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Past Readings

2020 Book Selections

Lilia Schwarcz and Heloise M. Starling, Brazil: A Biography
Serhii Plokhy, Chernobyl
Orlando Figues, Natasha’s Dance: A Culrural History of Russia

2019 Book Selections

"Histories of Herodotus," translated by George Rawlinson (though for this discussion any translation will be fine)
Vincenzo Ferrone, The Enlightenment: A History of an Idea
Stephen Platt, Imperial Twilight: Opium War and the End of China’s Golden Age
Nisid Hajari, Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition
Stephen Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom
Jonathan Fenby, France: Revolution to the War with Terror
Peter Russell, Canada’s Odyssey
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times
Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom
Simon Winder, Lotharingia 
Robert Morrison (editor), The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern, first edition
Jill Lepore, These Truths
Mustafa Minawi, The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz
Denis Judd and Keith Surridge, The Boer War: A History
Michael Reid, Forgotten Continent: A History of the New Latin America

2018 Book Selections

Ronald White, American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant
Eve McDonald, Hannibal
Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
Ron Chernow, Hamilton
Briona Nic Dhiarmada, The 1916 Irish Rebellion, along with Fearghal McGarry​'s The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916​
David Armitage, Civil Wars
Walter Isaacson, Leonardo Da Vinci
Neil McGregor, Germany
Jan Jarboe Russell, The Train to Crystal City
Niall Ferguson, The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, Freemasons to Facebook
Richard White, The Republic for Which It Stands: The US During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens

2017 Book Selections

Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
Robert Goodwin, Spain: The Center of the World 1519–1682  
Mary Beard, SPQR
C. V. Wedgwood, The Thirty Years War
Anthony Beevor, Stalingrad: The Fateful Seige 1942–1943
Adam Hochschild, Spain In Our Hearts
Sarah Bakewell, At the Existential Cafe´
Nancy Eisenberg, White Trash
A.C. Grayling, The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
Helen Castor, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth​

2016 Book Selections

J. H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World: British and Spanish America 1492–1830
Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman, China: A New History
Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Harold G. Marcus, A History of Ethiopia Updated Edition
Robert C. White, Jr., A. Lincoln: A Biography
Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962
Scott Strauss, Making and Unmaking of Nations: War, Leadership and Genocide in Modern Africa
Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton
Jonathan Fenby, The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France He Saved

2015 Book Selections

Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt  
Desmond Seward, Richard III: England's Black Legend
Richard Bernstein, China 1945: Mao's Revolution and America's Fateful Choice
Kirstin Downey, Isabella: The Warrior Queen
Leida Tarazi Fawaz, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War
The Oxford History of Mexico

2014 Book Selections

  • Matthew Dennison, The Twelve Caesars: The Dramatic Lives of the Emperors of Rome
  • Russell Shorto, Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit
  • Marie Arana, Bolivar: American Liberator
  • Fritz Stern, Five Germanys I Have Known
  • Robert Hughes, Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History
  • Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Howard W. French, China's Second Continent
  • Thomas Asbridge, The Crusades
  • Adam Goodheart, 1861: Civil War Awakening
  • Jurgen Osterhammel,  The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century

2013 Book Selections

  • Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477-1806
  • Evan Thomas, Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World
  • David Nasaw, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
  • Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars: How the First World War Divided Britain
  • Paul Collins, The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century
  • Karl Schogel, Moscow, 1937
  • Gary Krist, City of Scoundrels:Twelve Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago
  • Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years:The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675
  • Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
  • Victor Chu, The Impossible State: North Korea Past and Future
  • Christopher Duggan, Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini's Italy
  • Milton Osborne, Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

2012 Book Selections

  • Orlando Figes, The Crimean War: A History
  • Gordon S. Wood, Idea of America: Reflections on the birth of the United States
  • Michael Axworthy, History of Iran: Empire of the Mind
  • Jean-Vincent Blachard, Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France
  • C.R. Boxer, The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750; Growing pains of a colonial society
  • Barbara Fraie, The Templars: The Secret History Revealed
  • Myint-U Thant, Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia
  • Robert W. Merry, Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians  
  • Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power
  • Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
  • Tom Reiss, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

2011 Book Selections

  • David Frumkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and Creation of the Modern Middle East
  • Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies
  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
  • Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution
  • Adrian Tinniswood, Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests, and Captivity in the Seventeenth Century Mediterranean
  • Richard F. Townsend, The Aztecs
  • Adrian Tinniswood, The Borgias and their Enemies
  • Jonathan Steinberg, Bismarck: A Life
  • David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War
  • Christopher Beckwith, Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present

2010 Book Selections

  • Clifford Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking
  • Christopher Duggan, The Force of Destiny
  • Robert Merry, A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War, and the Conquest of the American  Continent
  • Richard Overy, The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain between the Wars
  • Robert Ferguson, The Vikings: A History
  • Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic
  • Brian Fagan, Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans    
  • Dilip Hiro, Inside Central Asia
  • Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400 - 1000
  • Victor Sebestyen, Revolution 1989: the Fall of the Soviet Empire
  • Jonathan Fenby, Modern China: the Fall and Rise of a Great Power

2009 Book Selections

  • Gary J. Bass, Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention
  • Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
  • Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
  • Drew Gilpin Faust, The Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War
  • George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776
  • Edith Hall, The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer's Odyssey
  • Lindsey Hughes, The Romanovs: Ruling Russia 1613-1917
  • Johann Huizinga, Homo Ludens
  • Thomas Skidmore, Brazil: Five Centuries of Change
  • Adam Cohen, Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created America
  • Anthony Read, The World on Fire: 1919 and the Battle with Bolshevism
  • David Reynolds, Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century
  • Mike Rapport, 1848: Year of Revoloution

2008 Book Selections

  • Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted: Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000
  • Gordon S. Wood, The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History
  • John Channery, Treasures of China
  • Charles King, The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus
  • Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation  of America, 1815- 1848
  • Roger Riendeau, A Brief History of Canada
  • Adrian Galsworthy, Caesar: Life of a Colossus
  • Gudrun Kramer, A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel

2007-2008 Book Selections

  • Adrian Tinniswood, The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth Century England
  • Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom: the Rise and Downfall of Prussia
  • John Lynch, Simon Bolivar: A life
  • Hugh Kennedy, The  Great Arab Conquests
  • Morton Keller, America's Three Regimes: A New Political History
  • Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country

2006-2007 Book Selections

  • Jean Edward Smith, John Marshall: Definer of a Nation
  • Thomas Asbridge, The First Crusade: A New History
  • George Parker, The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq
  • Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
  • Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877
  • Victor Sebestyen, Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
  • Baron Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire
  • Antony Beevor, The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
  • Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food
  • Rod Kenward, France and the French: A Modern History
  • Barbara Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegaram
  • Hampton Sides, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
  • Adam Nicolson, God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible

2005-2006 Book Selections

Stephen AmbroseUndaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
  • Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430-1950
  • Martin Meredith, The Fate of Africa
  • Nathaniel Philbrick, Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842
  • The Great United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842
  • William Stanton, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
  • John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History
  • Fernand Braudel, On History
  • Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
  • Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Time to the Present
  • Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron: Bismark, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire

2003-2004 Book Selections

  • John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
  • Simon Winchester, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
  • Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris
  • Lisa Jardine, On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren
  • John Keay, Saving the Wind: The Seeds of Conflict in the Middle East
  • Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War
  • James Buchan, Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind
  • Robert Massie, Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany and the Winning of the Great War at Sea
  • Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore
  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
  • Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight
  • Ross King, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

2002-2003 Book Selections

  • John Lukacs King, Five Days in London: May 1940
  • Adam Hochschild, Leopold's Ghost, A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa
  • Jonathan D. Spence, The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980
  • James Reston Jr., Warriors of God: Richard theLionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade
  • Warren Zimmerman, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country A World Power
  •  Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael B. Oren
  • Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World
  • Margaret MacMillan, Liberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence
  • Robert Harvey, To Begin the World Anew
  • Bernard Bailyn, Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders
  • Antonia Fraser, Cromwell

2001-2002 Book Selections

  • Brandon Piers, The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s
  • Ronald Wright, Stolen Continents: The 'New World' Through Indian Eyes
  • Alison Weir, Henry VIII: The King and His Court
  • Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages
  • Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
  • David Keys, Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World
  • Thomas Hugh, The Spanish Civil War