Microhistory is the intensive historical investigation of a well defined smaller unit of research (most often a single event, community of a village, family or person). In its ambition, however, microhistory can be distinguished from a simple case study insofar as microhistory aspires to "[ask] large questions in small places", to use the definition given by Charles Joyner

The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont
One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America
Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark
Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
A Short History of Drunkenness
The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul
The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps
Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone
The Season: A Social History of the Debutante
The Sakura Obsession: The Incredible Story of the Plant Hunter Who Saved Japan's Cherry Blossoms
A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression
The Lost Gutenberg
Salt: A World History
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
Color: A Natural History of the Palette
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Related Genres

History is not merely about kings and their wars. We should know the story of people at large-not necessarily only those of politicians or film stars. How else can we relate to the lives of people influenced by the socio-political milieu, beyond their control?


Tags contributing to this page include: microhistory, micro-history, and microhistories