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Modern Library Series

The Modern Library Series features the world's great historians on the world's great subjects. Lively, accessible, and brief (mostly under 10 hours each), these authoritative short histories are designed to appeal to general listeners as well as to students in the classroom.

Titles on this Topic

The Americas
The Americas
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

The Americas, part of the acclaimed Modern Library Chronicles series, offers an intriguing history of the world’s western hemisphere.
The Balkans
The Balkans
by Mark Mazower

In this fascinating work, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History Mark Mazower uncovers the history of the Balkans with detail and clarity.
Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game
Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game
by George Vecsey

Best-selling author George Vecsey is an esteemed and award-winning sports journalist for the New York Times. In Baseball, he recounts the history of America’s national pastime.
The Boys' Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-1945
The Boys' Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-1945
by Paul Fussell

National Book Award Winner Paul Fussell tells the breathtaking story of WWII from the young soldiers’ points of view.
California: A History
California: A History
by Kevin Starr

Acclaimed author, historian, and Guggenheim Fellow Kevin Starr is a professor at the University of Southern California. His extensive knowledge shines through this concise, yet comprehensive, depiction of the most fascinating aspects in California’s history.
The Christian World: A Global History
The Christian World: A Global History
by Martin Marty

A National Book Award winner, Martin E. Marty is a University of Chicago Professor Emeritus, Lutheran minister, and prolific writer on history, culture, and theology. In his comprehensive yet concise The Christian World, Marty outlines the life and teachings of Christ and details how his followers spread the gospel to the world.
The City: A Global History
The City: A Global History
by Joel Kotkin

In this erudite and enjoyable Los Angeles Times best-seller, Joel Kotkin explores the history of cities around the globe. He argues that urban areas must be places where there is a shared feeling of sacredness, civic identity, and moral order.
Communism
Communism
by Richard Pipes

From the acclaimed Modern Library Chronicles comes an exploration of a promising theory that when put to practice wreaked havoc on the world.
The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea
The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea
by John Micklethwait

In The Company, the largely unknown history of the joint-stock company is presented by the editors of Economist.
Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory
Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory
by Edward J. Larson

Edward J. Larson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and eminent science historian. This marvelously readable, yet sumptuously erudite work traces the development of the scientific theory of evolution.
Inventing Japan
Inventing Japan
by Ian Buruma

LA Times Book Award winner and expert on the past and present Japan, Ian Buruma examines the transformation of a country.
Islam, A Short History
Islam, A Short History
by Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith...
Law in America
Law in America
by Lawrence Friedman

Lawrence M. Friedman is Professor of Law at Stanford University and author of 23 books about law and legal history. Hailed as American law’s greatest living historian, Friedman traces the evolution of America’s legal system from the colonial period to the present.
London: A History
London: A History
by A.N. Wilson

This entertaining volume provides a concise history of one of the world’s premiere cities. Acclaimed author A.N. Wilson starts at the beginning, when London was founded by the Romans, and continues to contemporary times…
Nazism and War
Nazism and War
by Richard Bessel

Richard Bessel, history professor at the University of York, specializes in the social and political history of Nazi Germany. In four compelling essays, he forcefully argues that racism made war inevitable.
Nonviolence: 25 Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea
Nonviolence: 25 Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea
by Mark Kurlansky

From the prize-winning, "New York Times" bestselling author comes a provocative history that persuasively argues that the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II could have been avoided by nonviolent means.
Prehistory: Making of the Human Mind
Prehistory: Making of the Human Mind
by Colin Renfrew

A giant of archaeology, Colin Renfrew has immeasurably improved our understanding of human history. In this passionately argued work, he offers a concise summary of prehistory—human existence that predates the development of written records—while challenging the very definition of prehistory itself.
The Reformation
The Reformation
by Patrick Collinson

Renowned scholar Patrick Collinson is Regius Professor of Modern History, Emeritus, Cambridge. He states, “The Reformation (and Counter Reformation) was the blast furnace in which the modern state was forged.”
A Short History of Medicine
A Short History of Medicine
by Frank Gonzales-Crussi

Praised for his erudite writing, renowned scientist Frank González-Crussi penned this concise history of medicine, beginning with the most primitive healthcare practices and ending with the technology of modern medicine that we enjoy today.
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West
by Milton Viorst

In this enlightening work,The New Yorker’s longtime Middle East correspondent, Milton Viorst contends that today’s Arab-American conflict is the latest round in a 1,400-year clash between Islam and Christianity.

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