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26 Best History Books of All Time (Best Books List)

Our goal: Find what the internet ranks as the best History books (instead of one person's opinion).

    Our process:
  1. Search for "best history books" and study the top 5 articles.
  2. Add only the books mentioned 2+ times.
  3. Rank the results neatly for you here! 😊
    (This took a long time, but we do the research so you don't have to!)

(Updated 2022)

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  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 6
  4. 7
  5. 8


    Ron Chernow

  6. 9
  7. 10


    Edward W. Said

  8. 11
  9. 12

    What Is History?

    Edward Hallet Carr

  10. 13
  11. 14
  12. 15


    David McCullough

  13. 18


    A Life

    Martin Gilbert

  14. 19
  15. 22


    Anna Reid

  16. 24


    A Life

    Paul Cartledge


  • What is the best history book to read?

    According to our research, the winning book is the great "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by author Jared Diamond. This book is also one of the 100 most popular on our entire site, which is always a good sign!

  • How did you make this list of best history books?

    We searched for the most popular lists on the internet (which to our knowledge often already includes each book you'd find in other places like a podcast or interview) and averaged their rankings to build the definitive great list.

  • What books should I read about history?

    You can begin with a general book (e.g. the previously mentioned and great "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by author Jared Diamon) or something less about world history and more specific like a war or empires book or biography (e.g. "Genghis Khan" by author Jack Weatherford).

  • Any top book about world history you recommend?

    Though it's not on this list, we'll always recommend the great "Sapiens" written by author Yuval Noah Harari. Not only it covers tons of information about world history, it's also often one of the 3 best books in our ENTIRE site.

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