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Thursday, December 15, 2016

History –is it an important subject, if so, why?

History –is it an important subject, if so,  why?

History for a united world by E.H. Dance is a very interesting history book that I have read along with a list of many useful books for all those interested in knowing world History in general with least amount of prejudice.

When we talk of history, obviously it cannot be divorced from individuals, institutions, issues, ideologies that have formed and framed a major part of history.

This includes predominantly the multiple social systems that have been experimented; the political systems that have been tried and tested; the socio-religious cultural systems that have prevailed; and the multitude of economic and trade activities that have shaped the survival of human beings and in some or many case improved life in many aspects.

Therefore, it is not easy to brush aside history as some unwanted report of the facts of the past because the trails of impact and influence the events have left are enormous.

At the same time, as a subject of study, it is also vulnerable to the onslaught of ideological prejudices of all hues and certain distortions of some historians.
Unfortunately, for want of highly authenticated and accepted versions of events we are forced to rely on some available records.

However, through collating multiple methods of advanced scientific tools like DNA proofs, Archaeological evidences, literary references etc we can arrive at some facts.

Here I would like to share some links to my articles written at different times on History followed by a list of books recommended for studying world history.

Having said all that, the best way to know true history is to study the evolution of culture, traditions and language of the region or nation whose history one wants to study.

History involves not only mere reporting of prosaic information of events but the insights into what, who, how and why such events were generated and their contextual relevance and whether they also offer lessons for us now and all of these require interpretation of those events in proper perspective with relevant comparisons too.

List of useful and interesting World History books that I have enjoyed reading and would therefore boldly recommend

1. The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set) by Will Durant

2. Ideas: A history from fire to Freud by Peter Watson

3. Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond covers the history of human societies over the past ten thousand years over all the continents - all in one book.

4. Norman Lowe - it is a short and extremely interesting book. 'Mastering Modern World History' by Norman Lowe is an excellent source for learning important events of world history during 18th, 19th and 20th centuries

5. Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind 5th Edition-by David Buss (Author)

6. The Times Complete History of the World-by Richard Overy

7. A history of the World-by Andrew Marr

8. The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations (Ian Morris)

9. A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich and also

A Short History of the World by H.G Wells

10. For a longer read History of the World by J.M. Roberts (updated as New History of the World)

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