Readers’ Top Histories and Biographies of the Last 5 Years

Posted by Cybil on September 11, 2020


There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find yourself...inspired. For example, if Lin-Manuel Miranda hadn’t decided to pick up historian Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, Broadway wouldn’t be nearly as interesting today!  

So travel back in time and put yourself in the shoes of the famous, infamous, and, well, largely unknown, with these highly rated histories and biographies published during the last five years. 

 
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Have a fantastic history or biography recommendation? Be sure to share it with your fellow readers in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles:
36 New Memoirs to Read Now
September’s Most Anticipated New Releases
32 New Historical Fiction Novels Readers Are Raving About

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol Rayner Would highly recommend Hallie Rubenhold The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. Really eye opening to the way we just assume certain truths.


message 2: by Stephanie (last edited Sep 11, 2020 05:20AM) (new)

Stephanie Anze This list is great and I have read quite a few of these titles. I would also strongly recommend Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. Its about James A. Garfield and its absolutely amazing and fantastic. One of the best non-fiction works I have ever read.


message 3: by Franco (new)

Franco Pasqualini Seems very American centric to me, how about

Stephen Kotkin's 'Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941'
Iran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat
The House of the Dead by Daniel Beer,
A Fistfull of Shells by Toby Green


message 5: by Marie (new)

Marie "The Five" was wonderful. I heartily recommend it if you're interested in Victorian England's daily life!


message 6: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Mclaren Franco wrote: "Seems very American centric to me, how about

Stephen Kotkin's 'Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941'
Iran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat
The House of the Dead by Daniel Beer,
A Fistfull of She..."


You list very interesting books. Thanks for sharing! I do like well-written biographies.


message 7: by Maryam (new)

Maryam Carol wrote: "Would highly recommend Hallie Rubenhold The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. Really eye opening to the way we just assume certain truths."
Thanks a lot for the suggestion! Looking forward to getting a chance to read it.


message 9: by Yaaresse (new)

Yaaresse Carol wrote: "Would highly recommend Hallie Rubenhold The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. Really eye opening to the way we just assume certain truths."

Didn't realize that was non-fic. Thought it was historical fiction. Thanks!


message 10: by Ali (new)

Ali Wells I think “The Only Plane in the Sky” deserves a mention


message 11: by Sugarpuss (new)

Sugarpuss O'Shea SO nice to see some NON-Fiction love for a change!

Radium Girls, The Five, and Say Nothing are just fantastic. Here are a few more books I enjoyed the last 5 years:

Avenue of Spies
Romantic Outlaws
The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History
Bringing Down the Colonel
Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?
Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir
War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War
Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong
Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote


I could go on, as 99.9% of the books I read are non-fiction, but I am confident there is somethig for everybody on this list.... Enjoy!


message 12: by Autumn (new)

Autumn Thank you SO much for this list! I have been looking for great nonfiction history books!


message 13: by Devante (new)

Devante I'm good 👍👍👍😁😁and you good 👍👍👍😁😁and and I don't have the right thing every day for you to get it done before the rd party software and services,which will help me with my husband and father even due in my opinion of even though you can use even when the other person in my opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 14: by Jasmine (last edited Sep 15, 2020 07:45PM) (new)

Jasmine Great -- now my TBR list just got bigger! (I also have read or had several books on my TBR list before seeing this article. Love biographies and history.)


message 15: by ClaraBelle (new)

ClaraBelle WTR all of these! Wonderful list💞💕


message 16: by ClaraBelle (new)

ClaraBelle Carol wrote: "Would highly recommend Hallie Rubenhold The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. Really eye opening to the way we just assume certain truths."

That’s the one I want to read first 👏❣️


message 17: by David (new)

David Drews Stephanie wrote: "This list is great and I have read quite a few of these titles. I would also strongly recommend Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. Its about James A. Garfield and its absolutely amazing an..."

Me too.


message 18: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Caupp The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Landdeck.


message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael Perkins Stephanie wrote: "This list is great and I have read quite a few of these titles. I would also strongly recommend Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. Its about James A. Garfield and its absolutely amazing an..."

Millard is a good writer.


message 20: by AJHeinz (new)

AJHeinz Would like a recommended book on Chicago 7. Many thnx


message 21: by Shane (new)

Shane Hill Wow....I wonder if they could get a more pc and liberal list here.....


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul Fitzgibbons Great list-gotta check out the Douglass book. I would also recommend the soon-to-be published "A Brief History of Civilization." I've heard it is very provocative!


message 23: by Mish (new)

Mish Bryant Franco wrote: "Seems very American centric to me, how about

Stephen Kotkin's 'Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941'
Iran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat
The House of the Dead by Daniel Beer,
A Fistfull of She..."


Thank you for sharing this list, I will put these in my want to read list.


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Fitzgibbons Franco wrote: "Seems very American centric to me, how about

Stephen Kotkin's 'Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941'
Iran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat
The House of the Dead by Daniel Beer,
A Fistfull of She..."


Check out my recommendation-#23 !


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