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History Recommended books?

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I was thinking of reading some books by myself for history that could probably help me, but I have a hard time choosing what books to read. Are there any books that you would recommend other than textbooks? 


For History HL, our class has chosen

  • Paper 1: [Peacemaking peacekeeping and international relations]
  • Paper 2: [Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states] & [The Cold War]
  • Paper 3: The Americas ([The Great Depression and the Americas 1929-39] & [The Cold War and the Americas 1945-1981] & [Civil rights and social movements in the Americas])


*Edit: When I looked through my textbook I realized they recommend a list of books that you can read about the topics.

Edited by sushichan*-*

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I'll recommend the following books for your chosen topics on paper 2:


1. Cold War: I would strongly recommend The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis, who is a Yale University history professor. I think the book has done a pretty good job in inspiring history students (even high-school students would appreciate it). It contains many good discussions around many controversial issues relating to the cold war, and the author has included a lot of his views around this topic, thus the book would be a great source if you plan to do something about the Cold War for your IA. Well tbh, I didn't finish the book myself, cuz I hate history :P but all my classmates love it. A guy even told me that it is the best book that he has read in years.


2. Single-party states: For this topic, it really depends on which single-party states you're thinking of doing. However, I would recommend European Dictatorship 1918-1945 by Stephen J.Lee. To be honest, I hate the book myself, but only because I found it hard to understand as author's writing style is very professional. However, the book has incredibly comprehensive discussion about what totalitarianism really is. Furthermore, the author has put great emphasis on comparing & contrasting between different single-party states (e.g. Hitler vs Mussolini, Stalin vs Hitler, etc). Even though the book only focuses on Europe, i think it would still be an enormous help as it explains pretty well what really defines totalitarianism and the 'paradoxical' nature within dictatorship itself.


So yeah, recommend those 2 books. You may get them as ebooks online, or better, borrow them from your school's library! :)

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