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Sep 14

Historical Reads

Posted on September 14, 2021 at 12:00 AM by Bryce Chalkley

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“A generation that ignores history has no past and no future.”

                               -Robert Heinlein, author

History, simply defined, informs our understanding of the world. And as the quote above implies, we can’t know where we’re going until we understand where we’ve been.

Through the ages, historians from Herodotus to John Gibbon, W.E.B. Dubois to Niall Ferguson have explored events of their lives, and the past, to better help us understand the world around us and our place in it.

With their data, research, and storytelling, historians recreate worlds that we could previously only dream about. They bring the past to life and teach us valuable lessons about our societies and the systems we’ve created to navigate through them. They show us that history is rarely easy, pretty, or right. And in that, too, great lessons are to be learned. “History,” said Maya Angelou, “despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

At Roanoke County Public Library, the possibilities to explore history are endless. Through video documentaries, research materials, databases, books and more, the entire world is at your fingertips.

Below is a list of some of my favorite history reads, and the historians who wrote them. All are available through the library.

BritishCourageSPQRMoonshotHamiltonBlack ChurchRivals
CrusadersCromwellBridgeLondonAsh and ElmCitizens


- Susan Williams, Library Assistant


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Tag(s): Susan W, History