#1 Posted by Aegon (5394 posts) -

I had a non-fiction thread a little while ago, and I've gotten some books on my to-read list from that, but I'm trying to narrow it down further. I'd like recommendations for Chinese history (all the details about the dynasty wars and whatever was before that). I remember getting into a wikipedia hole while reading about the Han dynasty. Also something about Japanese history (its foundation and onward to the wars and shogunate, etc.) as well as the history of ninja clans and samurai. Now moving to the west, something about Roman history (foundation from Troy? to their fall) along with the Greeks. Next, I'd like something about the discovery of the Americas along with how America became America and all the wars and leaders that led up to it. Of particular interest is something detailed about Columbus that perhaps touches upon his Judaism? If any of these subjects can only be covered by a series of books, don't hesitate to recommend them.

#2 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3733 posts) -

1491 is good for this.

Not quite what you are talking about as far as Colombus, but it details the Native American cultures and civilizations before there were Europeans on their land. Part of the books theory suggests a huge percentage of their populations were devestated by diseases that were brought over and so we never saw the size of these groups or them in proper form because of the disarray caused by the deaths. Really interesting stuff. The cultures were quite advanced.

The sequel 1493 details post Europeans landing, I haven't read it but I've heard it is great as well.

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#3 Posted by Aegon (5394 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads said:

1491 is good for this.

Not quite what you are talking about as far as Colombus, but it details the Native American cultures and civilizations before there were Europeans on their land. Part of the books theory suggests a huge percentage of their populations were devestated by diseases that were brought over and so we never saw the size of these groups or them in proper form because of the disarray caused by the deaths. Really interesting stuff. The cultures were quite advanced.

The sequel 1493 details post Europeans landing, I haven't read it but I've heard it is great as well.

Ah, that sounds pretty interesting. I was thinking of asking for something about Native Americans, but thought that it was a bit much for one run.

#4 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1490 posts) -

America: A People's history is a really interesting and well written book that delves into the lives of the people who first settled in the US to modern day America.

#5 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3733 posts) -

@Aegon said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

1491 is good for this.

Not quite what you are talking about as far as Colombus, but it details the Native American cultures and civilizations before there were Europeans on their land. Part of the books theory suggests a huge percentage of their populations were devestated by diseases that were brought over and so we never saw the size of these groups or them in proper form because of the disarray caused by the deaths. Really interesting stuff. The cultures were quite advanced.

The sequel 1493 details post Europeans landing, I haven't read it but I've heard it is great as well.

Ah, that sounds pretty interesting. I was thinking of asking for something about Native Americans, but thought that it was a bit much for one run.

Yeah... it's quite an interesting book though and it might be good to read that before you check out other sources.

http://www.amazon.com/1491-Revelations-Americas-Before-Columbus/dp/1400032059/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359082524&sr=8-1&keywords=1491

Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.

And here is the sequel I was referring to as well, which would detail the colonization angle from a similar scientific angle.

http://www.amazon.com/1493-Uncovering-World-Columbus-Created/dp/0307278247/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359082691&sr=8-1&keywords=1493

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#6 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3733 posts) -

Also, I have to plug here this podcast Hardcore History... really excellent. He has been doing series lately, one on the Mongols (which discusses China of course), had 2 huge Roman series (the wars with Carthage, one on the fall of the empire), and has had all manner of smaller one offs. Some are on specific historical cultures or events, some are on topics, like say one was on the use of drugs and alcohol throughout history and how that may have shaped events and key figures. He is a great host and does a lot of research, pulling from lots of different sources to give you a compelling and interesting narrative.

It's nice too because he will source the books he uses to make the shows in the show itself or the notes and you can check them out for more information.

http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh

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#7 Posted by chocolaterhinovampire (1287 posts) -

@No0b0rAmA said:

America: A People's history is a really interesting and well written book that delves into the lives of the people who first settled in the US to modern day America.

Ya this is a good book. However, it is basically a cut and paste job of secondary sources. Check out some Bernard Bailyn or Alan Taylor if you want some cool shit

#8 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9604 posts) -
#10 Posted by chocolaterhinovampire (1287 posts) -

Boston's Immigrants by Oscar Handlin

#11 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3733 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/hh

Nice! Bookmarked for when I finish the Bombcast.

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

I'm a history fan and big into podcasts and its by far the best history show I've heard.

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