Book List

Best Big-Picture History Books of 2020

  • NONFICTION

    A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

    FEB. 4, 2020

HISTORY

A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross

A vital book for any library or classroom—and for foot soldiers in the fight for racial justice. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE GREAT SECRET

    SEPT. 8, 2020

NONFICTION

THE GREAT SECRET

by Jennet Conant

An impressive dual history of a military disaster and a scientific breakthrough. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    FIGHTING WORDS

    MARCH 17, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

FIGHTING WORDS

by Nancy F. Cott

A revelatory history of a time when journalism was respected and vital. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    CONSERVATISM

    OCT. 20, 2020

NONFICTION

CONSERVATISM

by Edmund Fawcett

An immensely stimulating canter through a major segment of Western political tradition. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    BLACK WAVE

    JAN. 28, 2020

  • NONFICTION

    THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE

    FEB. 25, 2020

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE

by Erik Larson

A captivating history of Churchill’s heroic year, with more than the usual emphasis on his intimates. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    IF THEN

    SEPT. 15, 2020

HISTORY

IF THEN

by Jill Lepore

A fascinating, expertly guided exploration of a little-known corner of the recent past. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE LAST MILLION

    SEPT. 15, 2020

NONFICTION

THE LAST MILLION

by David Nasaw

A searching, vigorously written history of an unsettled time too little known to American readers. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    GAMBLING WITH ARMAGEDDON

    OCT. 13, 2020

NONFICTION

GAMBLING WITH ARMAGEDDON

by Martin J. Sherwin

A fearfully convincing case that avoiding nuclear war “is contingent on the world’s dwindling reservoir of good luck.” Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    TWILIGHT OF THE GODS

    SEPT. 1, 2020

NONFICTION

TWILIGHT OF THE GODS

by Ian W. Toll

A conventional but richly rewarding history of the last war that turned out well for the U.S. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY

    SEPT. 22, 2020

NONFICTION

THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY

by Tim Weiner

A gripping history of 75 years of Russian-American conflict with the dismal conclusion that we seem outmatched. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • NONFICTION

    ONE MIGHTY AND IRRESISTIBLE TIDE

    MAY 19, 2020

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