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1) Art History Books
The history of art is the science that studies the evolution of art through time and space, since different histories of art can be proposed depending on the time period and the geographical territory that is delimited.
The origin of the arts is uncertain and involves not only aesthetics but also the awareness of the creation of a work of art. Some art historians have defined the cradle of art in the Chauvet Cave, where the oldest cave painting discovered, dating from approximately 30,000 years ago, is found.
Knowing concepts of Art History helps people who are enthusiasts of any artistic branch to enjoy the works of art, prevailing over the fact of only seeing the artworks without delving into their meaning, time or place of creation; the greater the understanding of a particular work of art, the greater the pleasure experienced by those who contemplate it in depth, analyzing its historical context and meaning.
2) Biblical History Books
The history of the formation of the best-selling book of all time is a fascinating story that spans not just centuries, but millennia. The thirty-nine books of today’s Old Testament were composed over the course of about a thousand years by forty different authors.
The books that make up the Old Testament were arranged in ancient Greece under the name Septuagint Bible, also called the Greek Bible, Bible of the Seventy or simply LXX. This number was due to the fact that the number of its translators, 72, was rounded to 70. This Bible is, therefore, a translation and arrangement of several texts written in Aramaic and Hebrew, and some others in Greek, ordered by Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus in the 3rd century BC and completed in the 2nd century BC.
The New Testament and the compilation of the Gospels portraying the life of Jesus had numerous sources and authors. The oldest papyrus of the New Testament is a fragment of John dating from 125-130 AD.
3) Books about Nazism
Nazism or also called National Socialism was a political ideology that emerged in Germany during the 20th century and whose main leader was Adolf Hitler, who ruled the country from 1933 to 1945. This fascist movement was created after World War I, at a time when this ideology was gaining strength in some European countries.
The German defeat in World War I left the country with large economic debts and deteriorated morale. The solid and nationalistic proposal created a possible way out of the crisis, which for Germany was the main motivation.
Officially, on January 28, 1933, Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist Party, was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Thus began the implementation of one of the ideologies that has caused the greatest loss of life in the history of the 20th century.
4) Books about the Maya
The Maya were a civilization, settled in Central America, that lasted from the 20th century B.C. to the 15th century A.D., when it came to an end during the conquest of America. This culture introduced great advances in mathematics, writing, architecture and astronomy, and had its own social, political and religious organization, which influenced the development of later cultures.
The religion of the Maya shared traits with much of the rest of Mesoamerica. They believed in a spiritual plane inhabited by powerful deities. Their gods had to be appeased through ritual practices, human sacrifice and ceremonial offerings.
Among the territories occupied by the Maya are some in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and southeastern Mexico, specifically in Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatan. There are still descendants who speak at least one Mayan language and continue to live in the regions from which their ancestors came.
5) Books on Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system in which individuals and businesses conduct the production and exchange of goods and services through transactions with prices and free markets regulated by the law of supply and demand.
Other names by which capitalism has been called since its origin are “free market economy” or “free economy.” Although merchants and trade have existed since the earliest civilizations, the capitalist system did not appear until the 13th century in Europe.
Modern capitalism emerged in the second half of the 18th century, a time when the industrial revolution appeared and political thought was moving towards a new scheme of individual freedoms, both political and economic.
6) Books on Communism
Communism is a political, economic and social doctrine that aspires to the equality of social classes through the elimination of private ownership of the means of production (land and industry). It is usually classified as an ultra-left doctrine due to the radical nature of its proposals.
In 1841 communism as we know it was first spoken of. After the Industrial Revolution, workers were at one of their worst moments, living in abject poverty, receiving minuscule wages and working exhausting hours. It was then that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Manifesto of the Communist Party.
Communism has been criticized from different quarters. There are those who believe that a classless society is impossible (some group will always have power; in the case of communism, it would be the bureaucrats). On the other hand, many believe that capitalism and its profit motive is the only system that promotes economic development.
7) Books on the Conquest of the Americas
The conquest of the Americas was a process by which the great European powers, mainly Spain and Portugal, explored and conquered the American territory from the end of the 15th century and throughout the 16th century. The objective of this campaign was to expand the European territories, their trade, economy and evangelization.
The economic ambitions of the European metropolis and the search for gold led Christopher Columbus to undertake a voyage across the ocean with three ships: The Santa María, the Niña and the Pinta. On October 12, 1492, Columbus disembarked with his crew in America, believing he had reached Asia.
If you want to know everything about this historical fact, we invite you to visit our selection of books about the Conquest of the Americas in PDF format.
8) Books on the Holocaust
The Holocaust was the mass murder of millions of people by the Nazi regime during World War II, which took place between 1939 and 1945. The Jewish population was the main target of the Nazis, and it is estimated that 2 out of every 3 European Jews died during this extermination campaign.
The Nazi party was founded on the ideological basis that people were determined by their race, and as such, there were superior and inferior races. The Aryan race was considered the ‘master race’, while Jews were seen as ‘inferior’.
The Holocaust was the largest known case of genocide in history. It was not the result of a sporadic or uncontrolled outburst of passion, the outcome of the brutality inherent in all warfare. Nor was it a merely brutal massacre of defeated enemies and civilians after combat. It was a true program of ideologically motivated genocide, deliberately planned and effectively executed with all the resources of a modern industrial state and an advanced society.
9) Chinese History Books
China is a country with a millenary history. A nation with ancestral traditions and a culture that goes back several centuries in time. It is one of the world’s four ancient civilizations, and China’s written history dates back to the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC), more than 3,000 years ago.
For centuries, Chinese emperors extended their dominions throughout the Asian continent and beyond, reaching as far as Europe along the Silk Road. To defend themselves against invasions from other peoples, they built the Great Wall of China, one of the seven wonders of the world.
The Republic of China, which lasted barely 40 years on the mainland (1912-1949), is still considered a dark chapter in modern national history, in which the country was threatened by what many describe as “external imperialism and internal warlordism”.
10) Cold War Books
The Cold War was a political and ideological confrontation that developed after World War II, in which the United States and the Soviet Union faced each other for the political and economic hegemony of the world.
The Cold War began shortly after the end of World War II in 1945, and ended with the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 after the economic crisis that resulted from the large acquisition of armaments and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
The disagreement in the division of Germany among the victorious powers of World War II caused the split of the Western world into two blocs: a communist one led by the USSR, and a capitalist one dominated by the United States. Both blocs maintained a tense relationship that threatened the unleashing of a third great conflict.
11) Colombian History Books
The territory we know today as Colombia was originally inhabited by the Tairona and the Muisca. These peoples were dedicated to goldsmithing with beautiful creations and the use of precious minerals.
With the arrival of the Spanish, everything changed. They were dazzled by the wealth of the indigenous population and were carried away by the legends of El Dorado, the city of gold they were obsessively searching for and which led them to the Muisca people, who threw gold offerings into the Gautavita lake.
Then, during the 19th century, great changes took place in Colombia, the country went from being a dependency of Spain to an independent country, thanks to the wars of independence, then continued with the political processes to form an independent nation.
The following decade can be divided into four phases: the Foolish Fatherland, the Nariño Campaign in the south, the Reconquest and the War of Independence, which was a decisive triumph in July 1819, and on August 7, with the defeat of the Royalist Army, Colombia’s independence was sealed.
12) Egyptian History Books
More than 3,000 years ago, the territory we now know as Egypt was home to one of the greatest civilizations in the history of humanity. The first inhabitants of Egypt settled on the banks of the Nile fleeing from the desert. These first natives, isolated and without close enemies, were ruled by «divine» beings who were followed by semi-heroic dynasties: «the descendants of Horus».
In the north, just in the area where the Nile delta is located, the kingdom of Lower Egypt was constituted, which was dedicated to agriculture and trade. Its distinctive feature was a red crown adorned with a cobra and its patron goddess was Wadjet (or Buto).
Further south settled the kingdom of Upper Egypt, which was devoted almost exclusively to livestock and was characterized by being more warlike than its neighbors. In this case, its distinctive feature was a white crown, tall and with the figure of a vulture and its main city was Nekhen.
13) French Revolution Books
The France of 1799 was totally different from that of 1789. In barely a decade, the Revolution had created a completely new state. From an absolutist monarchy it had become a republic. There were no longer subjects, but citizens. Society, previously led by the aristocracy and the clergy, now had the bourgeoisie as its main driving force.
The French Revolution spread throughout the world the ideals of liberty and fraternity, as well as that of popular sovereignty; and spread, primarily, the knowledge of the fundamental rights of man and citizen.
If you want to know more about this historical process that marked the future of humanity, we invite you to visit our selection of books about the French Revolution in PDF format.
14) Greek History Books
Ancient Greece was the cradle of Western progress. Its philosophy, theater, medicine, art, democracy and sports have influenced the culture of all of us and, even today, the history of Greece is perceived beneath our daily life and our world.
The first human settlements in Greece date back to the Middle Paleolithic, but the most abundant vestiges belong to the Neolithic, a period in which an agricultural and pastoral civilization developed, especially in Thessaly.
Since the Neolithic, the Greek peninsula has been culturally linked to the Aegean islands and the western coasts of Asia Minor. Its numerous natural harbors along the coasts and the large number of nearby islands have contributed to the development of a homogeneous maritime civilization. But their cultural homogeneity did not imply political homogeneity.
15) Industrial Revolution Books
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and then spread to the rest of Europe. The existing economy before the industrial revolution was based on the agrarian and artisan world; three quarters of the population subsisted on agricultural work. It was mainly based on self-consumption and not on the commercialization of the products obtained, since productivity was also very low.
With the industrial revolution, industry and manufacturing activities replaced manual labor. This led to the mechanization of many production processes and the elimination of many jobs, since these tasks were now carried out by machines.
Initially, the Industrial Revolution brought about a radical change in all areas of society. The industrial and mining development, the increase in productivity, the growth of cities and the improvement of national and international trade will contribute to a great demographic growth due to the increase in the birth rate and life expectancy.
16) Mexico History Books
The History of Mexico includes the rise and fall of beautiful and great civilizations. As well as the clash and the mixture of the Spanish culture with the indigenous one, and a war of a revolutionary nature that would change the political aspect of the country, and would renew its cultural identity.
Mexico was a mixture of peoples when Europeans arrived in the region. During the 300 years of the viceroyalty of Spain in the Mexican territory, the country gradually became a homogeneous territory with common features. At the beginning of the 19th century, after the independence of the Spanish kingdom, the country began with an integration process that allowed it to reach present-day Mexico.
In the 19th century, internal disputes and wars took place, as well as several attempts at usurpation by foreign powers. In this period, Mexico lost approximately half of its territory. After this, the consolidation of the free and sovereign nation that is today began.
17) Roman Empire Books
Known as one of the most important and powerful empires of Antiquity, the Roman Empire can be described as a phenomenal structure of political, economic, and cultural power that would encompass one of the largest territories in history and would last for more than four centuries until its fall in 476 AD.
It was so important that after its fall there were numerous attempts to reunify and re-found it, giving rise to the Carolingian Empire (at the hands of Charlemagne) and the Holy Roman Empire.
The inventions and innovations generated in the Roman Empire altered the lives of its former inhabitants and continue to be applied in different cultures around the world even today. Advances in road construction, architecture, plumbing, aqueduct construction, and even quick-drying cement were invented or improved upon by the Romans.
18) Roman History Books
The legend of the mythical foundation of Rome says that the city was founded by the brothers Romulus and Remus, sons of the god Mars and the princess Rhea Silvia, queen of Alba Longa. They were abandoned in the Tiber River to save them from their uncle Amulius, who aspired to the throne of the city. They were rescued by a she-wolf, the Capitoline Wolf, who nursed them, and later they were raised by shepherds.
The diverse theories are based on the information of ancient authors and on the different types of archaeological finds found in Rome. For these reasons, this initial stage of Rome’s history has been placed more in the realm of legend than history.
Possibly, the first inhabitants of Rome came from different places and had neither the economic nor the cultural development of their neighbors to the north, the Etruscans, nor to the south, the Sabines and the Latins.
19) Russian Revolution Books
The Russian Revolution is the set of historical events that took place in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century (1917). It consisted of the overthrow of the tsarist monarchical regime and the construction of a new model of a Leninist republican state.
With a rural Russia and power concentrated in the hands of Tsar Nicholas II, famine and war soon led to profound discontent among the population. The result was a series of uprisings that led to the establishment of a communist system in the country.
Among the consequences of the Russian Revolution can be mentioned: Collapse of the absolutist monarchy of Russia, the Assassination of the Tsarist dynasty, the Formation of the Union of Soviet and Socialist Republics, the Articulation of a communist model of government, the Polarization of the world into capitalist and communist blocs.
20) Socialism Books
Socialism is the theory, doctrine or social practice that promotes public ownership of the means of production and a collective and planned control of the economy in the general interest of society.
One of the main pillars of socialism is to achieve a just society; therefore, one of its proposals is the need for collective or state interference in the administration of the means of production in order to regulate them and centralize economic power.
In its essence, a socialist state has a strong government or state structure with broad power in decision-making in economic matters and in the distribution of income and goods. Over the years, socialist positions have evolved from their more classical premises to a more open and accepting stance on free trade.
21) Spain History Books
The History of Spain ranges from prehistory to the present day. Approximately 1.2 million years ago the first hominids arrived in Spanish territory. These were followed by species such as Homo antecessor and Homo neanderthalensis; Homo sapiens arrived about 35,000 years ago.
The region currently occupied by Spain, has been the center of attention of some of the most important empires in the world: the Romans and the Carthaginians fought for it, the Arabs managed to conquer it, and then the Christian kings began what came to become the largest empire on the planet, when they discovered America.
With the conquest of America, the Spanish Empire was born, under a single King Felipe II. During this reign the country was involved in various conflicts with foreign powers.
Spain was also under the yoke of the dictator Franco who with his death gave way again, to the already traditional Spanish monarchy.
22) U.S. History Books
The United States (U.S.A.) is a nation with a history that is not very old, but very intense. A country with a mixture of cultures from different parts of the world.
From the British colonization in the north of the American continent, the United States of America was born. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, groups of British immigrants founded the Thirteen Colonies on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Appalachian Mountains.
Increased taxes after 1765 and repressive measures by the English government led to discontent and the outbreak of the American War of Independence, as the colonies considered their obligation to pay taxes to England without political representation in the London parliament to be unjust. The independence of the United States marked the beginning of insurgent struggles throughout the Americas.
23) World History Books
World history is the compilation of facts and situations that have developed around the context of the human being, from the appearance of humans to the present day.
The origin of the term world history derives from the Greek ἱστορία, which means “inquiry”, and from the Old English weorold, which means roughly «age of man».
The main objective of World History is to present, in a chronological and organized manner, what have been the most important events in the history of humankind and its development, dividing into periods the most outstanding and significant moments of humanity, which according to researchers mark a before and after in history.
24) World War I Books
World War I marked the first major international conflict of the 20th century. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, and his wife, Archduchess Sophie, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, kicked off hostilities, which began in August 1914 and continued on several fronts over the next four years.
The fighting took place mostly in Europe, but countries on five continents participated, including the United States, Australia, Brazil and China.
There are no official records, but it is estimated that around 9 million soldiers and more than 7 million civilians were killed. The number of casualties was much higher than in previous wars, partly because of technological advances in warfare.
25) World War II Books
World War II was the deadliest conflict in history. Millions of people, both soldiers and civilians, died in the various battles that took place during the six years it lasted.
Despite the controversies, historians agree in pointing out several factors of particular importance: the permanence of unresolved conflicts from the World War I, the serious economic difficulties in the immediate post-war period and after the crash of 1929 and the crisis and weakening of the liberal system; all this contributed to the development of new totalitarian currents and the establishment of fascist regimes in Italy and Germany, whose aggressive expansionist policy would be the trigger for the war.
In the development of World War II three phases are usually distinguished: the «blitzkrieg» (from 1939 to May 1941), the «total war» (1941-1943) and the defeat of the Axis (from July 1943 to 1945).