History Gift Guide – Best History Books of 2011

History Gift Guide – Best History Books of 2011

The editors of Amazon.com have put together a list of the Best Books of 2011, so you know they have top be good!  I have taken their favorite history books and put them in this list.  If the History Buff on your shopping list has missed one of these great history books, pick it up now!

Here’s a list of some of the best history books of 2011!

[amazon_link id=”0307408841″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson[/amazon_link]

Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

[amazon_link id=”0061988340″ target=”_blank”]Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff[/amazon_link]

On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals.

[amazon_link id=”1416571760″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough[/amazon_link]

The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

[amazon_link id=”0670022705″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor[/amazon_link]

The history of humanity is a history of invention and innovation, as we have continually created new items to use, to admire, or to leave our mark on the world. In this original and thought-provoking book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, has selected one hundred man-made artifacts, each of which gives us an intimate glimpse of an unexpected turning point in human civilization.

[amazon_link id=”0679456724″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie[/amazon_link]

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

[amazon_link id=”0195323343″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia[/amazon_link]

Situated at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea has been for millenia the place where religions, economies, and political systems met, clashed, influenced and absorbed one another. David Abulafia offers a fresh perspective by focusing on the sea itself: its practical importance for transport and sustenance; its dynamic role in the rise and fall of empires; and the remarkable cast of characters–sailors, merchants, migrants, pirates, pilgrims–who have crossed and recrossed it.

[amazon_link id=”019976641x” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Radioactivity: A History of a Mysterious Science by Marjorie Caroline Malley[/amazon_link]

This is the story of a new science. Beginning with an obscure discovery in 1896, radioactivity led researchers on a quest for understanding that ultimately confronted the intersection of knowledge and mystery.

[amazon_link id=”0385526261″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard[/amazon_link]

James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

[amazon_link id=”0743278933″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda by Peter L. Bergen[/amazon_link]

TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq—only to move into Afghanistan, where the ten-year-old fight continues: the war on terror rages with no clear end in sight. In The Longest War Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond.

[amazon_link id=”1400040159″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart[/amazon_link]

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began. 1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents’ faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

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