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Old 06-16-2016, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,274 posts, read 18,634,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailCT View Post
A great book on the Battle of Gettysburg called "Killer Angels"
It is a fast read and you will learn a lot about the battle.
Everyone I know who has ever read it has loved it.
"Killer Angels" is a novel, not a history book.

My suggestion is to hit the library and see what they have in the way of any of the Time-Life series. I have found them to be well written and aimed at readers who wished to introduce themselves to a topic. Some of the titles available are:


The American Indian
The American Wilderness[2]
Ancient Civilizations (historic archeological discoveries)
Canada, by Brian Moore and the Editors of Life (1963)
The Civil War series 28 volumes (1983) (not the same as The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote)
The Emergence of Man[2]
The Epic of Flight[2]
Great Ages of Man—history of each of the major civilizations of human history[2]
The Great Cities[2]
History of the World (1991) 24 volumes
The LIFE History of the United States[2]
Lost Civilizations
The New Face of War, A 9-volume survey of the major fields of modern warfare
The Old West[2]
The Seafarers Series[2]
The Third Reich Series, 21 volumes
This Fabulous Century[2]
Time Frame—A survey of history by time periods instead of by civilization
Voices of Triumph (3-book series of African American history)
Wings of War, 26 volumes
World War II series, 39 volumes[3]
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:41 AM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,600 posts, read 10,964,939 times
Reputation: 19268
It really depends upon your interests. The best historical work I've ever read is Gibbon's Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire. Gibbon's work is exhaustive as he provides detailed background for everything. This could be the centerpiece into the understanding of who we are.

Jerome Smiley had a similar approach in his History of Denver in which he explains how and why Denver came to be. His treatment of Denver's history from 1858 to 1900 is both exhaustive and sumptuous.

Former President Herbert Hoover's Freedom Betrayed is a fascinating account of American foreign policy during the thirties and forties. Hoover had sources of information that were available to few. He finished it in1962 shortly before his death, but it didn't see publication for almost fifty years because of its explosive content. His examination of the real causes of World War II is fascinating.

Scribes and Scholars is a superb history of textual transmission from the Alexandrian Greeks to the advent of movable type. It's a different sort of history in that it records developments in scholarship. It's a most enjoyable little tome.

These are favorites of mine. They may or may not be to your taste, but they are worthy of examination.

https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Betra...eedom+betrayed

https://www.amazon.com/History-Outli...=jerome+smiley

https://www.amazon.com/Decline-Fall-...modern+library

https://www.amazon.com/Scribes-Schol...s+and+scholars.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:24 PM
 
2,008 posts, read 2,199,201 times
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https://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-Teach.../dp/0743296281
https://www.amazon.com/Bounty-True-S...rds=the+bounty
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:22 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 12,444,669 times
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I'm rereading Team of Rivals and love it. Outstanding book on Lincoln's cabinet really describes the times they all lived in.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:48 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,621,314 times
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Whatever period and place you chose, get a reliable chronology of events. The larger the period, the broader the chronology will be, but it's where you start.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:12 PM
 
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I love historical fiction and have learned a lot about stuff I didn't pay attention to in school. Yes, it's fiction but it's normally historically accurate.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:15 PM
 
1,075 posts, read 1,230,350 times
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I'll second (or third) the Time-Life books. They're not necessarily DEEP, but they're accurate and give you a good overview.

When tackling a new subject it's always best to start "big" (an overview) before getting too "small" or else you'll miss the forest for the trees, so to speak.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:25 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,621,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
I love historical fiction and have learned a lot about stuff I didn't pay attention to in school. Yes, it's fiction but it's normally historically accurate.
Caveat emptor.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
3,880 posts, read 1,672,642 times
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Default Some suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
So been out of school for almost 20 years now & feel like learning. But one thing I've realized now is to always be careful of your source of information.

...

Any recommendations? I'd prefer a physical copy versus an online web page just because it's easier to read.
You'll probably want to read a couple of different takes on US & World history, rather than just go with one volume for each. If you're near a good-sized town or city, you could look for US &/or World history classes through adult education in the school system, or as an elective/audit at a local college or university. That might be easier to get into, if you've been away from school for a while. That way you have a class you can discuss with, & you'll have a teacher or @ least a discussion leader who can offer some advice & standard opinions.


The Council of Foreign Relations (I think it was) runs local discussion groups, you can contact them through their website. That's for current events, usually international. They issue a booklet with readings pro & con, & a schedule of meetings. You meet interesting people that way.


Your local library can help you select some basic texts on US & World history - you could start out on your own - reading through just to get familiar with the subjects, & then join up with a study group. Best of luck with it, they're worthwhile areas of study.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:43 PM
 
7,906 posts, read 4,902,573 times
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The Oxford History of the United States also is very good, especially James McPherson's "The Battle Cry of Freedom," which won the Pulitzer Prize. The Civil War was America's great forge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford..._United_States

Check out Pulitzer Prize winners for both biography/autobiography and for history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitz..._Autobiography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitz...ze_for_History

An understanding of George Washington is essential to understanding the U.S., and, IMO, the best one-volume biography is James Thomas Flexner's "Washington: The Indispensable Man."

Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner
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