Razib Khan's "must read" history book list

By Razib Khan

By Razib Khan

The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

Bryan Ward-Perkins

$19.99 $18.39

A materialist treatment of the fall of the Roman Empire

Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe

Peter Heather


The best of Peter Heather's Rome books

The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han

Mark Edward Lewis


Formative Chinese dynasties

Imperial China 900-1800

F W Mote


Incredible social, cultural, and political survey

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

David Reich

$16.95 $15.59

The best introduction to the intersection of DNA and history

A Concise Economic History of the World: From Paleolithic Times to the Present

Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron


One of the best short economic histories

The Reformation: A History

Diarmaid MacCulloch

$25.00 $22.50

Superb survey of the confluence of religion and politics in the 16th and 17th centuries

The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live in

Hugh Kennedy


The traditional account of the rise of the Ummayads

A History of the Byzantine State and Society

Warren Treadgold


Magnum opus of a Byzantine scholar, ranging over 1,000 years

Africa: A Biography of the Continent

John Reader

$21.00 $18.90

Seminal survey of African history

Strange Parallels

Victor Lieberman


Systematic analysis of the emergence of nation-states in Southeast Asia over the past 1,000 years

Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present

Christopher I Beckwith

$16.95 $15.59

All-encompassing history of Eurasian nomads

The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions That Made Modern Europe: 1648-1815

Tim Blanning

$25.00 $22.50

Highlights the crystallization of the modern Westphalian system and European culture

All Is Change: The Two-Thousand-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West

Lawrence Sutin


A good light introduction of the spread of Buddhism and its modern popularity in the West

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

David Hackett Fischer

$34.95 $31.46

Essential to understanding the subcultures of the United States