3 History Book Recommendations for the Holidays

History books for Christmas 2016As the holidays are coming soon, you might need a good, long history book or audio book. Either to read / listen to, while traveling or as a last minute present. Thus here are our history book recommendations for the holidays.

Considering that I spend so much time on the first World War, it is not surprising that two of the three books cover this topic.


  • Charles C. Mann: 1493 – Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (2011)
  • 1493 has some overlap in scope with Guns Gems and Steel, that I reviewed early. However 1493 is more narrow in scope and a much better book.

The Marne, 1914

  • Holger H. Herwig: The Marne, 1914 – The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World (2009)
  • Herwig’s brilliant book is an in depth analysis of the German (the Schlieffen Plan) and allied strategic plans and the initial major series of battles of the war. He also provides an overview and analysis of the event that lead to the start of World War I.

The War That Ended Peace

  • Margaret MacMillan: The War That Ended Peace – The Road to 1914 (2013)
  • This is an extensive and detailed description and analysis of the events and circumstances that ultimately lead to World War I.

Martin's History recommends for Enthusiast and Hardcore lovers of history


I can recommend all three books wholeheartedly, although in my opinion 1493 and the Marne, 1914 are the stronger books. I have listened to all three as audible audio-books and the quality left nothing to be desired.

All three are available as e-books, audio books and paper editions.

I may or may not write in depth reviews of these books later.