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Past Readings

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

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