Category: Unusual histories

Give War and Peace a Chance

Simon & Schuster | February 10, 2015 | 304 pages
“This lively appreciation of one of the most intimidating and massive novels ever written should persuade many hesitant readers to try scaling the heights of War and Peace sooner rather than later” (Publishers Weekly). Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is... More Info

Cold War on the Home Front

March 29, 2017 | 278 pages
Greg Castillo presents an illustrated history of the persuasive impact of model homes, appliances, and furniture in Cold War propaganda.  More Info

War and Revolution

Verso Books | February 3, 2015 | 256 pages
War and Revolution identifies and takes to task a reactionary trend among contemporary historians, one that's grown increasingly apparent in recent years. It's a revisionist tendency discernible in the work of authors such as Ernst Nolte, who traces the impetus behind the Holocaust to the excesses... More Info


Counterpoint | February 10, 2015 | 448 pages
"How on Earth did we fix upon our twenty-six letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in twenty-six vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and... More Info

Hell and Good Company

Simon & Schuster | February 3, 2015 | 320 pages
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb—the remarkable story of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of the reporters, writers, artists, doctors, and nurses who witnessed it. The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) inspired and haunted an... More Info

When the Facts Change

Penguin Press | January 22, 2015 | 400 pages
In an age in which the lack of independent public intellectuals has often been sorely lamented, the historian Tony Judt played a rare and valuable role, bringing together history and current events, Europe and America, what was and what is with what should be. In When the Facts Change, Tony... More Info

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Random House Trade Paperbacks | November 4, 2008 | 380 pages
Describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of young women who came together at her home in secret every Thursday to read and discuss great books of Western literature, explaining the influence of Lolita, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and other works on their lives... More Info

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation

Vintage | January 6, 2015 | 448 pages
From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial history of slavery and emancipation in Western culture that has been nearly fifty years in the making. David Brion Davis is one of the foremost historians of the twentieth century, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National... More Info

Find Momo

John Donald | January 1, 2014 | 140 pages
Readers are provided with one hundred photographs of landscapes, houses, bridges and other scenes and asked to find the border collie, Momo.  More Info

The Age of Radiance

Scribner | December 30, 2014 | 448 pages
“A thrilling, intense, and disturbing account of the atomic era, from the discovery of X-rays to the tragic meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant…Rich with powerful images and fraught with drama” (The Christian Science Monitor). When Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Edward... More Info

The Family Jewels

University of Texas Press | September 1, 2014 | 410 pages
In December 1974, a front-page story in the New York Times revealed the explosive details of illegal domestic spying by the Central Intelligence Agency. This included political surveillance, eavesdropping, detention, and interrogation. The revelation of illegal activities over many years shocked... More Info

Becoming Belafonte

University of Texas Press | September 15, 2014 | 368 pages
A son of poor Jamaican immigrants who grew up in Depression-era Harlem, Harry Belafonte became the first black performer to gain artistic control over the representation of African Americans in commercial television and film. Forging connections with an astonishing array of consequential players on... More Info

Garvey and Garveyism

December 16, 2014 | 340 pages
Amy Jacques Garvey worked closely with her husband, Marcus Garvey, throughout his crusade. Here she gives an insider detailed account of Garvey, Garveyism and this nascent period of Black Nationalism. Like all great dreamers and planners, Marcus Garvey dreamed and planned ahead of his time and his... More Info

In the Shadow of Zion

NYU Press | November 21, 2014 | 352 pages
From the late nineteenth century through the post-Holocaust era, the world was divided between countries that tried to expel their Jewish populations and those that refused to let them in. The plight of these traumatized refugees inspired numerous proposals for Jewish states. Jews and Christians,... More Info


Bison Books | October 22, 2014 | 304 pages
Downwind is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for human and animal life through nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War. Sarah Alisabeth Fox highlights the personal cost of... More Info

Walking Home from Mongolia

Hodder & Stoughton | August 14, 2014 | 303 pages
What else would one do after Cycling Home from Siberia, but walk more than 3,000 miles from the Gobi Desert to Hong Kong? Starting in the Gobi desert in winter, adventurer Rob Lilwall sets out on an extraordinary six month journey, walking 3,000 miles across China. Along the way he and cameraman... More Info

Spectacular Mexico

November 1, 2014 | 344 pages
In the wake of its early twentieth-century civil wars, Mexico strove to present itself to the world as unified and prosperous. The preparation in Mexico City for the 1968 Summer Olympics was arguably the most ambitious of a sequence of design projects that aimed to signal Mexico's arrival in the... More Info

Uncovering History

October 17, 2014 | 264 pages
Almost as soon as the last shot was fired in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the battlefield became an archaeological site. For many years afterward, as fascination with the famed 1876 fight intensified, visitors to the area scavenged the many relics left behind. It took decades, however, before... More Info

Columns of Vengeance

August 25, 2014 | 328 pages
In summer 1862, Minnesotans found themselves fighting interconnected wars—the first against the rebellious Southern states, and the second an internal war against the Sioux. While the Civil War was more important to the future of the United States, the Dakota War of 1862 proved far more... More Info

Thirteen Days in September

Knopf | September 16, 2014 | 345 pages
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 presents a day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israel and Egypt to sign a peace treaty—the first treaty in the modern Middle East, and one which endures to... More Info

The Onion Magazine

Little, Brown | November 4, 2014 | 272 pages
Covers That Matter For People Who Don't From America's Finest News Source comes a compilation of the most important, most influential, and glossiest magazine covers ever produced by the hand of humankind. Seen by tens of billions worldwide, these are the unforgettable Onion Magazine covers that... More Info

Desert Queen

Anchor | March 29, 2017 | 425 pages
Recounts the life of Gertrude Bell, an Englishwoman adventurer in the style of Beryl Markham and Isak Dinesen, who explored parts of the Arab world around the time of World War I and helped create the modern Middle East. 25,000 first printing.  More Info

A History of the World in 12 Maps

Penguin Group USA | October 28, 2014 | 544 pages
“[A] mesmerizing and beautifully illustrated book.” —The Telegraph (London) Maps are objects of endless fascination, and the urge to map is a basic human instinct. In this masterful study, historian and cartography expert Jerry Brotton reveals how maps—far from being objective... More Info

Playa Dust

Black Dog Pub Limited | August 1, 2014 | 256 pages
A collection of essays from people who have been a part of the annual countercultural festival Burning Man, including those who attended the first beach effigy burnings in the mid-1980s to recently participating artists, musicians, architects, sociologists and lawyers. Original. 3,000 first... More Info

The Hoarders

University of Chicago Press | October 9, 2014 | 197 pages
The verb “declutter” has not yet made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, but its ever-increasing usage suggests that it’s only a matter of time. Articles containing tips and tricks on how to get organized cover magazine pages and pop up in TV programs and commercials, while clutter... More Info

The United States of Paranoia

Harper Perennial | October 14, 2014 | 464 pages
Jesse Walker’s The United States of Paranoia presents a comprehensive history of conspiracy theories in American culture and politics, from the colonial era to the War on Terror. The fear of intrigue and subversion doesn’t exist only on the fringes of society, but has always been part of our... More Info

The Bullet and the Ballot Box

Verso | October 1, 2014 | 256 pages
In 1996, when Nepal's Maoists launched their armed rebellion, their ideology was widely considered obsolete and they had limited public support. By 2008 they had gained access to state power and their ambitious plan of social transformation dominated the national agenda. How did this become... More Info


December 1, 2013 | 267 pages
In 1889, Samuel Winkworth Silver’s rubber and electrical factory was the site of a massive worker revolt that upended the London industrial district which bore his name: Silvertown. Once referred to as the “Abyss” by Jack London, Silvertown was notorious for oppressive working conditions and... More Info

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Harper Perennial | October 7, 2014 | 320 pages
The New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto creates a resonant portrait of a life in this collection of writings on love, friendship, work, and art. "The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also... More Info

Can a Bee Sting a Bee?

Ecco | October 7, 2014 | 336 pages
In the spirit of Schott’s Miscellany, The Magic of Reality, and The Dangerous Book for Boys comes Can a Bee Sting a Bee?—a smart, illuminating, essential, and utterly delightful handbook for perplexed parents and their curious children. Author Gemma Elwin Harris has lovingly compiled weighty... More Info

Raising Henry

October 28, 2014 | 272 pages
No summary available.

The Stream Runs Fast

Thomas Allen Pub | March 29, 2017 | 298 pages
Following the reissue in 2005 of Nellie McClung's classic autobiography, Clearing in the West, comes the highly anticipated second volume, The Stream Runs Fast. Covering McClung's later life from 1896 to 1945, The Stream Runs Fast chronicles her life during some of the most important events in... More Info

Packaged Pleasures

University of Chicago Press | September 1, 2014 | 336 pages
From the candy bar to the cigarette, records to roller coasters, a technological revolution during the last quarter of the nineteenth century precipitated a colossal shift in human consumption and sensual experience. Food, drink, and many other consumer goods came to be mass-produced, bottled,... More Info

Lies, Passions, and Illusions

University of Chicago Press | September 29, 2014 | 125 pages
François Furet needs little introduction. Widely considered one of the leading historians of the French Revolution, he was a maverick for his time, shining a critical light on the entrenched Marxist interpretations that prevailed during the mid-twentieth century.  More Info

To End All Wars

Mariner Books | March 6, 2012 | 496 pages
Presents a history of World War I, focusing on the moral conflict between the proponents of the war and its critics in Great Britain.  More Info

Wikipedia U

Johns Hopkins University Press | October 2, 2014 | 176 pages
Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has been a lightning rod for debates about knowledge and traditional authority. It has come under particular scrutiny from publishers of print encyclopedias and college professors, who are skeptical about whether a crowd-sourced encyclopedia—most of whose... More Info

Arthur Ashe

JHU Press | August 28, 2014 | 344 pages
Arthur Ashe explains how this iconic African American tennis player overcame racial and class barriers to reach the top of the tennis world in the 1960s and 1970s. But more important, it follows Ashe’s evolution as an activist who had to contend with the shift from civil rights to Black Power.... More Info

The Inspection House

September 9, 2014 | 136 pages
Forty years after Michel Foucault's "Discipline and Punish, The Inspection House" beguilingly explores the surveillance that defines modern life.  More Info


Vintage | March 29, 2017 | 541 pages
Describes how recent archaeological research has transformed long-held myths about the Americas, revealing far older and more advanced cultures with a greater population than were previously thought to have existed.  More Info

Year Zero

Penguin Group USA | September 30, 2014 | 384 pages
A marvelous global history of the pivotal year 1945 as a new world emerged from the ruins of World War II Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the great drama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and a new, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come on a... More Info

Between Gods

Doubleday Canada | September 2, 2014 | 400 pages
From the Man Booker-nominated author of the novel Far to Go and one of our most talented young writers comes an unflinching, moving and unforgettable memoir about family secrets and the rediscovered past. Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a supportive, loving family. She grew up... More Info


William Collins | September 11, 2014 | 320 pages
'Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' Bestselling author Bernard Cornwall is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo - a momentous turning point in European... More Info

The Art of Travel

Hamish Hamilton | March 1, 2014 | 272 pages
The Art of Travel is Alain de Botton's travel guide with a difference.Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes.  More Info

Hanns and Rudolf

September 5, 2014 | 416 pages
Part history, part biography, part true crime, Hanns and Rudolf chronicles the untold story of the Jewish investigator who pursued and captured one of Nazi Germany's most notorious war criminals. May 1945. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is... More Info

The story of Baby P

Policy Press | July 16, 2014 | 352 pages
In England in 2007 Peter Connelly, a 17 month old little boy - known initially in the media reporting as 'Baby P' - died following terrible neglect and abuse. Fifteen months later, his mother, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's brother were sent to prison. But media attention turned on those who... More Info

The Brother

Simon & Schuster | September 16, 2014 | 608 pages
“A fresh and fast-paced study of one of the most important crimes of the twentieth century” (The Washington Post), The Brother now discloses new information revealed since the original publication in 2003—including an admission by his sons that Julius Rosenberg was indeed a Soviet spy and a... More Info

After Lincoln

Simon & Schuster | September 16, 2014 | 464 pages
A brilliant evocation of the post-Civil War era by the acclaimed author of Patriots and Union 1812. After Lincoln tells the story of the Reconstruction, which set back black Americans and isolated the South for a century. With Lincoln’s assassination, his “team of rivals,” in Doris Kearns... More Info

Home and Away

Greystone Books | August 23, 2010 | 176 pages
An uplifting tale of travelling with Team Canada as they compete for the Homeless World Cup. In 2008 Dave Bidini accompanies Homeless Team Canada to the Homeless World Cup in Melbourne, Australia.  More Info

Fifty Foods That Changed the Course of History

Firefly Books Limited | September 2, 2014 | 224 pages
A beautifully presented guide to the foods that have had the greatest impact on human civilization. Though many of the foods in this book are taken for granted and one (the mammoth) is no longer consumed, these foods have kept humans alive for millennia and theirs is a fascinating story.  More Info

Acid Test

Blue Rider Press | September 9, 2014 | 448 pages
An examination of the transformative and therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs draws on half a century of scientific, political and legal controversy while outlining key findings about their role in the treatment of PTSD and other conditions. 40,000 first printing.  More Info