History

How did society arrive at where it stands today? To learn about the politicians, scientists, innovators, leaders and rulers whose actions shaped the present, peruse these summaries.
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Summaries

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Simon & Schuster, 2018

9
A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

Vintage, 2015

R

John Maynard Keynes

Prometheus Books, 1997

10

John Lewis Gaddis

Penguin Press, 2018

9
An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World

Jennifer Palmieri

Grand Central, 2018

8
The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History

David Enrich

Custom House, 2017

8
A History of the United States

Jill Lepore

W.W. Norton, 2018

R 10
Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century

George Packer

Knopf, 2019

R 8
The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

David McCullough

Simon & Schuster, 2019

9
The Battle for Our Better Angels

Jon Meacham

Random House, 2018

R 8
Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

Ariel Burger

Houghton Mifflin, 2018

9
The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Flatiron Books, 2019

R 7

Yuval Noah Harari

Spiegel & Grau, 2018

R 8
It’s the ultimate political weapon. But we’ve never agreed on what it’s for.

Jill Lepore

The New Yorker, 2019

9
The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Caroline Fraser

Metropolitan Books, 2017

R 9
Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level

James K. Sebenius et al.

Harper, 2018

8
The Fates of Human Societies

Jared Diamond

W.W. Norton, 2005

R 10

Niccolò Machiavelli

Oxford UP, 2008

9
Myth and Reality

Stanley McChrystal et al.

Portfolio, 2018

R 9
The Surprising History of New Ideas

Steven Poole

Scribner, 2018

8
The Origins of Western Liberalism

Larry Siedentop

Belknap Press, 2014

8
The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism

Steve Kornacki

Ecco, 2019

R 8

Thomas Hobbes

Oxford World’s Classics, 2011

8
The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder

Peter Zeihan

Twelve, 2014

9
The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans

James Stavidris

Penguin Press, 2017

8
How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Jared Diamond

Penguin, 2005

9
The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America’s Presidents from Kennedy to Obama

David Priess

Public Affairs, 2016

8
What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice

Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Knopf, 2014

R 8
How to Create a Movement that Drives Transformational Change

Greg Satell

McGraw-Hill, 2019

8