Good books for studying history

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tksaleija
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Good books for studying history

Post by tksaleija » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:44 am

So obviously literature is really easy to find books to study for, but I don't know a whole lot of history books that would help with qb, which is unfortunate given that a lot of 20/20 packets have History as 4/4. I've only found two recently that are good
1. You Don't Know Much about American History (well organized and fun read)
2. 100 (list of top 100 most influential people of all time, could help with other subjects too. It's also found on the NAQT references page)

Any additions?
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benmillerbenmiller
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by benmillerbenmiller » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:15 pm

The "Chronicle" books from the late 80s are excellent resources. Each book is several hundred pages of history reformatted into faux-contemporary news briefs. I have one covering U.S. history (ISBN-13: 978-0131337459) and another covering the 20th century (ISBN-13: 978-0942191011), and there's one for general world history as well (ISBN-13: 978-1872031002). They might be tough to find online, but a local library or solid used book store will have at least one.
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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:30 pm

Definitely read the "books for quizbowl" thread, a running 198+ post affair where many different quizbowl players give their recommendations for good books to read, many of which are history books.

You can find it here:
http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... f=3&t=8159

The reality is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of history books out there, and most of them will teach you something relevant to quizbowl. A better question to ask yourself is what kind of history you want to learn, and then read books related to that period of history or geographic region.

Don't just stick to survey books. Even very specific books (such as biographies of one person, or books about one specific battle) can teach you buzzable clues because they have to set the stage for their topic, and this introductory background information often ends up teaching you about the period of time in which the subject of the biography lived.
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Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:33 pm

Just read books about history that interest you, basically anything will get you buzzes.
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An Economic Ignoramus
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:28 pm

Honestly the book that's both gotten me the most good buzzes and pointed me toward the most other good resources is probably Matt White's "Atrocities". Notwithstanding the dark subject matter, it's fairly widely available and also extremely good for quizbowl because history writers like writing about wars, which are the sort of things that kill a lot of people. You can get some summaries and sources here: http://necrometrics.com/
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quizbowlSpetsnaz
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by quizbowlSpetsnaz » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:41 am

New York Times "Guide to Essential Knowledge" is very good for general history (and art, and philosphy, and other things). The most recent edition is from 2011, but there may be a new one coming out this year, as the publication of the next-to-last one was 2007.
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TylerV
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by TylerV » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:53 pm

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/05533 ... UTF8&psc=1

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. I absolutely adore this book. It is easy to read, engaging, and throws a ton of fun and useful information at you. While its limited to World War I it will also teach you a lot about figures and events slightly before and slightly after.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/01999 ... UTF8&psc=1

A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. I was told by a professor I highly regard that this is the best survey book on Japan still in print. Whether or not this is true, I have no idea, but it will be more than sufficient to get you points.

https://www.amazon.com/China-Ten-Words- ... +ten+words

China in Ten Words. This is less a "read this and get a ton of points" suggestion and a more "read this so you can fully understand the clues that get you lots of points."
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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
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Re: Good books for studying history

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:43 pm

TylerV wrote:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/01999 ... UTF8&psc=1

A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. I was told by a professor I highly regard that this is the best survey book on Japan still in print. Whether or not this is true, I have no idea, but it will be more than sufficient to get you points.
I second this - the book is superb.
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