With everything that’s currently going on in the world, sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back (way back, in this case) and try to understand the world in which we live by learning about the past.
The list of eight books below are illuminating reads, packed with detailed information about significant historical events and figures that had lasting impacts on society. Spanning authors Ron Chernow, Kenneth Whyte, Robert Dallek, and more, these books are truly remarkable. So take a break from the present, and immerse yourself in these exceptional true stories of bygone days.
Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow, author of Alexander Hamilton, dazzles again with his biography of one of our most compelling generals and presidents: Ulysses S. Grant. Chernow’s evocative portrait of Grant showcases the highs and lows he experienced throughout his life, and provides readers with a deeper understanding of one our most underappreciated presidents. Grant is a masterful combination of research and style – it exposes the true story behind a Midwesterner that became extraordinary.
An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
This captivating biography documents the life of Herbert Hoover – one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century. The text provides readers with an in-depth look at his life, his presidency, and his fight against the Great Depression that rocked this nation. Hoover’s vast successes and failures made him one of the most significant men in American history, and for the very first time, his momentous life is captured in a book for all to see.
Genius, Partisan, President
Noah Feldman examines the Founding Father who transformed the United States in his “three lives” as a revolutionary thinker, a partisan political strategist, and as president. Madison was ahead of his time – he predicted that foreign threats would negatively affect civil liberties, he feared growing economic inequality, and believed that government by the people demanded resistance to wealth. Madison recognized the importance of the opinions of others, and thought of the media as a safeguard to liberty. His achievements and his struggles continue to impact the United States today.
The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny
Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager
During the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson was ordered to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans, Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And on top of that, he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world in the complex terrain of the Louisiana bayous. Basically, Jackson needed a miracle. Kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with this mesmerizing page-turner. Readers will have a whole new understanding of this great American general, and a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that our country could become what it is today.
The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes a compelling biography of one of the most inspiring men in modern history, Martin Luther. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther’s Ninety-five These ignited outrage that would change everything he knew about the world. Eric Metaxas examines this revolutionary man, whose unwavering faith defied the power structure of Western Christianity, and propelled society into the future. Luther’s monumental faith and courage gave birth to the ideals of liberty, equality, and individualism that continue to influence us today.
A Political Life
Considering the current state of our nation, there is no better time to dive into Robert Dallek’s Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life. Roosevelt was a man of compromise – he sought to unite a divided country, and succeeded to do so by exhibiting a great sense of humanity. Roosevelt became a champion of the poor, and won an unprecedented four presidential terms, transforming an isolationist country into an international superpower. This gripping biography contains valuable lessons for leaders around the world.
The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization
What would this world be without literature? Not very much. Literature has shaped civilization from the beginning of time, and in this groundbreaking book, Martin Puchner takes readers on a trip around the globe, travelling through to showcase the great stories that have created the world we know today. This is the story of how literature changed everything, in sixteen acts – from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to Harry Potter.
The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
Sally Bedell Smith
Sally Bedell Smith examines the British royal family once again in this extraordinary biography. This time, her subject is Prince Charles – the oldest heir to the throne in more than three hundred years. This fascinating book required years of research, and includes hundreds of interviews with those who know Prince Charles the best. With never-before-seen details and intimate discoveries, Smith reveals that Prince Charles is more complex and compelling than we previously thought.