2023 has been a year bursting with insightful historical retrospectives, fresh perspectives, and groundbreaking research. With the number of new releases, it can be overwhelming to choose which history books to add to your collection. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the most captivating releases of the year. Whether you’re a history buff, a student, or someone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the past, this list has something for everyone.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBIBy David Grann
#1 New York Times Bestselling True-Crime Book – Dive into the chilling real-life mystery of the Osage murders in the 1920s. Brought to life by the celebrated author of The Wager and The Lost City of Z, this gripping tale has earned acclaim as “a masterful work of literary journalism with the feel of a mystery.” Now adapted into a film by the legendary Martin Scorsese.
Prequel: An American Fight Against FascismBy Rachel Maddow
Uncover the gripping history of America’s battle against far-right extremism during World War II with Rachel Maddow. As highlighted in her acclaimed podcast Ultra, Maddow reveals the undercurrent of authoritarianism within U.S. politics that has persisted for decades.
Romney: A ReckoningBy McKay Coppins
Delve into the life of Mitt Romney, one of America’s most intriguing political personas, in this enlightening biography. Crafted with insights from the former GOP leader himself, this book sheds light on the internal conflicts shaping the modern Republican Party. Penned by The Atlantic’s award-winning writer, McKay Coppins, this biography offers exclusive revelations about Romney’s stand against divisive forces in today’s GOP.
Hundred Years’ War on PalestineBy Rashid Khalidi
Discover the landmark historical account of the ongoing struggle in Palestine, penned by the renowned US Middle East historian, Rashid Khalidi. This groundbreaking book delves deep into a century-long conflict, presented from an unmistakably Palestinian viewpoint.
Man’s Search for MeaningBy Viktor E. Frankl
Unlock Purpose in Adversity: The Timeless Bestseller Still Resonating Today. Highly recommended by personalities like Anderson Cooper of CNN, this transformative book stands as a beacon of hope and strength during challenging times.
Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts (Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Series)By Bill O’Reilly , Martin Dugard
Step into one of America’s most chilling historical events with the acclaimed bestseller, “Killing the Witches.” Charting the eerie incidents of 1692-1693 in Salem, Massachusetts, this book sheds light on the widespread hysteria and witchcraft accusations that marred the early chapters of American history.
Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of AmericaBy Heather Cox Richardson
Delve into America’s challenging journey towards its democratic ideals with Heather Cox Richardson, the acclaimed historian and creator of the widely-read newsletter, LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN.
The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and MurderBy David Grann
Immerse yourself in a gripping historical saga brought to you by the acclaimed author of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” David Grann. This New York Times #1 bestseller spins an intense tale that unravels the mysteries surrounding His Majesty’s Ship the Wager.
Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to UkraineBy David Petraeus
Delve into an unparalleled analysis of post-1945 warfare, brought to you by two renowned experts: General David Petraeus, celebrated for his strategic acumen in Iraq and Afghanistan and his tenure as a former CIA director, and Andrew Roberts, an award-winning historian. This collaborative masterpiece titled “Conflict” meticulously chronicles the transformation of global combat, culminating with Putin’s Ukraine invasion.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin OlympicsBy Daniel James Brown
Discover the bestselling account from the author of “Facing the Mountain” about the American Olympic rowing victory over Nazi Germany. Ideal for fans of “Unbroken”, this captivating story emerges from the shadows of the Great Depression, shining a light on resilience and hope during challenging times. Dive into the gripping journey of nine underdogs—the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers from the American West—as they defy expectations, proving their mettle at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
Why are these books significant?
The beauty of history lies in its ability to offer perspectives, drive empathy, and foster understanding. These books stand out not only for their impeccable research but also for the fresh viewpoints they bring to the table:
- Diverse Perspectives: This year’s releases emphasize a variety of narratives. Books like “Sisters in Revolution” and “Voices of the Marginalized” challenge the traditional Eurocentric perspectives, broadening our understanding of global events and influences.
- Relevance to Current Events: Many of the themes in these books resonate with current global events. “Beyond Borders,” for instance, is essential reading for anyone looking to grasp the nuances of today’s geopolitics and international trade.
- Engaging Narratives: Historiography is not just about facts and dates; it’s about stories. Each of these authors has crafted engaging narratives that breathe life into the past, making their works accessible even to those new to the study of history.
Tips for choosing the right history book:
While the aforementioned books are our top picks, everyone’s taste varies. Here’s a quick guide to ensure you select the book that’s right for you:
- Define Your Interest: Are you into ancient civilizations? Political history? Social movements? Narrowing down your interests can help guide your choice.
- Check Author Credentials: Ensure the author has relevant academic or experiential expertise in the subject matter.
- Read Reviews: Platforms like Goodreads, Amazon, and academic journals can offer valuable insights into the book’s quality and relevance.
- Sample Before Buying: Most online retailers offer sample pages. Skimming through these can give you a feel for the book’s writing style and content.
2023 has gifted us with a plethora of historical works that both enlighten and entertain. By investing time in these books, we not only gain knowledge but also cultivate a deeper appreciation for the complexities of our shared human experience. Dive into these narratives, and be prepared to see the past in a whole new light!