I want to start reading about history but I have no idea how to start. Posted on May 21, 2023 by Anonymous I want to start reading about history but I have no idea how to start.
2nd this. Similar position as you OP and I got the first couple volumes of the story of civilization for $6 each, very interesting and well written. There is 11 in the series, but really you could just pick whatever ones interest you.
Just reading his name made my dick twitch
Starting by choking on a scrumptious BBC.
damm, you're still at it huh? Bravo! Bravo! I don't know what to say anymore
Thanks for the engagement, cracker.
start at the beginning
>pick your favorite period in history
>google top 3 best books about said period
history is all connected, it doesn't matter where you start
Start by studying theory so you don't end up like the kids who think memorizing dates and names of tanks is studying history.
I would recommend Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern by Ernst Breisach
This is literally the WORST way to start reading about history. Holy shit you pseud, lurk for a year before you post again.
If you have a time period you're interested in, do what the above anon said and just google, it doesn't really matter where you start, or even if your first few books are good. As long as it's not outright revisionist propaganda, you'll be fine (most historical books are SUBTLE revisionist propaganda, but that's normal and not too much to worry about as a beginner).
If you don't care where you start, here's some recommendations from my personal favorites:
The Thirty Years War by CV Wedgewood - Covers the war from 1618-1648, the most devastating war in Europe to that point, and from that point until WW1.
Mao's Great Famine by Dikotter - Covers the "great leap forward" in China after WW2 that ruined the Chinese economy and starved millions of people to death.
Tragedy & Hope by Carroll Quigley -covers bits from the 1800s to 1900s
The Histories by Herodotus - the first history book ever, full of fun stories about the ancient world, some are even true!
The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides - the first serious work of history, covering the war between Athens and Sparta, with only parts made up
Are you gonna explain why its wrong retard?
No, do not study theory to learn history.
Please kill yourself immediately for even suggesting such a thing.
You're mad because you've memorized all the tanks Germany used in ww2 aren't you
i started reading history books last year and now i have so many books in my backlog.
just focus on a particular period or event in history or maybe even just an interesting historical figure.
for example the french revolution or napoleon.
those two topics alone will be worth dozens of books
start with the sumerians
History is like a language, you can learn it consciously and deliberately but you also have to immerse yourself in it over a long time. You have to bring the conscious and deliberate learning into constant dialectical relation with the casual, "soaking up" learning, and you also have to undertake projects that force you to learn things more minute (details) or more broad (structures) than you would have learned on your own. Some people are more inclined toward structures and meta-theories, some more toward granular details, and one of the benefits of undertaking projects is that you will have to interact with every "level," even the ones you would not normally gravitate to from your own interest.
/his/fags cap themselves at wikipedia and youtube video knowledge level, because they never undertake to learn deeper structures and theories, they just like to have granular detail poured into their waiting open mouth while slick production quality tickles their balls and strokes their throat to make the slurry go down easier. But professionals are losers who think it's a massive achievement that they were forced to learn a bunch of irrelevant and derivative theories about the one topic they study, while they barely remember any granular details and clearly don't have any love for it all.
Just start reading about things that interest you, and set up projects for yourself. For example, set up the project of wanting to know everything there is to know about the development of phalanx warfare in the ancient Mediterranean. You will not only watch those youtube videos you love so much if you are a LULZfag, you will also end up learning about the different theories and debates about the development of the phalanx form, its possible sociological determinants, its development into the Macedonian larissa phalanx, its differences and similarities with much older Greek and Bronze Age forms of warfare and weaponry (and their sociological determinants). Your knowledge will have the initial subject of interest as its "center" but it will also sprawl out in all directions and cover things you would not have thought to study with methods and perspectives you would not have thought to explore.
If you don't like military stuff, then replace phalanx warfare with "what it was like to live in Bactria" or "why Hellenistic Egypt developed a culture of encyclopedism and textual criticism" or "how Shaftesbury helped develop the 18th century idea of 'sensibility' that then went through Hume and down to Jane Austen."
Just pick things you like and dive deep enough that you are forced to develop a "combined arms" approach to them whether you like it or not. Same goes for almost any subject.
I understand what you're getting at but I don't think "deep diving" on narrow topics is a good way to start reading about history either. That will VERY QUICKLY get you stuck reading academic publications like journal articles, and those are mostly dry garbage (and a LOT of political ideology pushing).
And since this is becoming a pattern I'm going to pre-emptively declare that reading only primary sources is ALSO a bad way to start reading history.
This isn't complicated guys. It's okay to go to a bookstore/library history section and just pull out books that look interesting. Just so long as it's not written by a journalist.
Reading dry articles with a purpose is totally fine, it's where the real fun begins. Retards who suggest reading nothing but hundreds of articles are another thing entirely. There's a difference between being incredibly excited because someone wrote a classic article on some hyper specific topic you want to know everything about because it's the crux of your curiosity about Bactrian Greco-Buddhism, and reading a hundred articles on corn yields when you don't give a shit about that. But knowing a few things about agricultural boom and bust cycles will come to you naturally after feeling your way around a few topics that actually do interest you, that's what I meant when I said your project will have a center and it will have peripheries.
Don't. You can't learn about history from books. It just doesn't happen. 99% of historians are full of shit. Nobody actually knows what happened outside of >DUDE THE TREATY OF WESTPHALIA WAS SIGNED IN 1648
and the rest of it is just some retard's "interpretation" (headcanon) of what it means and how it came about. It's all a big nothing. A giant lie. And you know what they say...the bigger the lie - the more they believe. Nonsense. All of it. ALL OF IT! Don't do it. You want to see what people who actually believe in the bullshit history they read about act like? Go to LULZ. The average IQ there is 69. Stop it. Just stop it. Go read poetry or whatever. History was a mistake.
Toynbee & Spengler
OP, as you can see from this thread, there is a lot of controversy on the right approach, as with any academic subject. Just find a topic you're interested in and dive in. Start with light reading, like Wikipedia, to get an overview and a sense for what interests you. There's no sense in overcomplicating things. And always, always take forum advice such as this with a grain (or a pile) of salt.
The Enlightenment and Robespierre to Napoleon is good. Because you get the Romantics as well and it's really good fun. Recommend The Romantic Revolution by Tim Banning.
Read your old schoolbooks, then read whatever's pop books world history, then choose a period and read a main book of your choice, then read it's references and their references. Change periods and repeat when boring.
Need some BBC cum gods to run a train on my ass pussy
First book I read was Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
It's probably not a very good history book but it is very enjoyable
SPQR by Mary Beard, The Templars by Dan Jones or Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
The biographies by Robert K. Massie, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great or Nicholas and Alexandra
Dreadnought and Castles of Steel by Robert K Massie are great
Frederick the Great by Timothy Blanning
I started with Bloch and Keegan, personally
Is Susan Wise Bauer a good primer for general history?