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History Books for the Ages

  • Spies and Scholars
  • Scarcity
  • Every Citizen a Statesman
  • The Magnificent Boat
  • The Torture Camp on Paradise Street

Author - Editorial Staff

Date - 31 August 2023

Time to read - 1 min

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  • Spies and Scholars

    Spies and Scholars

    Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia’s Quest for World Power

    Gregory Afinogenov

    A Financial Times Book of the Year
    Gold Medal in World History, Independent Publisher Book Awards

    “Superb…At once a history of science, of empire, and of espionage, the book traces the rise of the Russian empire as a putative rival to Qing dynasty China in the Far East. Afinogenov has chosen a genuinely compelling cast of characters to populate this story of imperial intrigue.”—New Rambl...

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  • Scarcity


    A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis

    Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Carl Wennerlind

    A sweeping intellectual history of the concept of economic scarcity—its development across five hundred years of European thought and its decisive role in fostering the climate crisis.

    Modern economics presumes a particular view of scarcity, in which human beings are innately possessed of infinite desires and society must therefore facilitate endless growth and consumption irrespective of n...

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  • Every Citizen a Statesman

    Every Citizen a Statesman

    The Dream of a Democratic Foreign Policy in the American Century

    David Allen

    The surprising story of the movement to create a truly democratic foreign policy by engaging ordinary Americans in world affairs.

    No major arena of US governance is more elitist than foreign policy. International relations barely surface in election campaigns, and policymakers take little input from Congress. But not all Americans set out to build a cloistered foreign policy “establishment....

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  • The Magnificent Boat

    The Magnificent Boat

    The Colonial Theft of a South Seas Cultural Treasure

    Götz Aly, Jefferson Chase

    From an eminent and provocative historian, a wrenching parable of the ravages of colonialism in the South Pacific.

    Countless museums in the West have been criticized for their looted treasures, but few as trenchantly as the Humboldt Forum, which displays predominantly non-Western art and artifacts in a modern reconstruction of the former Royal Palace in Berlin. The Forum’s premier attractio...

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  • The Torture Camp on Paradise Street

    The Torture Camp on Paradise Street

    Stanislav Aseyev, Zenia Tompkins, Nina Murray

    In The Torture Camp on Paradise Street, Ukrainian journalist and writer Stanislav Aseyev details his experience as a prisoner from 2015 to 2017 in a modern-day concentration camp overseen by the Federal Security Bureau of the Russian Federation (FSB) in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. This memoir recounts an endless ordeal of psychological and physical abuse, including torture and rape, in...

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  • The Loss of Hindustan

    The Loss of Hindustan

    The Invention of India

    Manan Ahmed Asif

    Shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize

    “Remarkable and pathbreaking…A radical rethink of colonial historiography and a compelling argument for the reassessment of the historical traditions of Hindustan.”
    —Mahmood Mamdani

    “The brilliance of Asif’s book rests in the way he makes readers think about the name ‘Hindustan’…Asif’s focus is Indian history but it is, at the same time, a...

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  • The Triumph of Broken Promises

    The Triumph of Broken Promises

    The End of the Cold War and the Rise of Neoliberalism

    Fritz Bartel

    A powerful case that the economic shocks of the 1970s hastened both the end of the Cold War and the rise of neoliberalism by forcing governments to impose austerity on their own people.

    Why did the Cold War come to a peaceful end? And why did neoliberal economics sweep across the world in the late twentieth century? In this pathbreaking study, Fritz Bartel argues that the answer to these qu...

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  • Traveling Black

    Traveling Black

    A Story of Race and Resistance

    Mia Bay

    Winner of the Bancroft Prize
    Winner of the David J. Langum Prize
    Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
    Winner of the Order of the Coif Book Award
    Winner of the OAH Liberty Legacy Foundation Award
    A New York Times Critics’ Top Book of the Year

    “This extraordinary book is a powerful addition to the history of travel segregation…Mia Bay shows that Black mobility has always been...

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  • Yesterday


    A New History of Nostalgia

    Tobias Becker

    A sweeping reassessment of our longing for the past, from the rise of “retro” to the rhetoric of Brexit and Trump.

    Nostalgia has a bad reputation. Its critics dismiss it as mere sentimentality or, worse, a dangerous yearning for an imagined age of purity. And nostalgia is routinely blamed for trivializing the past and obscuring its ugly sides. In Yesterday, Tobias Becker offers a more nuanc...

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  • Sacrifice and Conversion in the Early Modern Atlantic World

    Sacrifice and Conversion in the Early Modern Atlantic World

    Maria Berbara

    When Europeans came to the American continent in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they were confronted with what they perceived as sacrificial practices. Representations of Tupinamba cannibals, Aztecs slicing human hearts out, and idolatrous Incas flooded the early modern European imagination. But there was no less horror within European borders; during the early modern period no region was...

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  • A Marvelous Solitude

    A Marvelous Solitude

    The Art of Reading in Early Modern Europe

    Lina Bolzoni, Sylvia Greenup

    A preeminent Renaissance scholar illuminates early modern encounters with books, in which literature became a portal to self-awareness and miraculous communion between author and reader.

    The experience of reading is often presented as personal and transformative—a journey of self-discovery and, perhaps, renewal. In A Marvelous Solitude, Lina Bolzoni examines the early modern roots of this a...

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  • Follow the New Way

    Follow the New Way

    American Refugee Resettlement Policy and Hmong Religious Change

    Melissa May Borja

    An incisive look at Hmong religion in the United States, where resettled refugees found creative ways to maintain their traditions, even as Christian organizations deputized by the government were granted an outsized influence on the refugees’ new lives.

    Every year, members of the Hmong Christian Church of God in Minneapolis gather for a cherished Thanksgiving celebration. But this Thanksgi...

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  • Asia after Europe

    Asia after Europe

    Imagining a Continent in the Long Twentieth Century

    Sugata Bose

    A concise new history of a century of struggles to define Asian identity and express alternatives to European forms of universalism.

    The balance of global power changed profoundly over the course of the twentieth century, above all with the economic and political rise of Asia. Asia after Europe is a bold new interpretation of the period, focusing on the conflicting and overlapping ways in w...

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  • The World of Sugar

    The World of Sugar

    How the Sweet Stuff Transformed Our Politics, Health, and Environment over 2,000 Years

    Ulbe Bosma

    “[A] tour de force of global history…Bosma has turned the humble sugar crystal into a mighty prism for understanding aspects of global history and the world in which we live.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

    The definitive 2,500-year history of sugar and its human costs, from its little-known origins as a luxury good in Asia to worldwide environmental devastation and the obesity pandemic.

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  • The Seventh Member State

    The Seventh Member State

    Algeria, France, and the European Community

    Megan Brown

    The surprising story of how Algeria joined and then left the postwar European Economic Community and what its past inclusion means for extracontinental membership in today’s European Union.

    On their face, the mid-1950s negotiations over European integration were aimed at securing unity in order to prevent violent conflict and boost economies emerging from the disaster of World War II. But F...

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  • Tacky’s Revolt

    Tacky’s Revolt

    The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

    Vincent Brown

    Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
    Winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize
    Winner of the Elsa Goveia Book Prize
    Winner of the James A. Rawley Prize in the History of Race Relations
    Winner of the P. Sterling Stuckey Book Prize
    Winner of the Harriet Tubman Prize
    Winner of the Phillis Wheatley Book Award
    Finalist for the Cundill Prize


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  • God in Gotham

    God in Gotham

    The Miracle of Religion in Modern Manhattan

    Jon Butler

    “Are you there, God? It’s me, Manhattan…Butler…argues that far from being a Sodom on the Hudson, New York was a center of religious dynamism throughout the 20th century.”
    —Wall Street Journal

    “What a pleasure it is to take a tour of Manhattan’s sacred past led by one of the nation’s preeminent religious historians.”
    —Christianity Today

    “A masterwork by a master historian…God in...

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  • On Earth or in Poems

    On Earth or in Poems

    The Many Lives of al-Andalus

    Eric Calderwood

    “With extraordinary linguistic range, Calderwood brings us the voices of Arabs and Muslims who have turned to the distant past of Spain to imagine their future.”
    —Hussein Fancy, Yale University

    How the memory of Muslim Iberia shapes art and politics from New York and Cordoba to Cairo and the West Bank.

    During the Middle Ages, the Iberian Peninsula was home not to Spain and Portuga...

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  • The House in the Rue Saint-Fiacre

    The House in the Rue Saint-Fiacre

    A Social History of Property in Revolutionary Paris

    H. B. Callaway

    A bold account of property reform during the French Revolution, arguing that the lofty democratic ideals enshrined by revolutionary leaders were rarely secured in practice—with lasting consequences.

    Property reform was at the heart of the French Revolution. As lawmakers proclaimed at the time, and as historians have long echoed, the Revolution created modern property rights. Under the new r...

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  • A Revolutionary Friendship

    A Revolutionary Friendship

    Washington, Jefferson, and the American Republic

    Francis D. Cogliano

    The first full account of the relationship between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, countering the legend of their enmity while drawing vital historical lessons from the differences that arose between them.

    Martha Washington’s worst memory was the death of her husband. Her second worst was Thomas Jefferson’s awkward visit to pay his respects subsequently. Indeed, by the time George W...

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  • The Perfect Fascist

    The Perfect Fascist

    A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy

    Victoria de Grazia

    A New Statesman Book of the Year
    Winner of the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize
    Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies

    “Extraordinary…I could not put it down.”
    —Margaret MacMillan

    “Reveals how ideology corrupts the truth, how untrammeled ambition destroys the soul, and how the vanity of white male supremacy distorts emotion, making even love a mat...

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  • Not Made by Slaves

    Not Made by Slaves

    Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition

    Bronwen Everill

    “Impressive…[Readers] will be rewarded with greater understanding of historical developments that changed the relationship between consumers and producers in a global economy in ways that reverberate to this day.”
    —Wall Street Journal

    “Everill repositions West Africa as central to the broader Atlantic story of 18th and 19th century economic morality, its relationship with commercial ethi...

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  • The Horde

    The Horde

    How the Mongols Changed the World

    Marie Favereau

    Cundill Prize Finalist
    A Financial Times Book of the Year
    A Spectator Book of the Year
    A Five Books Book of the Year

    The Mongols are known for one thing: conquest. But in this first comprehensive history of the Horde, the western portion of the Mongol empire that arose after the death of Chinggis Khan, Marie Favereau takes us inside one of the most powerful engines of economic inte...

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  • The Moscow Factor

    The Moscow Factor

    U.S. Policy toward Sovereign Ukraine and the Kremlin

    Eugene M. Fishel

    In 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea, bolstered a separatist conflict in the Donbas region, and attacked Ukraine with its regular army and special forces. In each instance of Russian aggression, the U.S. response has often been criticized as inadequate, insufficient, or hesitant.

    The Moscow Factor: U.S. Policy toward Sovereign Ukraine and the Kremlin is a unique study that examines four...

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  • Nazis of Copley Square

    Nazis of Copley Square

    The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front

    Charles R. Gallagher

    Winner of a Catholic Media Association Book Award

    “A great, but deeply unsettling, revelation…This book is more than an account of Boston in wartime. It is a warning.”—Boston Globe

    “The rare book by a scholar that is such a page-turner it is hard to put down…A potent brew of spy story, detective story, and frank, fearless account of how a significant wing of the Roman Catholic Church...

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  • Eli and the Octopus

    Eli and the Octopus

    The CEO Who Tried to Reform One of the World’s Most Notorious Corporations

    Matt Garcia

    The poignant rise and fall of an idealistic immigrant who, as CEO of a major conglomerate, tried to change the way America did business before he himself was swallowed up by corporate corruption.

    At 8 a.m. on February 3, 1975, Eli Black leapt to his death from the 44th floor of Manhattan’s Pan Am building. The immigrant-turned-CEO of United Brands—formerly United Fruit, now Chiquita—Black s...

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  • A Secret among the Blacks

    A Secret among the Blacks

    Slave Resistance before the Haitian Revolution

    John D. Garrigus

    A bold rethinking of the Haitian Revolution reveals the roots of the only successful slave uprising in the modern world.

    Unearthing the progenitors of the Haitian Revolution has been a historical project of two hundred years. In A Secret among the Blacks, John D. Garrigus introduces two dozen Black men and women and their communities whose decades of resistance to deadly environmental and p...

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  • Never Turn Back

    Never Turn Back

    China and the Forbidden History of the 1980s

    Julian Gewirtz

    A BBC History Magazine Best Book of the Year
    A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year

    The history the Chinese Communist Party has tried to erase: the dramatic political debates of the 1980s that could have put China on a path to greater openness.

    On a hike in Guangdong Province in January 1984, Deng Xiaoping was warned that his path was a steep and treacherous one. “Never turn back...

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  • Heathen


    Religion and Race in American History

    Kathryn Gin Lum

    An innovative history that shows how the religious idea of the heathen in need of salvation undergirds American conceptions of race.

    If an eighteenth-century parson told you that the difference between “civilization and heathenism is sky-high and star-far,” the words would hardly come as a shock. But that statement was written by an American missionary in 1971. In a sweeping historical narr...

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  • The Nonconformists

    The Nonconformists

    American and Czech Writers across the Iron Curtain

    Brian K. Goodman

    How risky encounters between American and Czech writers behind the Iron Curtain shaped the art and politics of the Cold War and helped define an era of dissent.

    “In some indescribable way, we are each other’s continuation,” Arthur Miller wrote of the imprisoned Czech playwright Václav Havel. After a Soviet-led invasion ended the Prague Spring, many US-based writers experienced a similar sho...

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  • Magus


    The Art of Magic from Faustus to Agrippa

    Anthony Grafton

    A revelatory new account of the magus—the learned magician—and his place in the intellectual, social, and cultural world of Renaissance Europe.

    In literary legend, Faustus is the quintessential occult personality of early modern Europe. The historical Faustus, however, was something quite different: a magus—a learned magician fully embedded in the scholarly currents and public life of the R...

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  • Mason-Dixon


    Crucible of the Nation

    Edward G. Gray

    “A magisterial yet highly nuanced account that ventures back and forth across Mason and Dixon’s fabled demarcation line as audaciously as 18th-century raiding parties once did.”—Harold Holzer, Wall Street Journal

    The first comprehensive history of the Mason-Dixon Line—a dramatic story of imperial rivalry and settler-colonial violence, the bonds of slavery and the fight for freedom.


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  • In the Shadow of Quetzalcoatl

    In the Shadow of Quetzalcoatl

    Zelia Nuttall and the Search for Mexico’s Ancient Civilizations

    Merilee Grindle

    "What a woman! And what a fabulous life to unearth. Zelia Nuttall was incredibly smart, determined, a divorced single mother in a man’s world, a great scholar, and an original thinker—yet today she’s completely forgotten. Merilee Grindle has dug deep into the archives and uncovered her fascinating story."—Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature

    "Zelia Nuttall comes alive in all her f...

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  • Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons

    Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons

    A Story of Language, Race, and Belonging in the Early Americas

    Kirsten Silva Gruesz

    A sweeping history of linguistic and colonial encounter in the early Americas, anchored by the unlikely story of how Boston’s most famous Puritan came to write the first Spanish-language publication in the English New World.

    The Boston minister Cotton Mather was the first English colonial to refer to himself as an American. He was also the first to author a Spanish-language publication: La...

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  • Political Meritocracy in Renaissance Italy

    Political Meritocracy in Renaissance Italy

    The Virtuous Republic of Francesco Patrizi of Siena

    James Hankins

    The first full-length study of Francesco Patrizi—the most important political philosopher of the Italian Renaissance before Machiavelli—who sought to reconcile conflicting claims of liberty and equality in the service of good governance.

    At the heart of the Italian Renaissance was a longing to recapture the wisdom and virtue of Greece and Rome. But how could this be done? A new school of so...

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  • Virtue Politics

    Virtue Politics

    Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

    James Hankins

    Winner of the Helen and Howard Marraro Prize
    A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year

    “Perhaps the greatest study ever written of Renaissance political thought.”
    —Jeffrey Collins, Times Literary Supplement

    “Magisterial…Hankins shows that the humanists’ obsession with character explains their surprising indifference to particular forms of government. If rulers lacked authent...

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  • Underground Asia

    Underground Asia

    Global Revolutionaries and the Assault on Empire

    Tim Harper

    Cundill Prize Finalist
    An Economist Best Book of the Year
    A Financial Times Best Book of the Year

    “Superbly original…Breaks new ground by showing how a collective consciousness emerged among revolutionaries.”
    —The Economist

    “A clearly written, brilliantly researched examination of the people and movements that shaped Asia’s course in the 20th century and continue to influenc...

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  • Guru to the World

    Guru to the World

    The Life and Legacy of Vivekananda

    Ruth Harris

    From the Wolfson History Prize–winning author of The Man on Devil’s Island, the definitive biography of Vivekananda, the Indian monk who shaped the intellectual and spiritual history of both East and West.

    Few thinkers have had so enduring an impact on both Eastern and Western life as Swami Vivekananda, the Indian monk who inspired the likes of Freud, Gandhi, and Tagore. Blending science, r...

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  • Suzuki


    The Man and His Dream to Teach the Children of the World

    Eri Hotta

    A New Yorker Best Book of the Year

    The remarkable life of violinist and teacher Shinichi Suzuki, who pioneered an innovative but often-misunderstood philosophy of early childhood education—now known the world over as the Suzuki Method.

    The name Shinichi Suzuki is synonymous with early childhood musical education. By the time of his death in 1998, countless children around the world h...

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  • Made in China

    Made in China

    When US-China Interests Converged to Transform Global Trade

    Elizabeth O’Brien Ingleson

    The surprising story of how Cold War foes found common cause in transforming China’s economy into a source of cheap labor, creating the economic interdependence that characterizes our world today.

    For centuries, the vastness of the Chinese market tempted foreign companies in search of customers. But in the 1970s, when the United States and China ended two decades of Cold War isolation, Chin...

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  • France on Trial

    France on Trial

    The Case of Marshal Pétain

    Julian Jackson

    A Telegraph, Spectator, Prospect, and Times Best Book of the Year

    “Enthralling.”―Geoffrey Wheatcroft, New York Review of Books

    “This is a story not just about Pétain but about war and resistance, the moral compromises of leadership, and the meaning of France itself.”―Margaret MacMillan

    For three weeks in July 1945 all eyes were fixed on Paris, where France’s former head of sta...

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  • The Other Great Game

    The Other Great Game

    The Opening of Korea and the Birth of Modern East Asia

    Sheila Miyoshi Jager

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  • Ilse Koch on Trial

    Ilse Koch on Trial

    Making the “Bitch of Buchenwald”

    Tomaz Jardim

    An authoritative reassessment of one of the Third Reich’s most notorious war criminals, whose alleged sexual barbarism made her a convenient scapegoat and obscured the true nature of Nazi terror.

    On September 1, 1967, one of the Third Reich’s most infamous figures hanged herself in her cell after nearly twenty-four years in prison. Known as the “Bitch of Buchenwald,” Ilse Koch was singularl...

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  • Travels with Tocqueville Beyond America

    Travels with Tocqueville Beyond America

    Jeremy Jennings

    A revelatory intellectual biography of Tocqueville, told through his wide-ranging travels—most of them, aside from his journey to America, barely known.

    It might be the most famous journey in the history of political thought: in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville sailed from France to the United States, spent nine months touring and observing the political culture of the fledgling republic, and pr...

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  • Translating Faith

    Translating Faith

    Ethiopian Pilgrims in Renaissance Rome

    Samantha Kelly

    A revealing account of the lives and work of Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims in sixteenth-century Rome, examining how this African diasporic community navigated the challenges of religious pluralism in the capital of Latin Christianity.

    Tucked behind the apse of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome is the ancient church of Santo Stefano. During the sixteenth century, Santo Stefano hosted an unusual c...

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  • Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire

    Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire

    Paul J. Kosmin

    Winner of the Runciman Award
    Winner of the Charles J. Goodwin Award

    “Tells the story of how the Seleucid Empire revolutionized chronology by picking a Year One and counting from there, rather than starting a new count, as other states did, each time a new monarch was crowned…Fascinating.”

    In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s conquests, his successors, the Seleuci...

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  • Threat of Dissent

    Threat of Dissent

    A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States

    Julia Rose Kraut

    “Suspicion of foreigners goes back to the earliest days of the republic…Kraut traces how different ideologies would be considered intolerably dangerous according to the dominant fears of a given era. Anarchism gave way to communism; communism gave way to Islamic radicalism.”
    —Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

    “Magisterial and well written…A gripping, expansive story that traces the consequ...

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  • The Tragedy of Empire

    The Tragedy of Empire

    From Constantine to the Destruction of Roman Italy

    Michael Kulikowski

    “As Kulikowski presents it, the end of the Roman Empire in the West was mean and dirty—and thoroughly Roman…In a brilliant tour d’horizon of the West from Ireland to the Black Sea, he measures the effect of the fall of Rome on the world beyond Rome.”
    —Peter Brown, New York Review of Books

    “A tour de force history of the inner workings of the late Roman Empire.”
    —Kyle Harper, author of...

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  • Elixir


    A Parisian Perfume House and the Quest for the Secret of Life

    Theresa Levitt

    A Financial Times and Scientific American Best Book of the Year.

    A story of alchemy in Bohemian Paris, where two scientific outcasts discovered a fundamental distinction between natural and synthetic chemicals that inaugurated an enduring scientific mystery.

    For centuries, scientists believed that living matter possessed a special quality—a spirit or essence—that differentiated it fr...

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  • The Dynamics of Learning in Early Modern Italy

    The Dynamics of Learning in Early Modern Italy

    Arts and Medicine at the University of Bologna

    David A. Lines

    A pathbreaking history of early modern education argues that Europe’s oldest university, often seen as a bastion of traditionalism, was in fact a vibrant site of intellectual innovation and cultural exchange.

    The University of Bologna was among the premier universities in medieval Europe and an international magnet for students of law. However, a long-standing historiographical tradition ho...

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  • Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean

    Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean

    Carolina López-Ruiz

    “An important new book…offers a powerful call for historians of the ancient Mediterranean to consider their implicit biases in writing ancient history and it provides an example of how more inclusive histories may be written.”
    —Denise Demetriou, New England Classical Journal

    “With a light touch and a masterful command of the literature, López-Ruiz replaces old ideas with a subtle and mor...

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  • The First Asians in the Americas

    The First Asians in the Americas

    A Transpacific History

    Diego Javier Luis

    The definitive account of transpacific Asian movement through the Spanish empire—from Manila to Acapulco and beyond—and its implications for the history of race and colonization in the Americas.

    Between 1565 and 1815, the so-called Manila galleons enjoyed a near-complete monopoly on transpacific trade between Spain’s Asian and American colonies. Sailing from the Philippines to Mexico and ba...

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  • The Project-State and Its Rivals

    The Project-State and Its Rivals

    A New History of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

    Charles S. Maier

    A new and original history of the forces that shaped the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

    We thought we knew the story of the twentieth century. For many in the West, after the two world conflicts and the long cold war, the verdict was clear: democratic values had prevailed over dictatorship. But if the twentieth century meant the triumph of liberalism, as many intellectuals proclaimed...

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  • The Meddlers

    The Meddlers

    Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance

    Jamie Martin

    “The Meddlers is an eye-opening, essential new history that places our international financial institutions in the transition from a world defined by empire to one of nation states enmeshed in the world economy.”
    —Adam Tooze, Columbia University

    A pioneering history traces the origins of global economic governance—and the political conflicts it generates—to the aftermath of World War I.<...

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  • We the Miners

    We the Miners

    Self-Government in the California Gold Rush

    Andrea G. McDowell

    A Financial Times Best History Book of the Year

    A surprising account of frontier law that challenges the image of the Wild West. In the absence of state authority, Gold Rush miners crafted effective government by the people—but not for all the people.

    Gold Rush California was a frontier on steroids: 1,500 miles from the nearest state, it had a constantly fluctuating population and no...

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  • We Shall Be Masters

    We Shall Be Masters

    Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin

    Chris Miller

    “Miller’s terrific book reminds that Russia made moves toward the East five hundred years ago, and explains why ignoring the Russian factor in Asian geopolitics today would be a big mistake.”
    —Michael McFaul, author of From Cold War to Hot Peace

    “Miller presents a Russia little known in the West: a Eurasian power that treats its eastern calling as seriously as it does its western one. Ex...

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  • China’s Good War

    China’s Good War

    How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism

    Rana Mitter

    A Foreign Affairs Book of the Year
    A Spectator Book of the Year

    “Insightful…a deft, textured work of intellectual history.”
    —Foreign Affairs

    “A timely insight into how memories and ideas about the second world war play a hugely important role in conceptualizations about the past and the present in contemporary China.”
    —Peter Frankopan, The Spectator

    For most of its hi...

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  • A Race for the Future

    A Race for the Future

    Scientific Visions of Modern Russian Jewishness

    Marina Mogilner

    The forgotten story of a surprising anti-imperial, nationalist project at the turn of the twentieth century: a grassroots movement of Russian Jews to racialize themselves.

    In the rapidly nationalizing Russian Empire of the late nineteenth century, Russian Jews grew increasingly concerned about their future. Jews spoke different languages and practiced different traditions. They had complex...

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  • Stalin and the Fate of Europe

    Stalin and the Fate of Europe

    The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty

    Norman M. Naimark

    A Financial Times Best Book of the Year
    Winner of the Norris and Carol Hundley Award
    Winner of the US–Russia Relations Book Prize

    “The achievement of a lifetime.”
    —Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin

    “Naimark has few peers as a scholar of Stalinism, the Soviet Union and 20th-century Europe, and his latest work Stalin and the Fate of Europe is one of his most original and intere...

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  • Hurt Sentiments

    Hurt Sentiments

    Secularism and Belonging in South Asia

    Neeti Nair

    An insightful history of censorship, hate speech, and majoritarianism in post-partition South Asia.

    At the time of the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, it was widely expected that India would be secular, home to members of different religious traditions and communities, whereas Pakistan would be a homeland for Muslims and an Islamic state. Seventy-five years later, India is on the precipic...

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  • When France Fell

    When France Fell

    The Vichy Crisis and the Fate of the Anglo-American Alliance

    Michael S. Neiberg

    Winner of the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award

    “Deeply researched and forcefully written . . . deftly explains the confused politics and diplomacy that bedeviled the war against the Nazis.”—Wall Street Journal

    “Neiberg is one of the very best historians on wartime France, and his approach to the fall of France and its consequences is truly original and percepti...

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  • Until I Find You

    Until I Find You

    Disappeared Children and Coercive Adoptions in Guatemala

    Rachel Nolan

    The poignant saga of Guatemala’s adoption industry: an international marketplace for children, built on a foundation of inequality, war, and Indigenous dispossession.

    In 2009 Dolores Preat went to a small Maya town in Guatemala to find her birth mother. At the address retrieved from her adoption file, she was told that her supposed mother, one Rosario Colop Chim, never gave up a child for a...

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  • The Tame and the Wild

    The Tame and the Wild

    People and Animals after 1492

    Marcy Norton

    A dramatic new interpretation of the encounter between Europe and the Americas that reveals the crucial role of animals in the shaping of the modern world.

    When the men and women of the island of Guanahani first made contact with Christopher Columbus and his crew on October 12, 1492, the cultural differences between the two groups were vaster than the oceans that had separated them. There i...

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  • New Democracy

    New Democracy

    The Creation of the Modern American State

    William J. Novak

    The activist state of the New Deal started forming decades before the FDR administration, demonstrating the deep roots of energetic government in America.

    In the period between the Civil War and the New Deal, American governance was transformed, with momentous implications for social and economic life. A series of legal reforms gradually brought an end to nineteenth-century traditions of lo...

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  • No Birds of Passage

    No Birds of Passage

    A History of Gujarati Muslim Business Communities, 1800–1975

    Michael O’Sullivan

    A sweeping account of three Gujarati Muslim trading communities, whose commercial success over nearly two centuries sheds new light on the history of capitalism, Islam, and empire in South Asia.

    During the nineteenth century, three Gujarati Muslim commercial castes—the Bohras, Khojas, and Memons—came to dominate Muslim business in South Asia. Although these communities constitute less than...

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  • Necropolis


    Disease, Power, and Capitalism in the Cotton Kingdom

    Kathryn Olivarius

    Winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award
    Winner of James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize, SHEAR
    Winner of the Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History
    Winner of the Humanities Book of the Year Award, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    “A brilliant book…This transformative work is a pivotal addition to the scholarship on American slavery.”
    —Annette Gordon-R...

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  • The Frontline

    The Frontline

    Essays on Ukraine’s Past and Present

    Serhii Plokhy

    The Frontline presents a selection of essays drawn together for the first time to form a companion volume to Serhii Plokhy’s The Gates of Europe and Chernobyl. Here he expands upon his analysis in earlier works of key events in Ukrainian history, including Ukraine’s complex relations with Russia and the West, the burden of tragedies such as the Holodomor and World War II, the impact of the Chernob...

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  • Never Again

    Never Again

    Germans and Genocide after the Holocaust

    Andrew I. Port

    Germans remember the Nazi past so that it may never happen again. But how has the abstract vow to remember translated into concrete action to prevent new genocides abroad?

    As reports of mass killings in Bosnia spread in the middle of 1995, Germans faced a dilemma. Should the Federal Republic deploy its military to the Balkans to prevent a genocide, or would departing from postwar Germany’s...

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  • Bone Rooms

    Bone Rooms

    From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums

    Samuel J. Redman

    A Smithsonian Book of the Year
    A Nature Book of the Year

    “Provides much-needed foundation of the relationship between museums and Native Americans.”

    In 1864 a US Army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota and sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of the Sm...

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  • The Contest over National Security

    The Contest over National Security

    FDR, Conservatives, and the Struggle to Claim the Most Powerful Phrase in American Politics

    Peter Roady

    A new history shows how FDR developed a vision of national security focused not just on protecting Americans against physical attack but also on ensuring their economic well-being—and how the nascent conservative movement won the battle to narrow its meaning, durably reshaping US politics.

    Americans take for granted that national security comprises physical defense against attacks. But the...

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  • Being a Jesuit in Renaissance Italy

    Being a Jesuit in Renaissance Italy

    Biographical Writing in the Early Global Age

    Camilla Russell

    A new history illuminates the Society of Jesus in its first century from the perspective of those who knew it best: the early Jesuits themselves.

    The Society of Jesus was established in 1540. In the century that followed, thousands sought to become Jesuits and pursue vocations in religious service, teaching, and missions. Drawing on scores of unpublished biographical documents housed at the...

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  • Time’s Monster

    Time’s Monster

    How History Makes History

    Priya Satia

    A New Statesman Best Book of the Year

    “Powerful and radically important.”
    —Robert Gildea, Times Literary Supplement

    “Bracingly describes the ways imperialist historiography has shaped visions of the future as much as the past.”
    —Pankaj Mishra, New York Review of Books

    “An account of how the discipline of history has itself enabled the process of colonization…A coruscatin...

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  • The Kennedy Withdrawal

    The Kennedy Withdrawal

    Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam

    Marc J. Selverstone

    A major revision of our understanding of JFK’s commitment to Vietnam, revealing that his administration’s plan to withdraw was a political device, the effect of which was to manage public opinion while preserving US military assistance.

    In October 1963, the White House publicly proposed the removal of US troops from Vietnam, earning President Kennedy an enduring reputation as a skeptic on t...

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  • Metternich


    Strategist and Visionary

    Wolfram Siemann, Daniel Steuer

    “A superb biographical portrait and work of historical analysis…Let us hope that it will serve if not as a manual then at least as an inspiration—good statesmanship is needed more than ever.”
    —Brendan Simms, Wall Street Journal

    “Brilliantly refreshes our understanding of Metternich and his era…[He] was an intellectual in politics of a kind now rare.”
    —Christopher Clark, London Review...

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  • A Great Disorder

    A Great Disorder

    National Myth and the Battle for America

    Richard Slotkin

    As culture wars pit us against each other, A Great Disorder looks to the myths that have shaped American identity and reveals how they have brought us to the brink of an existential crisis.

    Red America and Blue America are so divided they could be two different countries, with wildly diverging views of why government exists and who counts as American. Their ideologies are grounded in differ...

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  • New Rome

    New Rome

    The Empire in the East

    Paul Stephenson

    A Times of London Book of the Year
    Longlisted for the Runciman Award

    “The most compelling fusion yet of narrative history with the recent findings of environmental research and scientific data. It will change the way we understand key events and transformations in the Eastern Empire.”—Anthony Kaldellis, author of Romanland

    “[A] major contribution…Brings the world of New Rome alive...

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  • Empire, Incorporated

    Empire, Incorporated

    The Corporations That Built British Colonialism

    Philip J. Stern

    “[A] landmark book…[a] bold reframing of the history of the British Empire.”
    —Caroline Elkins, Foreign Affairs

    An award-winning historian places the corporation—more than the Crown—at the heart of British colonialism, arguing that companies built and governed global empire, raising questions about public and private power that were just as troubling four hundred years ago as they are tod...

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  • Waiting for the People

    Waiting for the People

    The Idea of Democracy in Indian Anticolonial Thought

    Nazmul Sultan

    An original reconstruction of how the debates over peoplehood defined Indian anticolonial thought, and a bold new framework for theorizing the global career of democracy.

    Indians, their former British rulers asserted, were unfit to rule themselves. Behind this assertion lay a foundational claim about the absence of peoplehood in India. The purported “backwardness” of Indians as a people led...

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  • The Madman in the White House

    The Madman in the White House

    Sigmund Freud, Ambassador Bullitt, and the Lost Psychobiography of Woodrow Wilson

    Patrick Weil

    “The extraordinary untold story of how a disillusioned American diplomat named William C. Bullitt came to Freud’s couch in 1926, and how Freud and his patient collaborated on a psychobiography of President Woodrow Wilson.”—Wall Street Journal

    The notorious psychobiography of Woodrow Wilson, rediscovered nearly a century after it was written by Sigmund Freud and US diplomat William C. Bullit...

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  • Tomorrow, the World

    Tomorrow, the World

    The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy

    Stephen Wertheim

    A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year

    “Even in these dismal times genuinely important books do occasionally make their appearance…You really ought to read it…A tour de force…While Wertheim is not the first to expose isolationism as a carefully constructed myth, he does so with devastating effect.”
    —Andrew J. Bacevich, The Nation

    For most of its history, the United States avoided...

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  • Empire and Righteous Nation

    Empire and Righteous Nation

    600 Years of China-Korea Relations

    Odd Arne Westad

    “The relationship between China and Korea is one of the most important, and least understood, in Asia. With the wisdom and clarity we have come to expect from Westad, this book illuminates the long history of these two neighbors.”
    —Rana Mitter, author of China’s Good War

    “A timely must-read primer on the China–Korea relationship…and its impact on and implications for our world today.”

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  • The Blood of the Colony

    The Blood of the Colony

    Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria

    Owen White

    The surprising story of the wine industry’s role in the rise of French Algeria and the fall of empire.

    “We owe to wine a blessing far more precious than gold: the peopling of Algeria with Frenchmen,” stated agriculturist Pierre Berthault in the early 1930s. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Europeans had displaced Algerians from the colony’s best agricultural land and planted g...

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  • Iron and Blood

    Iron and Blood

    A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500

    Peter H. Wilson

    From the author of the acclaimed The Thirty Years War and Heart of Europe, a masterful, landmark reappraisal of German military history, and of the preconceptions about German militarism since before the rise of Prussia and the world wars.

    German military history is typically viewed as an inexorable march to the rise of Prussia and the two world wars, the road paved by militarism and the re...

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  • The Next Shift

    The Next Shift

    The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America

    Gabriel Winant

    Winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award
    Winner of the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize
    Winner of the C. L. R. James Award
    A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
    A ProMarket Best Political Economy Book of the Year

    “The Next Shift is an original work of serious scholarship, but it’s also vivid and readable…Eye-opening.”
    —Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

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  • Wonders and Rarities

    Wonders and Rarities

    The Marvelous Book That Traveled the World and Mapped the Cosmos

    Travis Zadeh

    “As Zadeh concludes, reformers and modernists have closed the rich and varied archive revealed in Wonders and Rarities…In this beautifully written and engaging text, Zadeh takes his readers back to the world of surprise and enchantment that preceded this closure.”—Malise Ruthven, Financial Times

    “The wonders and curiosities of the Islamic imagination await discovery by a new generation of r...

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  • The Global in the Local

    The Global in the Local

    A Century of War, Commerce, and Technology in China

    Xin Zhang

    The story of globalization in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as experienced by ordinary people in the Chinese river town of Zhenjiang.

    Fear swept Zhenjiang as British soldiers gathered outside the city walls in the summer of 1842. Already suspicious of foreigners, locals had also heard of the suffering the British inflicted two months earlier, in Zhapu. A wave of suicides and...

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