavia to Midwest America immigrant experience (non-fiction). [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski
on Jan 9, 2012 -
I recently got into boxing. But I want to read a good book about the art of boxing. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Napierzaza
on Jan 5, 2012 -
If I was to read one book about the Wars of the Roses, what book should it be?
posted by shothotbot
on Aug 1, 2011 -