History books 2020 large

History books

A comprehensive (see notes) list of history books published in the UK. Books we have reviewed have a pink background and are put at the top! Icons pop up when you hover over (or hold down your finger on) the covers, linking to Amazon (πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ and πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ) and also our review (πŸ“) if available. If you want to filter this list by period, region, sphere or country click here (you will need to view on a desktop for full filtering functionality).

Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece

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Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece
Past Mistakes: How We Misinterpret History and Why It Matters

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Past Mistakes: How We Misinterpret History and Why It Matters
The Human Cosmos: A Secret History of the Stars

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The Human Cosmos: A Secret History of the Stars
A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution

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A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution
The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India

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The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India
The Dragon in the Jungle: The Chinese Army in the Vietnam War

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The Dragon in the Jungle: The Chinese Army in the Vietnam War
Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs

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Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs
Providence Lost: The Rise and Fall of Cromwell's Protectorate

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Providence Lost: The Rise and Fall of Cromwell's Protectorate
Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

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Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War
The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New England

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The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New England
The Decline of Magic: Britain in the Enlightenment

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The Decline of Magic: Britain in the Enlightenment
Grub Street: The Origins of the British Press

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Grub Street: The Origins of the British Press
The Hidden History of Burma: A Crisis of Race and Capitalism

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The Hidden History of Burma: A Crisis of Race and Capitalism
From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe

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From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe
Edward II's Nieces: The Clare Sisters: Powerful Pawns of the Crown

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Edward II's Nieces: The Clare Sisters: Powerful Pawns of the Crown
The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom

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The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom
The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

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The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War
The Death of the French Atlantic

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The Death of the French Atlantic
Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

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Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy
A Place For Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

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A Place For Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order
Strange Antics: A History of Seduction

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Strange Antics: A History of Seduction
Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness

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Dresden: The Fire and the Darkness
Yamato: Flagship of the Japanese Imperial Navy

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Yamato: Flagship of the Japanese Imperial Navy
A Curious History of Sex

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A Curious History of Sex
The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History

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The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History
1774: The Long Year of Revolution

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1774: The Long Year of Revolution
Going the Distance: Eurasian Trade and the Rise of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700: 82 (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World, 82)

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Going the Distance: Eurasian Trade and the Rise of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700: 82 (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World, 82)
More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy

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More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy
Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight

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Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight
Sisters in Arms: Female warriors from antiquity to the new millennium

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Sisters in Arms: Female warriors from antiquity to the new millennium
In Good Faith: A History of the Vietnam War Volume 1: 1945–65

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In Good Faith: A History of the Vietnam War Volume 1: 1945–65
The English Reformation: A Very Brief History (Very Brief Histories)

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The English Reformation: A Very Brief History (Very Brief Histories)
Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformation of the Andean World

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Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformation of the Andean World
A People Betrayed: A History of Corruption, Political Incompetence and Social Division in Modern Spain 1874-2018

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A People Betrayed: A History of Corruption, Political Incompetence and Social Division in Modern Spain 1874-2018
Ireland's Forgotten Past: A History of the Overlooked and Disremembered

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Ireland's Forgotten Past: A History of the Overlooked and Disremembered
The Spark that Lit the Revolution: Lenin in London and the Politics that Changed the World

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The Spark that Lit the Revolution: Lenin in London and the Politics that Changed the World
Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen

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Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen
Cromwell's Convicts: The Death March from Dunbar 1650

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Cromwell's Convicts: The Death March from Dunbar 1650
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz

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The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz
Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World

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Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World
Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife

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Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife
Coffeeland: A History

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Coffeeland: A History
AKBAR :The Great Mughal

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AKBAR :The Great Mughal
Storyworlds of Robin Hood: The Origins of a Medieval Outlaw

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Storyworlds of Robin Hood: The Origins of a Medieval Outlaw
A House Through Time

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A House Through Time
Three Tigers, One Mountain: A Journey Through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea, and Japan

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Three Tigers, One Mountain: A Journey Through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea, and Japan
The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began

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The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began
This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving

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This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving
Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II

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Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II
The Great Imperial Hangover: How Empires Have Shaped the World

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The Great Imperial Hangover: How Empires Have Shaped the World
Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood

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Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood
The Fall of the House of Byron: Scandal and Seduction in Georgian England

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The Fall of the House of Byron: Scandal and Seduction in Georgian England
A Little History of Poetry (Little Histories)

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A Little History of Poetry (Little Histories)
Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

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Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World
Napoleon and de Gaulle: Heroes and History

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Napoleon and de Gaulle: Heroes and History
The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power

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The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power
Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy

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Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy
Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire

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Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire
Sons of the Waves: The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail

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Sons of the Waves: The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail
Revolver: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America

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Revolver: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America
The People of the Cobra Province in Egypt: A Local History, 4500 to 1500 BC

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The People of the Cobra Province in Egypt: A Local History, 4500 to 1500 BC
Inky Fingers: The Making of Books in Early Modern Europe

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Inky Fingers: The Making of Books in Early Modern Europe
Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World

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Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World
The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World

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The Multifarious Mr. Banks: From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World
The Middle Ages: A Graphic History

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The Middle Ages: A Graphic History
The History of Magic: From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present

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The History of Magic: From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present
Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire

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Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire
Seeing into the Future: A Short History of Prediction

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Seeing into the Future: A Short History of Prediction
King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne

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King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne
24 Hours in Ancient China: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There (24 Hours in Ancient History)

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24 Hours in Ancient China: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There (24 Hours in Ancient History)
Atlantic Wars: From the Fifteenth Century to the Age of Revolution

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Atlantic Wars: From the Fifteenth Century to the Age of Revolution
Collision of Worlds: A Deep History of the Fall of Aztec Mexico and the Forging of New Spain

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Collision of Worlds: A Deep History of the Fall of Aztec Mexico and the Forging of New Spain
Imperial Mud: The Fight for the Fens

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Imperial Mud: The Fight for the Fens
The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History

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The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History
Palace of Palms: Tropical Dreams and the Making of Kew

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Palace of Palms: Tropical Dreams and the Making of Kew
Blood Royal: Dynastic Politics in Medieval Europe (The James Lydon Lectures in Medieval History and Culture)

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Blood Royal: Dynastic Politics in Medieval Europe (The James Lydon Lectures in Medieval History and Culture)
Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

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Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World
Henry III: 1207-1258 (The English Monarchs Series): The Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258

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Henry III: 1207-1258 (The English Monarchs Series): The Rise to Power and Personal Rule, 1207-1258
An Elephant in Rome: Bernini, The Pope and The Making of the Eternal City

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An Elephant in Rome: Bernini, The Pope and The Making of the Eternal City
Planting the World: Joseph Banks and his Collectors: An Adventurous History of Botany

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Planting the World: Joseph Banks and his Collectors: An Adventurous History of Botany
Edward the Confessor: Last of the Royal Blood

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Edward the Confessor: Last of the Royal Blood
The Crusader Strategy: Defending the Holy Land

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The Crusader Strategy: Defending the Holy Land
Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust

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Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust
Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe

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Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe
The Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings

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The Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings
Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

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Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe
Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny
  and Freedom on the Wild Coast

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Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast
Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack

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Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack
Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time

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Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time
The Story of China: A portrait of a civilisation and its people

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The Story of China: A portrait of a civilisation and its people
Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture

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Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture
Sealand: The True Story of the World's Most Stubborn Micronation

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Sealand: The True Story of the World's Most Stubborn Micronation
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers,
  Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

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Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
BY Charles Spencer The White Ship Hardcover – 17 Sept 2020

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BY Charles Spencer The White Ship Hardcover – 17 Sept 2020
The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery

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The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery
Stick a Flag in It: 1,000 years of bizarre history from Britain and beyond

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Stick a Flag in It: 1,000 years of bizarre history from Britain and beyond
Conquistadores: A New History

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Conquistadores: A New History
A World Beneath the Sands: Adventurers and Archaeologists in the Golden Age of Egyptology

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A World Beneath the Sands: Adventurers and Archaeologists in the Golden Age of Egyptology
African Europeans: An Untold History

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African Europeans: An Untold History
Time's Monster: History, Conscience and Britain's Empire

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Time's Monster: History, Conscience and Britain's Empire
Ancient Bones: Unearthing the Astonishing New Story of How We Became Human

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Ancient Bones: Unearthing the Astonishing New Story of How We Became Human
Underground Asia: Global Revolutionaries
  and the Overthrow of Europe's Empires in the East

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Underground Asia: Global Revolutionaries and the Overthrow of Europe's Empires in the East
Gladius: Living, Fighting and Dying in the Roman Army

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Gladius: Living, Fighting and Dying in the Roman Army
Queens of the Crusades: Eleanor of Aquitaine and her Successors

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Queens of the Crusades: Eleanor of Aquitaine and her Successors
The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

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The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World
Sapiens Graphic Novel: Volume 1 (Sapiens, 1)

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Sapiens Graphic Novel: Volume 1 (Sapiens, 1)
The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest

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The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War and Everest
Figuring Out The Past: The 3,495 Vital Statistics that Explain World History

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Figuring Out The Past: The 3,495 Vital Statistics that Explain World History
Slave Empire: How Slavery Built Modern Britain

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Slave Empire: How Slavery Built Modern Britain
The Loss of
  Hindustan: The Invention of India

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The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India
Russia as Empire: Past and Present

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Russia as Empire: Past and Present
Those They Called Idiots: The Idea of the Disabled Mind from 1700 to the Present Day

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Those They Called Idiots: The Idea of the Disabled Mind from 1700 to the Present Day

Notes (return to top)

  • The purpose of this list is to give you a good feel for all the history books published in hardback in the UK. It is a reasonably exhaustive list but…
  • The list is limited to books which are sold on Amazon.co.uk. This means that some publishers that don’t sell on Amazon will be missed but the vast majority are included.
  • It also uses the date published (for the hardback version of the book) entered onto Amazon.co.uk to determine the publication year.
  • Books shown roughly in date published order, with the ones we have reviewed put right to the top.
  • I have excluded military history books which I see as a category all on its own (and would if included have swamped the non-military history books).
  • I have excluded history books that I see as too “local” eg the many books on particular aspects of the US Civil War, or the many books focussing on relatives of medieval English kings.
  • Finally I might have missed some interesting history books! If you think we have, contact us to let us know.