The Best 5 Books to Learn About World History

Are you a history major, a high school student, or an enthusiast who strives to better understand how the world works?

Either way, you’re most likely on the lookout for some new compelling reads. But as the offer is abundant and time is scarce, it’s always rather hard to pick the right book, isn’t it? 

Things are somehow easier if history is your hobby because you have all the time in the world to make a choice. But for students, life can be tough.

All those enormous reading lists, tests, exams, paper writing… How can you make time for more reading when you’ve got all of this on your plate? 

But the problem is, you’ve got to, anyway. Venturing beyond the compulsory reading lists gives you perspective and fresh ideas for your essays. However, you may struggle to use them properly.

Don’t worry if that is the case: you can write my essay by EssayHub if you just explain to them what you want. 

And as for picking the right book, we’ve got you covered. You’ll certainly find something interesting among the ones listed below!

books to learn about world history

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari

This book by renowned Israeli historian, professor Yuval Harari, was first published in 2014 and promptly went on to become an international bestseller. Currently, it is one of the best-known and most recommended modern books on history, which makes it an essential read for every history major. 

“Sapiens” is based on Harari’s lectures to undergraduates and focuses on the evolution of the homo sapiens species since its emergence and up to the modern days.

Breaking the traditional mold, he combines history and science to explore the uprising of humankind and to make assumptions about the future of our species and the world we now dominate. 

A History of Nursing by Louise Wyatt 

Nursing is probably not the first subject that comes to one’s mind in connection to history. Yet, there is a lot to learn about one of the essential professions in the world — how it emerged, how it developed, and how it has become what it is today. 

Besides, nursing history is also a common topic for academic essays — but as the subject is too broad, students often struggle with their assignments. 

Are you one of them? Then this book by Louise Wyatt can help by giving a quick overview of the subject (just under 100 pages). If it isn’t enough, you can always buy essay online cheap and save yourself the trouble. After all, eloquence shouldn’t be the primary quality for a nurse! 

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon 

Many books were written about the mighty Roman Empire throughout the years. But this monumental six-volume work by Edward Gibbon — an English historian, writer, and member of parliament who lived in the 16th century — remains the most popular one on the subject. 

However, despite it being frequently praised for the quality of the prose — many say it reads like a novel — and for the use of primary sources, the work also remains controversial.

Particularly, some criticize it for containing anti-religious ideas, antisemitism, and other sensitive subjects. Anyway, these volumes are impossible to miss if you study history. 

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

Despite the pretentious title, The Silk Roads do not tell an alternative story of any kind. The facts are the same; still, the angle at which the author scrutinizes them is new.

And, judging from the positive reviews the book had received since its publication in 2015, his ideas are worth considering. 

The fact that Peter Frankopan is a historian at Worcester College, Oxford, only adds weight. As for the ideas he expresses in The Silk Road, they generally boil down to the assumption that it was the Persian Empire rather than Ancient Greece and Rome that had played the most crucial part in the rise of the West. 

Europe: A History by Norman Davies 

This ambitious attempt by professor Norman Davies, a well-known Welsh-Polish historian, to tell the whole history of Europe in one book is impressive in itself. But the outcome is even more so, as the general opinion is that he actually succeeded!

As you would expect, the book turned out quite lengthy, as it covers the period from the Ice Age up to the Atomic Age. It covers everything: “from kings to peasants, from the Urals to the Faroes,” touching upon subjects from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the World Wars of the 20th century. All in all, it’s a one-stop shop for all history lovers. 

More Suggestions

  • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow; 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari
  • Histories by Herodotus 
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond 
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer
  • Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix

Wrapping Up 

This list is by no means complete, so don’t be surprised if you’ve missed some of the topics or titles. World history is an immensely broad subject, and the number of good books written on it is so great that it’s hardly possible to ever read them all. 

Yet, our list can be a great starting point for everyone studying history, either at an educational institution or as a hobby. All of the books suggested above are compelling reads, and you needn’t go far to find them, too. So, don’t waste a second! 

Julie Higgins
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