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Books History History Adventures

15 Best History Books Of All Time

It is a common saying that history is what we make out of it, however, now it may seem like a very elegant thing to say rather than a realistic one. But one thing is pretty sure, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it (George Santayana).  

It is without a doubt that this civilization has evolved over thousands of years, and a lot of historic events took place during this course. If we ought to achieve greatness and success in life then it’s compulsory to know and learn the history and one of the easiest ways to do it is to read about it. 

Here is our guide to some of the greatest history books that you can read and learn from.

1.  History Adventures, World of Characters, Revolutions & Industrialization, 1750 – 1900

Creator: Spencer Striker, PhD

Looking for the best way to learn World History? Travel back in time to 1750–1900 with award-winning History Adventures and experience the stories of 5 amazing characters who lived during this dynamic period—brought to life with the help of animation, interactivity, and visual effects.

Developed by Spencer Striker, PhD, History Adventures is taking world history education to a whole new level with 3D experiences, data visualizations, sound effects, and amazing graphics. Importantly, you will also be able to test your comprehension by taking multimedia, rich assessments at the end of each character narrative.

2. The Guns of August

Author: Barbara W. Tuchman

The first major conflict in the modern world which is often referred to as World War I is one the longest and most brutal international conflicts that ever occurred in human history. Its atrocities left almost 17 million people dead and countless affected all around the globe. There will be many books written about this War, but the ‘Guns of August’ gives you a closer look at the set of events that triggered this war.

3.  The Liberation Trilogy

Author: Rick Atkinson

This book revolves around World War II, especially the European and African Fronts. It is one of the best trilogies that covers almost all the aspects of the 2nd world war in Europe. Written by Rick Atkinson, these books take us to battlefronts in North Africa, Italy, and western Europe.

4.  1776

Author: David McCullough

This historic masterpiece was written by David McCullough, a Picasso of American History. His ‘1776’ brought the War of Independence and the formation of America into life. The book gives us the hint that G. Washington was not a mythical character but a human being and his counterpart, the British General Willian Howe, was a formidable adversary. It is without a doubt one of the best books in American literature.

5.  1491

Author: Charles C. Mann

As the name suggests itself, the history of America just before Columbus discovered it and then unveiled it to the rest of the world. This book by Charles C. Mann covers the civilizations in North America before the European occupation.

6.  The Crusades

The Crusades: Thomas Asbridge

The name says it all, this masterpiece covers one the most sensitive yet the most important events that shaped the world to what we see today. This book covers the Crusades for the Holy City from the 11th to 13th centuries.

7.  Caesar and Christ

Author: Will Durant

Roman Civilization is perhaps one of the first modern civilizations ever created. This book by Will Durant takes us through the highs and lows of the Roman Empire, particularly revolving around its leaders and how religion played a vital role in its collapse.

8.  A History of American People

Author: Paul Johnson

This masterpiece was written by the world-renowned author Paul Johnson. A History of American People takes its readers from the formation of America to 20th century America while shedding light on important events that took place throughout American History which made America the powerful.

9.  Churchill: A Life and the Second World War

Author: Martin Gilbert

This book by Martin Gilbert focuses on the Second World War and its atrocities. The book educates its readers about the casualty (cause and effects) of the war and how Winston Churchill stepped up to it and became the leader as we know him today.

10.  Guns, Germs, and Steel

Author: Jared Diamond

This book by Jared Diamond is in a league of its own. Unlike the other history books, it doesn’t reflect any particular set of people, region, or race rather than it focuses on general history and circumstances into which an event occurred.

11.  Genghis Khan: The Making Of The Modern World

Author: Jack Weatherford

As the title says the book covers the life story of Genghis Khan, the notorious Mongol leader, and the founder of the Mongolian Empire of 13 and 14th centuries. The Book covers how Genghis Khan and Mongolia rose to power and how it affected the world as a whole and Europe in particular.

12.  Europe: A History 

Author: Norman Davies

Written by Norman Davies and published in 1996, the book covers the ups and downs of Europian political, economical and territorial aspects. Primarily focusing on Modern Europe, the book is a treat for someone who ought to learn about Europian History.

13.  The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich

Author: William L. Shirer

The book focuses on the rise and fall of German, and particularly the Nazi empire. The book was written by a renowned journalist William L. Shirer. It takes us through the period of history starting with the birth of Hitler in 1889 to the ultimate demise of his Empire in 1945. The book covers the important aspects of Nazi Germany through its highs and lows.

14.  Postwar: A History of Europe

Author: Tony Judt

This book was written by British author Tony Judt, a world-renowned and award-winning author who specialized in European History. The book covers Europe in the aftermath of World War II through its economic, territorial, and political highs and lows.

15.  The Communist Manifesto

Author:  Karl Marx

It may have been the most famous book in this list that not only too many people must have heard about, but quite a few of them must have even read it. This book was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and as the title suggests it focuses on communism. The first-ever written document about communism, some even believe that it signified the start of communism.

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History Adventures News Spencer Striker PhD

History Adventures Is Starting The Non-Profit Journey

Dear Supporters, Readers, and Ambassadors!

We’ve got great news to share with you!

As you all know, History Adventures was founded with the goal to engage students, and to ignite an ember of curiosity for learning about the past. 

The project has initially started with the development of the first audiovisual book covering the 1750-1900 period (History Adventures, World of Characters, Revolutions & Industrialization). 

But after receiving tons of positive reviews and the first award (we have become the Gold Winner of the Horizon Interactive Awards in the Mobile Apps – Education category), we realized that there is so much more he can do to improve student engagement in learning and take history teaching to the whole new level.

And this is how we decided to begin our nonprofit journey.

Welcome the new History Adventures! 

History Adventures will continue to create a revolutionary interactive learning experience that will enhance and broaden student comprehension of the complex world around them, but now as a non-profit organization.

Moreover, since we are on the mission to make history education accessible, we are planning to keep these books free of charge and available for everyone online.

History Adventures, World of Characters, Revolutions & Industrialization is the first book in the History Adventures next-generation digital book application series that presents a fresh and efficient approach to history education.

The digital book includes lavish illustrations, animation, data visualizations, sound effects, 3D experience, digital post-its (to help students memorize certain definitions), audio comments from a leading historians related to the featured topic, and comprehensive assessments to test students’ knowledge of the relevant topic.

We know how important education is and to make sure everyone has a chance to improve and enrich their knowledge of World History. So we really count on your support. 

Please make a simple and free donation of sharing our digital book with your friends and family–people you think might appreciate it. And let’s make great history education accessible and exciting for everyone.

And once again, thank you all for your support and your kind words about our book. We really appreciate it! 

Best,

Spencer Striker, PhD

Creator of History Adventures

Categories
History Exams Learning Materials

The Complete Guide to the AP World History Exam

The AP World History Program aims to provide high school and college students with a basic and firm knowledge of history. 

This program is designed to prepare high school and college students for higher education. Students are required to use their reasoning and assessment skills to analyze and comment on the significant historical events of the US. 

This guide will walk you through the basic requirements to introduce you to the AP World History Program to help you pass your exam with flying colors.

What is the AP World History Exam?

The main goal of the AP World History Exam is to test your capabilities to develop and make historical arguments as well as comparisons. It is equivalent to the World History Introductory course comprising two semesters in a college or university.

It aims to provide an in-depth understanding of significant advancements, events, and famous individuals that are a prominent part of our documented history.

AP World History Course Themes

The course comprises five major themes to help students build relevant connections between historical developments. It encompasses nearly all major and minor developments that took place in different places of the world at different times.

The themes include:

  • Humans and the Environment
  • Cultural Developments and Interactions
  • Governance
  • Economic Systems
  • Social Interactions and Organization 
  • Technology and Innovation

Course Content

The course contents contain nine units that range from different periods and carry different percentages in the exam. Here is the detailed outline of the course units:

Period c 1200 -1450 | Exam percentage: 8-10%

  •   The Global Tapestry
  •   Networks of Exchange

Period c 1450-1750 | Exam percentage: 12-15%

  •  Land-based empires
  •  Transoceanic interconnections

Period c 1750 – 1900 | Exam percentage: 12-15%

  •   Revolutions
  •   Consequences of industrialization

Period c1900 – present | Exam percentage: 8-10%

  • Global conflict
  • Globalization
  • Cold war and decolonization

Duration

The duration of the AP World History Exam is three hours and 15 minutes which is divided into two sections. The first section is further divided into two parts called Part A and Part B. The timelines for each section are as follow:

  • Section 1- Part A: 55 minutes.
  • Section 1- Part B: 40 minutes.
  • Section 2: 1 hour and 40 minutes (1 hour for the first question and 40 minutes for the second question)

Format & Sample Questions

The AP World History Exam requires students to present answers that are supported by the references to the relevant historical events. 

As the documents are already provided in section 2, you can use them to support your answers. Do not just simply quote the document, you must describe why the document supports your argument.

Section 1A:

Section 1, Part A – reserves 40% of the exam score – is composed of 55 multiple choice questions for the time duration of 55 minutes. It means you will get one minute for each question.

Section 1B:

Section 1, Part B – reserves 20% of the exam score – requires you to give short answers to the free-response questions in minutes. The questions can range in the form of texts, maps, images, or graphs.

Question 1 – compulsory – contains one or two secondary sources and aims at the historical advancements that transpired during 1200 years to present.

Question 2 – compulsory – has one primary source and aims at the historical advancements that occurred during 1200 years to present.

Questions 3 & 4 – optional – you can select one of them. Question 3 is based on the years 1200 to 1750 whereas question 4 is aimed at the years 2001 to 2001. These questions do not contain any source. 

Section 2

Section 2 of the AP World History Exam has two questions that make 40% of the total exam score.

Question 1 – compulsory – is related to the historical events from 1754-1980. You will be given seven documents and are required to support your answer with the help of those documents. This question has a time duration of 1 hour and makes 25% of the exam score.

Question 2 – is a long essay question and makes 15% of the exam score. You will get to choose one question from the three questions that cover different historical periods such as, 1200 – 1750, 1450-1900, or 1750- 2001. You are required to propose a thesis and support your argument based on your knowledge and the lessons AP history class.

Scoring Guidelines

To ace any exam, it is necessary to understand its pattern and how the scoring works. Here we have explained the scoring guidelines for each section so you can understand the influence and concept of each question of each section.

Scoring guidelines for Section 1

Section 1-A

Section 1A is composed of 55 multiple-choice questions. Each question has 1 mark that can only be scored by choosing the correct answer out of 4 choices given in the question.

Section 1-B

There are three sub-questions for every question to be answered in Section 1-B which allow students to earn 0 to 3 points for each question. Following is the essential scoring criteria based on the response content:

Score 3: The response covers all three requirements of the question.

Score 2: The response covers two of the requirements of the question.

Score 1: The response covers any one of the requirements of the question.

Score 0: The response covers none of the requirements of the question.

Score NR:  No or blank response.

Scoring guidelines for Section 2

Section 2 has two parts that require 1 answered question each part. The first part is a document-based question, while the second is a long essay. 

Part A

For question one, you can earn a maximum of 7 points. To score high, your answers should demonstrate your knowledge and skills as you support your answer with the evidence. Further, break down of point scoring for question 1 is as follow:

  • Thesis/Claim: 0-1 point 
  • Contextualization: 0-1 point 
  • Evidence: 0-3 points
  • Analysis and Reasoning: 0-2 points

Part B

In part B, you can earn a maximum of 6 points. The response requirements remain the same as that of part one. Further breakdown of scoring criteria for part B is as follow: 

  • Thesis/Claim: 0-1 point
  • Contextualization: 0-1 point
  • Evidence: 0-2 points (1 point for single evidence and 2 points for supporting argument)
  • Analysis and Reasoning: 0-2 points

Who should take the AP World History Exam?

This exam is best for high school students having an interest in world history.  Students wanting to get better at world history should take this exam and the best part is, you can earn college credit if you perform well. 

How to Prepare for the AP World History Exam

The best way to prepare for this exam is to review some past AP World History papers and memorize critical historical events to refer to them in support of your arguments. Furthermore, reading good books by credible authors can help you prepare for this exam. One such example would be, History Adventures: World Of Characters. It relates and interactively illustrates historical events in an engaging way by adopting a lively narrative style to make history easy for you. Detailed books covering every aspect of important historical events is what you need to pass this exam with flying colors and History Adventures: World Of Characters is certainly one of those.

Essential Tips to Prepare For AP World History Exam

Selecting the best study material: An important thing to consider while preparing for this exam is to always use the best study resources. It’s highly recommended to use books that cover all the aspects of the course comprehensively so that you don’t miss out on any important details. So, a good book like History Adventures: World Of Characters can make all the difference. 

Time Management: Time management is a crucial factor in this exam because every section and question is strictly timed. You will have to be very careful while attempting every question and the amount of time you invest in it.

Planning: Never start attempting the questions as soon as you read them. It is always good to read the whole question paper once at least and start with questions that seem easy to you.

Practice: Practice is the key to success, similarly practicing with AP World History free-response questions will help you succeed in this exam. Find solved papers and compare your answers with them for a better understanding or learn how the evidence and references are used accurately. Practice until you have perfected every aspect of your exam.

Conclusion

The AP World History Exam is designed to enhance students’ skills in terms of analyzing, reasoning, and comparing historical events. To pass this 3 hours and 15 minutes exam, you need to have an inclusive knowledge of all major events that span over 1200 CE to the present.

The past papers available online can help you identify the consistent historical events. It will enable you to narrow down the mass of information to selected few occasions that are most likely to be present in your exam.

From there you only need all-inclusive books like History Adventures: World Of Characters that teach everything you need to learn to clear your exam in a super interactive style with the help of different effects. It is one of those kinds of books that makes the learning process highly stimulating and engaging for the students leading to an effective and firm grasp of the AP World History Course contents.