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History eBooks

If you like History eBooks, then you'll love these top picks.
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  • The Measure of All Things

    The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World

    by Ken Alder ...
    In June 1792, amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions on an extraordinary journey. Starting in Paris, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre would make his way north to Dunkirk, while Pierre-François-André Méchain voyaged south to Barcelona. Their mission was to measure the world, and their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth ... Read more

    $11.99 USD $4.99 USD

  • The 13th Element

    The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus

    by John Emsley ...
    The incredible "glowing" history of the "Devil's element "phosphorusDiscovered by alchemists, prescribed by apothecaries, exploited by ninth-century industrialists, and abused by twentieth-century combatants, the chemical element phosphorus has fascinated us for more than three centuries. It may even be the cause of will-o'-the wisps and spontaneous human combustion! Now John Emsley has written an ... Read more

    $12.99 USD or Free with Kobo Plus

  • Turing's Cathedral

    The Origins of the Digital Universe

    by George Dyson ...
    “It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal ... Read more

    $14.99 USD

  • The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

    The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman

    This collection from scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner highlights the achievements of a man whose career reshaped the world's understanding of quantum electrodynamics.The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman-from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an ... Read more

    $12.99 USD

  • The Great Mortality

    An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

    by John Kelly ...
    “Powerful, rich with details, moving, humane, and full of important lessons for an age when weapons of mass destruction are loose among us.” — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic BombThe Great Plague is one of the most compelling events in human history—even more so now, when the notion of plague has never loomed larger as a contemporary public concern.The ... Read more

    $15.99 USD

  • The Nothing that Is

    A Natural History of Zero

    by Robert Kaplan ...
    A symbol for what is not there, an emptiness that increases any number it's added to, an inexhaustible and indispensable paradox. As we enter the year 2000, zero is once again making its presence felt. Nothing itself, it makes possible a myriad of calculations. Indeed, without zero mathematics as we know it would not exist. And without mathematics our understanding of the universe would be vastly ... Read more

    $10.99 USD

  • Connections

    by James Burke ...
    New York Times Bestseller: A “lively” examination of the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that led to eight major technological achievements (Library Journal).How did the popularity of underwear in the twelfth century lead to the invention of the printing press? How did the waterwheel evolve into the computer? How did the arrival of the cannon lead eventually to the development of movies? In ... Read more

    $1.99 USD

  • The Science Book

    From Darwin to Dark Energy, 250 Milestones in the History of Science

    Edited by Clifford A. Pickover ...
    Series series Union Square & Co. Milestones
    From astronomy to psychology, this comprehensive and fully illustrated volume presents the most groundbreaking milestones in the history of science.Science author Cliff Pickover continues his award–winning series—which includes The Math Book, The Physics Book, and The Medical Book—by gathering the most important thinkers and ideas in the history of science into one gorgeously illustrated volume ... Read more

    $12.99 USD or Free with Kobo Plus

  • The Sounding of the Whale

    Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century

    “This wonderful book documents the interplays among science, conservation and politics in the evolving career of the whale over the last century.” —William Perrin, Senior Scientist for Marine Mammals at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries ServiceFrom biblical times, whales have breached in the human imagination as looming figures of terror, power, confusion, and mystery. In the ... Read more

    $1.99 USD or Free with Kobo Plus

  • The Knife Man

    Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery

    by Wendy Moore ...
    The vivid, often gruesome portrait of the 18th-century pioneering surgeon and father of modern medicine, John Hunter.When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his gothic horror story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he based the house of the genial doctor-turned-fiend on the home of John Hunter. The choice was understandable, for Hunter was both widely acclaimed and greatly feared.From humble origins, John ... Read more

    $12.99 USD

  • Tesla: Inventor of the Modern

    "[A] penetrating biography…Munson makes vivid the genius’s eventful life." —Barbara Kiser, NatureNikola Tesla invented radio, robots, and remote control. His electric induction motors run our appliances and factories. In the early 1900s, he designed plans for cell phones, the Internet, death-ray weapons, and interstellar communication. His ideas have lived on to shape the modern economy, yet he ... Read more

    $13.99 USD

  • Magus

    The Art of Magic from Faustus to Agrippa

    A revelatory new account of the magus—the learned magician—and his place in the intellectual, social, and cultural world of Renaissance Europe.In literary legend, Faustus is the quintessential occult personality of early modern Europe. The historical Faustus, however, was something quite different: a magus—a learned magician fully embedded in the scholarly currents and public life of the ... Read more

    $32.99 USD

  • Invention and Innovation

    A Brief History of Hype and Failure

    by Vaclav Smil ...
    From the New York Times-bestselling author, a new volume on the history of human ingenuity—and its attendant breakthroughs and busts.Included in BILL GATES's 2023 Holiday Reading List
Included in Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023
Included in The Next Big Idea Club’s February 2023 Must-Read Books

"Every Smil book that I own is marked up with lots of notes that I take while reading. ... Read more

    $14.99 USD

  • The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial

    by David Lipsky ...
    **A New York Times Editors’ ChoiceNamed a Best Book of the Year in The New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, Chicago Tribune, and EcoLit BooksA USA Today Must-Read Summer Book"David Lipsky spins top-flight climate literature into cliffhanger entertainment." —Zoë Schlanger, New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Times best-selling author explores how “anti-science” became so virulent in American l... ... Read more

    $19.99 USD $13.99 USD

  • Generic

    The Unbranding of Modern Medicine

    The turbulent history of generic pharmaceuticals raises powerful questions about similarity and difference in modern medicine.Generic drugs are now familiar objects in clinics, drugstores, and households around the world. We like to think of these tablets, capsules, patches, and ointments as interchangeable with their brand-name counterparts: why pay more for the same? And yet they are not quite ... Read more

    $22.99 USD

  • The Biology Book

    From the Origin of Life to Epigenetics, 250 Milestones in the History of Biology

    Series series Union Square & Co. Milestones
    “This beautifully illustrated book covers four billion years of biology history . . . appealing for readers with little to no background in science.” —Library JournalFrom the emergence of life, to Leewenhoeks microscopic world, to GMO crops, The Biology Book presents 250 landmarks in the most widely studied scientific field. Brief, engaging, and colorfully illustrated synopses introduce readers to ... Read more

    $12.99 USD or Free with Kobo Plus

  • Our Moon

    How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are

    by Rebecca Boyle ...
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “A riveting feat of science writing that recasts that most familiar of celestial objects into something eerily extraordinary, pivotal to our history, and awesome in the original sense of the word.”—Ed Yong, New York Times bestselling author of An Immense WorldA New York Times Book Review Editors’ ChoiceMany of us know that the Moon pulls on our oceans, driving the tides, but ... Read more

    $13.99 USD

  • An Elegant Defense

    The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives

    by Matt Richtel ...
    National Bestseller"Gives you all the context you need to understand the science of immunity. ... An Elegant Defense left me with [a] sense of awe.” —Bill Gates, Gates Notes Summer Reading ListThe Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist "explicates for the lay reader the intricate biology of our immune system" (Jerome Groopman, MD, New York Review of Books)From New York Times<... ... Read more

    $15.99 USD

  • The Case Against Hillary Clinton

    by Peggy Noonan ...
    As the long, scandal-ridden trial of the Clinton years comes to an end--and as the first lady mounts her own campaign for independent political office--it is time for a summation. What is the legacy of Clintonism? What is there in Hillary Clinton's background, talents, or record of achievement that qualifies her to represent New York in the U.S. Senate? And, most important, what will happen if ... Read more

    $16.99 USD

  • Desperate Remedies

    Psychiatry’s Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness

    by Andrew Scull ...
    A Telegraph Book of the YearA Washington Post Notable WorkA Times Book of the YearA Hughes Award Finalist“An indisputable masterpiece…comprehensive, fascinating, and persuasive.”—Wall Street Journal“Brimming with wisdom and brio, this masterful work spans the history of psychiatry. Exceedingly well-researched, wide-ranging, provocative in its conclusions, and magically compact, it is riveting f... ... Read more

    $25.99 USD $13.99 USD

  • Boom!

    The Chemistry and History of Explosives

    Black powder, the world's first chemical explosive, was originally developed in the seventh century, during China's Tang dynasty. It was a crude mixture at first, but over time chemists discovered the optimum proportion of sulfur, charcoal, and nitrates, as well as the best way to mix them so that the particles of each component were tiny and homogenous, resulting in a complete and powerful ... Read more

    $17.99 USD or Free with Kobo Plus

  • Of Ice and Men

    How We've Used Cold to Transform Humanity

    by Fred Hogge ...
    **A New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceAn exploration of humanity’s relationship with ice since the dawn of civilization, Of Ice and Men reminds us that only by understanding this unique substance can we save the ice on our planet—and perhaps ourselves.**Ice tells a story. It writes it in rock. It lays it down, snowfall by snowfall at the ends of the earth where we may read it like the ... Read more

    $18.99 USD

  • The Man Who Loved China

    The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom

    In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman ("Elegant and scrupulous"—New York Times Book Review) and Krakatoa ("A mesmerizing page-turner"—Time) brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world's most technologically ... Read more

    $14.99 USD

  • Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World

    The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view (a version of the epistemic conception) is untenable ... Read more

    $23.99 USD