It may be clichéd but it is true: “Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.” If history excites you, here’s a selection of the 5 best books on World History that are a must-read.
1. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
In this book written with genuine interest and deep fascination for the Mongol imprint on everything in the modern world – from the hamburger to paper currency, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan. From his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this book chronicles the overwhelming contribution of the Great Khan to world history.
2. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Salt is a common item of household use. But stupendously, Mark Kurlansky details how salt has shaped history since the beginning of civilization. Its long and intriguing story is a glittering part of the history of humankind. Once serving as currency, salt impacted upon the establishment of trade routes and urban settlements, led to wars and financed them, buttressed empires, and was also the cause of revolutions!
3. The History of the World by Frank Welsh
The perfect introduction to the ‘human’ history of planet Earth, this is an authoritative account of world events. Frank Welsh elaborates engagingly upon the emergence of Homo Erectus, the advent of the Middle Ages, the age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the scourge of terrorism. In a narrative that begins almost 1.5 million years ago, Welsh revisits the epic journey of humans, from survival to growth and accomplishments, across ages and continents.
4. A Cultural History Of The Modern Age by Egon Friedell
Egon Friedell’s historical masterpiece establishes him as the guarantor of the continuity and regeneration of European civilization. A staunch advocate of intellectual universality, Friedell’s emphasis on the primacy of culture in shaping, writing and undoing historical beliefs and practices are reinforced throughout his work. This book contains a superlative analysis of the transformation of the Medieval mind over the course of the Black Death to the Thirty Years War.
5. Modern History In Pictures: A Visual Guide to the Events that Shaped Our World
Published by the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, and research complex, this is when history gets a terrific makeover! From the wonders of the human flight to the horrors of war, the 20th century saw changes that were global in scope and epic in scale. Modern History in Pictures takes a never-before look at these epoch-making events, covering happenings from across the world, in an inimitable storyboard style through dramatic photographs.