Microhistories -- Sweeping Social Histories Of Just One Thing
1 The Devil in the White City...
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2 The Immortal Life of Henrie...
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3 Salt: A World History
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4 The Professor and the Madma...
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5 Guns, Germs, and Steel: The...
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6 Stiff: The Curious Lives of...
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7 The Ghost Map: The Story of...
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8 A Walk in the Woods: Redisc...
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9 Longitude: The True Story o...
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10 The Botany of Desire: A Pla...
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11 Unbroken: A World War II St...
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12 Seabiscuit: An American Legend
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13 Cod: A Biography of the Fis...
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14 The Emperor of All Maladies
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15 In the Heart of the Sea: Th...
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16 A History of the World in 6...
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17 Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Tim...
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18 At Home: A Short History of...
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19 The Great Influenza: The St...
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20 Bonk: The Curious Coupling ...
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21 Year of Wonders
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22 The Code Book: The Science ...
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23 The Poisoner's Handbook: Mu...
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24 Color: A Natural History of...
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25 Thunderstruck
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26 Brunelleschi's Dome: How a ...
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27 Banana: The Fate of the Fru...
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28 Into the Wild
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29 Packing for Mars: The Curio...
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30 The Map That Changed the Wo...
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31 Zero: The Biography of a Da...
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32 Empire of the Summer Moon: ...
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33 Under the Banner of Heaven:...
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34 Into Thin Air: A Personal A...
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35 Just My Type: A Book About ...
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36 Genghis Khan and the Making...
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37 Krakatoa: The Day the World...
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38 The Warmth of Other Suns: T...
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39 Quiet: The Power of Introve...
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40 Uncommon Grounds: The Histo...
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41 The Worst Hard Time: The Un...
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42 Sin in the Second City: Mad...
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43 Seeds of Change: Six Plants...
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44 In the Garden of Beasts: Lo...
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45 The Secret Life of Lobsters...
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46 Rats: Observations on the H...
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47 And the Band Played on
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48 Spice: The History of a Tem...
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49 Unfamiliar Fishes
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50 The Orchid Thief: A True St...
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51 The Guns of August
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52 Twinkie, Deconstructed: My ...
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53 Traffic: Why We Drive the W...
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54 The Calendar
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55 How Soccer Explains the Wor...
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56 1491: New Revelations of th...
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57 Tulipomania: The Story of t...
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58 The Children's Blizzard
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59 A Perfect Red
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60 A History of the Wife
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61 Destiny of the Republic: A ...
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62 Milk: The Surprising Story ...
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63 London: The Biography
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64 The Johnstown Flood
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65 The Dirt on Clean: An Unsan...
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66 Tea: The Drink that Changed...
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67 The Potato: How the Humble ...
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68 Coal: A Human History
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69 The Golden Spruce: A True S...
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70 The True History of Chocolate
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71 Eiffel's Tower: And the Wor...
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72 The Perfect Storm: A True S...
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73 The Big Necessity: The Unme...
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74 The Family That Couldn't Sl...
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75 The Pencil: A History of De...
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76 Spook: Science Tackles the ...
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76 Flapper: A Madcap Story of ...
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78 Mauve: How One Man Invented...
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79 Flu: The Story Of The Great...
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80 The Big Oyster: History on ...
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81 E=mc²: A Biography of the W...
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82 Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One...
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83 The Victorian Internet
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84 No Idle Hands: The Social H...
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85 Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Q...
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86 The Year 1000: What Life Wa...
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87 The Devil's Cup: A History ...
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88 The Story of Corn
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89 Ghost Wars: The Secret Hist...
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90 Discipline and Punish: The ...
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91 History of the Breast
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92 The Boys in the Boat: Nine ...
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93 The Path Between the Seas: ...
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94 Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombard...
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95 Consider the Fork: How Tech...
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96 1493: Uncovering the New Wo...
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97 The Island of Lost Maps: A ...
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98 The Box: How the Shipping C...
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99 Marriage, a History: How Lo...
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100 Woman: An Intimate Geography
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731 books · 1,227 voters · list created November 10th, 2008 by Blueguitar411 Ross (votes) .
773 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Blueguitar411
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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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message 1: by Blueguitar411 (last edited Nov 10, 2008 09:05AM) (new)

Blueguitar411 Ross This list is my brainstorming session before setting up a display in the case outside the small branch library where I work.

Written by me (public librarian in New York) my Dad (urban planner and should-be history teacher in Toronto) and my librarian friends on Facebook.

Please add books, comments..!


message 2: by Angel (new)

Angel This is one of my favorite book categories to read. Glad someone made a list for it.


message 3: by Doris (new)

Doris and where are the classics? Cheese and worms by Ginzburg, Martin Guerre by Zamon-Davis and Montaillou by Ladurie?


message 4: by Stephen (new)

Stephen I love this book category as well. In fact I write these sorts of books, although they have gone somewhat out of favour for publishers lately. The list should include Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail, by Stephen R. Bown


message 5: by Damaris (new)

Damaris what a great list!! i really enjoyed it. honestly all i can see are gaps where more single-minded books need to be written... where is pepper? cats?


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Good list! I found more than a few to add to my own "To-be Read List". However, I would recommend that you include: "Chicago: A Biography" by Dominic A. Pacyga.


message 7: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great list! I'm glad to learn that I'm not so odd, friends tease me because I love books on the history of random inanimate objects...


message 8: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Rothbard I think these type of books are my favorite types. They follow one idea and show their connection to the whole historical moment. In an ideal world, I wish U.S. High School History was taught throw one of these books, and the the teacher could fill in the dates and other important markers for the kids to know. History is hard to learn because it is taught as disjointed moments; these books present memorable history.


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim Great list. Added a bunch to my to read list.


message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Bear in mind what microhistory is, and also social history. A book covering the entirety of the British Empire is neither.


message 11: by James (new)

James Oranges, by John McPhee (and really most of McPhee's excellent work).


message 12: by Bluth (new)

Bluth Thank you for making this list.Found a few new additions to my reading pile.


message 13: by Ali (new)

Ali Raza The list is very interesting read.some topics are quite amazing!


message 14: by Jeppe (new)

Jeppe What an odd list. Most of these books have nothing to do with microhistory at all, but are just regular works of history, popular or otherwise.


message 15: by Kay (new)

Kay Jeppe wrote: "What an odd list. Most of these books have nothing to do with microhistory at all, but are just regular works of history, popular or otherwise."

I agree. These aren't microhistories.


message 16: by Manchespoetra (new)

Manchespoetra jj


message 17: by Steve (new)

Steve Parsons Funny to me how many of these titles that contain the words "That Changed the World."


message 18: by Gary F (new)

Gary F This list is an absolute treasure as this genre is my favorite to read.


message 19: by Claire (new)

Claire Love this list


message 20: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley Great list, but some of these books are not microhistories:
- Guns, Germs and Steel: It doesn't cover "just one thing" but has a much broader scope, more of a "macrohistory" than a micro.
- Year of Wonders: historical fiction
- The Diary of a Young Girl: memoir


message 21: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I love delving into this genre. Many thanks for generating such a comprehensive list. I had already read many of them and am delighted to add so many more to my wish list.


message 22: by Jeanette (jema) (new)

Jeanette (jema) I think I want to read ALL of these lol.


message 23: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Kay wrote: "Jeppe wrote: "What an odd list. Most of these books have nothing to do with microhistory at all, but are just regular works of history, popular or otherwise."

I agree. These aren't microhistories."


Books like "Quiet" aren't even history, much less microhistory. Still, more winners than losers.


message 24: by Grumpus (last edited Mar 24, 2014 04:50AM) (new)

Grumpus McGrouchy A few books are listed twice.
Overall a fairly interesting list.

More Steven Johnson may be needed.

Also: "Speed Tribes: Days and Night's with Japan's Next Generation."
A book about bōsōzoku, Japanese motorcycle 'gangs.'


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's easy to add books to lists; at the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 26: by Grumpus (new)

Grumpus McGrouchy Oh, thanks for that.


message 27: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Just stumbled upon this list: Thank you! This is my favorite genre to read. Looking forward to making my way down the list :)


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