The best history books of 2015 | Story


The passing year is one for history-related books, with offerings from luminaries such as Sarah Vowell (Lafayette in the United States a little), Eric Larson (dead alarm clock, on the sinking of Lusitania), TJ Stiles (Custer’s Trials), Stacy Schiff (The witches), HW Brands (Reagan: life) and Jon Meacham (Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush). But here are 10 other titles that caught our attention:

Mad for Fortune: The Life of John Wilkes Boothby Terry Alford

The First Modern Biography of Lincoln’s Assassin and a Worthy Companion to Michael W. Kauffman American Brutus (2004) and Edward Steers Jr. blood on the moon (2001), landmark studies on crime itself.

SPQR: A History of Ancient Romeby Mary Beard

A new look at an ancient civilization (the title is the Latin reference for “the people and the Senate of Rome”) of the famous British classic. (Read our Q&A with Beard about his book.)

Empire of Cotton: A Global Historyby Sven Beckert:

The 2015 Bancroft Award winner explains how a product from 19and century remade global capitalism and created the modern world.

The Oregon Trail, a new American journeyby Rinker Buck

An aging and divorced journalist retraces, in a wagon pulled by mules, the route by which some 400,000 19andSettlers in the last century traveled the 2,000 miles from Missouri to Oregon.

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggleby Lillian Faderman

A new history of the gay rights movement noted for its attention to the dilemmas faced by lesbians in both the gay rights movement (male dominated) and the women’s movement (male dominated). heterosexuals).

All That Remains Wild: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American Westby David Gessner

An in-depth joint biography, not only of the two writers who populate the title, but also of the region they defined in the American imagination and the one now squeezed by drought and development.

The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave Ranching Industryby Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette

A monumental history (over 600 pages) of the role of slavery in the development of the American economy, from the earliest colonial days to emancipation.

Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Turbulent Life of Svetlana Alliluyevaby Rosemary Sullivan

Extraordinary? Tumultuous? These adjectives only begin to describe this woman’s life, even before she defected to the United States in 1967, in the midst of the Cold War, and returned to the Soviet Union in 1984.

Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire, by Shane White

A gripping biography of a bare-handed 19th-century capitalist who, because of his race, led what the author calls “an absurd life” – “In business he was a master of the universe, but at the moment he emerged from his office, he was, in the eyes of most New Yorkers, an inferior being.

The invention of nature: the new world of Alexander von Humboldtby Andrea Wulf

A turbulent biography that resurrects the largely forgotten German naturalist as the man who shaped our view of the natural world and an important influence on American thinkers such as Henry David Thoreau and John Muir.


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