The 50 Most Popular History Books


1. The Devil in the White City 2. 1776 3. The Diary of a Young Girl 4. Unbroken 5. A Short History of Nearly Everything

1. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Erik Larson | avg rating 3.99–541,717 ratings — published 2003


2. 1776

David McCullough | avg rating 4.06–274,054 ratings — published 2005


3. The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank | avg rating 4.11–2,869,386 ratings — published 1947


4. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

Laura Hillenbrand | avg rating 4.38–869,088 ratings — published 2010


5. A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson | avg rating 4.19–407,879 ratings — published 2003


6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Doris Kearns Goodwin | avg rating 4.28–269,328 ratings — published 2005


7. Night

Elie Wiesel | avg rating 4.30–1,037,947 ratings — published 1958


8. John Adams

David McCullough | avg rating 4.05–420,592 ratings — published 2001


9. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

William L. Shirer | avg rating 4.14–194,856 ratings — published 1960


10. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Charles C. Mann | avg rating 4.01–131,669 ratings — published 2005


11. The Guns of August

Barbara W. Tuchman | avg rating 4.17–104,602 ratings — published 1962


12. The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Simon Winchester | avg rating 3.84–181,413 ratings — published 1998


13. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot | avg rating 4.04–742,719 ratings — published 2010


14. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Jared Diamond | avg rating 4.00–360,537 ratings — published 1997


15. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

Barbara W. Tuchman | avg rating 4.09–61,129 ratings — published 1978


16. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

Stephen E. Ambrose | avg rating 4.43–118,539 ratings — published 1992


17. Salt: A World History

Mark Kurlansky | avg rating 3.73–148,219 ratings — published 2002


18. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Mary Beard | avg rating 4.07–26,786 ratings — published 2015


19. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Jack Weatherford | avg rating 4.00–95,542 ratings — published 2004


20. At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Bill Bryson | avg rating 3.96–114,012 ratings — published 2010


21. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Joseph J. Ellis | avg rating 3.92–71,777 ratings — published 2000


22. King Leopold’s Ghost

Adam Hochschild | avg rating 4.14–70,663 ratings — published 1998


23. Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America’s Wild Frontier

Stephen E. Ambrose | avg rating 4.22–69,123 ratings — published 1996


24. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

Nathaniel Philbrick | avg rating 4.16–128,486 ratings — published 1999


25. How the Irish Saved Civilization

Thomas Cahill | avg rating 3.81–88,814 ratings — published 1995


26. Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow | avg rating 4.22–178,745 ratings — published 2004


27. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Candice Millard | avg rating 4.18–98,943 ratings — published 2011


28. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Timothy Egan | avg rating 4.04–91,975 ratings — published 2006


29. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Steven Johnson | avg rating 3.91–92,845 ratings — published 2006


30. The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Alison Weir | avg rating 4.10–133,177 ratings — published 1991


31. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Robert K. Massie | avg rating 3.90–245,090 ratings — published 2011


32. Hiroshima

John Hersey | avg rating 3.94–93,487 ratings — published 1946


33. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Nathaniel Philbrick | avg rating 3.86–62,543 ratings — published 2006


34. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown | avg rating 4.30–224,081 ratings — published 2013


35. The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Ian Mortimer | avg rating 3.98–58,719 ratings — published 2008


36. The Art of War

Sun Tzu | avg rating 3.97–397,121 ratings — published -500


37. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Reza Aslan | avg rating 3.81–116,427 ratings — published 2013


38. The Prince

Niccolò Machiavelli | avg rating 3.79–302,890 ratings — published 1513


39. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Stephen Greenblatt | avg rating 3.87–28,371 ratings — published 2011


40. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

David Grann | avg rating 3.86–114,112 ratings — published 2009


41. One Summer: America, 1927

Bill Bryson | avg rating 4.05–63,250 ratings — published 2013


42. Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic

Tom Holland | avg rating 4.17–33,796 ratings — published 2003


43. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon | avg rating 3.94–35,071 ratings — published 1776


44. Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History

Art Spiegelman | avg rating 4.35–300,712 ratings — published 1985


45. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Erik Larson | avg rating 3.80–213,984 ratings — published 2011


46. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Margot Lee Shetterly | avg rating 3.93–117,857 ratings — published 2016


47. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943

Antony Beevor | avg rating 4.29–51,961 ratings — published 1998


48. The Wright Brothers

David McCullough | avg rating 4.11–111,169 ratings — published 2015


49. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

Charles C. Mann | avg rating 4.05–40,781 ratings — published 2011


50. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

Alfred Lansing | avg rating 4.35–93,274 ratings — published 1959