“History is the queen of the humanities. It teaches wisdom and humility, and it tells us how things change through time.”
Ten years ago I made an ill advised financial decision to get a BA in History. A BA in history is a step above a BA in philosophy. You're both working at Starbucks, only one of you is a manager. But man, the books! Here are a few history books along with one Jesus book worth your time. They’re all a good read, even if you decided to prudently major in a financially beneficial career that allows you to support great apostolate such as LayEvangelist, LLC.
1. The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood.
I stumbled onto this book in 2001. The title itself rocked my world. Most millennials grew up hearing the Revolutionary war called ‘The War of Independence.” This book slaps that in face and kicks it the gut while down. Why am I still telling you to read other books? Gordon Wood is a beast. An absolute beast. He's the greatest historian ever. It's game over from here.
2. The Idea of America by Gordon S. Wood
Can we just build a shrine to this guy already? The Idea of America is Wood’s ‘magnum opus.’ Eleven essays from over fifty years of writings. Buy this book.
3. John Adams by David McCullough
Historians hate McCullough because people read his books. People love him because he writes history books that are impossible to put down. McCullough shows how a pantheon of a politician could be vain, humble, brilliant, stupid, devoted, prudent and irrational, all in the span of one letter.
4. Losing the War by Lee Sandlin
Sandlin is a brilliant writer with a flair for history. You will never find a better essay on WWII than Losing the War. It’s a travesty every sophomore in American hasn’t read it.
5. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Remember when we all got obsessed with Wild at Heart in 2003? That was fun and all Republicanish. Here’s a book for everyone else. Yes, I know, Miller can be annoying. But if you’re a twenty-or-thirty something Christian and you haven’t read it, it's time to correct that.