These nonfiction history books - ranging in topic from the very particular (London fog) to the sweeping general (world history) - are all written in a compelling narrative style that reads “like a story.” Scroll down to the bottom for links to works by other recommended narrative-history authors. (Updated June 2020)
A Black Women's History of the United States
This survey of the experience of Black women in America starts before the Atlantic slave trade and ends with contemporary protest movements. Individual stories are combined with analysis of broader themes into a readable narrative.
Format: eBookView A Black Women's History of the United States
A historian at the University of British Columbia provides an accessible and fascinating account of China’s engagement with the rest of the world from the 13th century to the present.
Availability: AvailableView Great State
Digging deep into the historic record to separate fact from fiction, Clavin presents a carefully researched and highly readable account of the most famous shootout in American western frontier history.
Format: eBookView Tombstone
No Stopping Us Now
Collins’ lively and informative survey begins in Colonial times and ends in the modern era, examining the accomplishments of a variety of individual women as well as society’s changing perceptions of aging and women.
Format: eBookView No Stopping Us Now
A Furious Sky
A vivid account of North America’s experiences with hurricanes, from the time of Columbus’ voyages to the more recent disasters in Puerto Rico, revealing how these forces of nature have impacted key moments in history.
Availability: AvailableView A Furious Sky
Walking the Old Road
Drawing on oral and family history, Drouillard provides a moving account of the history of her Ojibwe ancestors, incorporating a strong sense of place (the North Shore of Lake Superior).
Availability: AvailableView Walking the Old Road
The Second Founding
Foner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning legal scholar, lucidly examines how the U.S. Constitution was changed by the amendments passed at the end of the Civil War, and how those changes continue to have an impact today.
Format: eBookView The Second Founding
Stony the Road
A powerful analysis of the period following the Civil War, and how the blatant racism (including visual stereotypes) of that period continue to adversely affect us today.
Format: eBookView Stony the Road
An energetic account of the titanic growth of the railroad industry in the late 1800s, emphasizing the many colorful characters involved, both the wealthy barons and the working men in the emerging labor movement.
Availability: AvailableView Iron Empires
The Pandemic Century
This book looks at the numerous catastrophic disease outbreaks – some well-known and some obscure - of the 20th century, and the scientists and others who have battled them.
Format: Downloadable AudiobookView The Pandemic Century