T Nation



After reading last weeks article 'Feeding your head, the literary edition' I've been thinking about how little I read books.
My knowledge of history is very poor.
Should I try to read a book which covers all the major historical events i.e. having a little knowledge about alot of events or would you suggest I read a seperate book on each event i.e. having alot of knowledge about fewer events?
Can anyone reccomend any good books to help me improve my history knowledge?


Take a few classes at your local college.


i recommend reading T-Mag!


Is there a period of history in which you are interested? Don't tackle a topic just for the sake of trying to absorb large amounts of info you may consider dull.


I recommend talking to the oldest person you can find. HMMMM. Talking history books, there's a thought. I am fortunate enough to know somebody who is close to 100 years old and is NOT senile. Walks every single day. Gets up at 3 am and waters his yard. Not a damn thing wrong with him. He can tell you everything you ever wanted to know for the past 90 or so years.


Pick up a what they call a 'survey history' book which gives you a basic history of a place over a long period of time. Learn a little about a lot and then focus on the periods or people who interest you so you can fit them into the context of time and place. Basically work from the general to the specific.


I think they listed one in that issue: The People's History of America or something like that. That gives an interesting overview of a lot of things people generally don't know. I've had many history professors recommend it. If not that, then just read whatever you're interested in. It's almost impossible to read a book without picking up at least a little history. All you have to do is read. Generally, the more you read, the easier it is to get through life.


If you aren't that inot history, but want to expand your knowledge and just read a cool book try this one:

Guns, Germs, and Steel
by Jared Diamond

Very good book, and overall interesting stuff.


I agree with others; start broad then focus on what you like. "World History for Dummies" is a great start (everyone should know the info in that book). Try to get books written/published by authors without any national agenda. For example, you don't want to read an American book about the first World War, othrwise you come out full of propoganda ("we saved the world, ra ra" etc.). Similarly, Canadian books on that topic would be half Vimy Ridge and half about the idea (myth) that a Canadian shot down the Red Baron. :slightly_smiling:

Try not to take this one TOO seriously guys:)