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The eye of Justinian

   Popular history books

Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified 22 March 2022

What's this website all about'?

We want to share great popular history books with you. By talking about new history books, and by reading and reviewing them.

Ok but what is the story behind this website?

I have always read a lot and have always enjoyed reading history books - plus did a degree in modern history back in the day. But as time went by I found that more and more of my reading was directed by whatever Amazon happened to be promoting. Either through their monthly or daily kindle sales or through the books floating to the top of one of their categories.

I had lost control of what I put into my brain 👉🧠

It was time to take stock. Thinking specfically about history books - one of my favourite genres - where else could I find an unbiased and complete list of books to choose from?

I couldn't find a decent source. Most newspapers and magazines can't devote much space to history books. And I couldn't find current websites or blogs covering the genre as a whole (which is different from saying that they don't exist of course...).

If you can't find it: build it.

With a couple of friends we decided to start up this website in the spring of 2021. The results you can see / judge for yourself 🙂.

How can I contact you?

📧 Send us an email at

How do you find your books?

By scouring the catalogues (and catalogs) of publishing houses looking for English language history books that captivate us. We also use the Amazon advanced book search functionality to find newly released history books. We are trying to supplement and complement the reviews you might find in other publications.

Why don’t you use Amazon history book lists to find books like everyone else?

We think Amazon provides a fantastic service for book consumers like us – you can buy almost any book you could imagine. But it is not so good for finding books beyond the “top 10 best seller” lists. The algorithm that recommends books to you will also tend to highlight similar books to those that you have already read. But if you want to use Amazon to discover something new that’s a bit different to what you have read before you will struggle – we certainly do. On this website we want to provide you with another avenue to find great new history books.

Do you review all new history books?

No. We are on the look out for the popular history books that we think are (a) particularly interesting and (b) might get overlooked. Also with about 10 to 20 hardback popular history books released in the UK every month (!) there just isn't the time for us to read them all.

Are you independent?

Yes. We are an independent group of history-book-loving individuals and have no affiliation to any authors or publishing houses. The books we review are all selected by us and while we may request a free review copy, that will be the limit of the largesse, and will not influence our steely eyed assessment. If it turns out we do know the author we will declare this in the review.

Do you only review new books?

Mostly. But we will also be reviewing some of our favourite older history books as well.

What type of history books do you review?

Any type as long as they are not priced at crazy academic prices, and therefore no longer in the “popular” category. (Who knew that students were so well off?).

What is a “popular” history book?

We have a pretty wide definition which is that it must deal with the past and be priced low enough for ordinary people to afford. You can read a post from us that covers this topic in more detail here: What is Popular History?.

Do you review historical fiction books?

No… although sometimes the line between historical fiction / non-fiction can blur, so it might crop up from time to time.

What are your ambitions for this website?

We want to be the number 2 website for finding new-but-perhaps-lesser-known popular history books on the internet. We want to have an easily searchable and filterable mini-database of history books reviews that you can use to find a book to buy for yourself, or somebody else if you are feeling generous!

I am an author / publisher and I would like you to review my book…

We would love to hear from you. Send us an email at and we will consider your request – it depends on how much it appeals to us, and how many other books we already have on the go.

Anthony Webb, London UK