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History books for Dads [reading list]

More than 70 countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day each year on the third Sunday in June. Yet, despite its global reach, Father’s Day has historically been considered an afterthought to Mother’s Day.

In recent years, consumer surveys have shown an upward trend in Father’s Day gift-giving. According to the National Retail Federation, US Father’s Day spending in 2017 hit record highs: reaching an estimated $15.5 billion. This change could be related to nature of modern fatherhood: today’s dads report spending an average of seven hours per week on child care (nearly triple what fathers reported 50 years ago).

To celebrate Father’s Day, we put together a collection of books we think dads will love. If you have any reading suggestions for Father’s Day, please share in the comments section!

  1. World War II at Sea: A Global History by CRAIG L. SYMONDS
    Acclaimed naval historian Craig L. Symonds shows how and why the second world war was won by sea: offering the first global account of World War II’s naval operations.
  2. Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation by COLIN G CALLOWAY
    George Washington presented himself as “the great father” to Indian people, while the Iroquois called him “Town Destroyer.” This is the first major biography of Washington the fully illuminate his complex relationship with Native Americans.
  3. The Last Battle: Victory, Defeat, and the End of World War I by PETER HART
    At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, guns fell silent. Told largely through letters and first-hand accounts, The Last Battle captures the often-neglected final months of World War I.
  4. Armageddon and Paranoia: The Nuclear Confrontation since 1945 by RODRIC BRAITHWAITE
    Tensions surrounding nuclear armament are on the rise. Armageddon and Paranoia presents a comprehensive guide to the history of nuclear warfare: from the beginning of the Cold War to present day.
  5. The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 by RICHARD WHITE
    In this latest volume in the Oxford History of the United States series, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Richard White illustrates the conflicts and paradoxes of post-Civil War America—and invites readers to consider how these same challenges exist in America today.
  6. Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 by MIKE WALLACE
    The long-awaited next chapter to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gotham, Greater Gotham examines the history and culture of New York City from 1898 to 1919, detailing how New York grew into the financial capital of the world.
  7. Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece by ROBIN WATERFIELD
    Broken into three acts, this comprehensive history travels through time to capture the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic eras of ancient Greece.
  8. The Escape Line: How the Ordinary Heroes of Dutch-Paris Resisted the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe by MEGAN KOREMAN
    Between 1942 and 1945, a group of ordinary citizens formed a network created to smuggle Dutch Jews and others targeted by the Nazis south into France, via Paris, and then to Switzerland. Using recently declassified archives, author Megan Koreman, herself the daughter of Dutch parents who were part of the resistance, details the history of what is now known as the “Dutch-Paris Escape Line.”
  9. Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain by JOHN BEW
    To most, Winston Churchill remains Great Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. In this new biography, historian John Bew challenges this notion, instead designating the title to Clement Attlee, Churchill’s successor, who launched a new era of political, economic, and social reform that would forever change Great Britain.
  10. The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America by C. DONALD JOHNSON
    This new political history details the evolution of America’s trade policy, from the Revolution to the Trump era, with a critical focus on the political struggle between business and labor in measuring the wealth of a nation.

Featured image credit: “photo-of-father-and-daughter-running-at-the-park-853408” by Josh Willink. CC0 via Pexels.

Recent Comments

  1. Kim Reynolds

    Really? A list of books by men (except one) about military and political history?

  2. James Downs

    Without any histories of music, art, cinema, sports, media, literature, philosophy or culture, this seem like a very narrow (and to this particular dad, unappealing) understanding of men’s interests. And why only one female author, when there are the likes of Amanda Foreman, Mary Beard, Barbara Tuchman, Robin Fleming, Karen Armstrong, Helen Hanson, Amanda Vickery, Fern Riddell, Helen Rappaport, Lauren Johnson, Rebecca Rideal, Elizabeth Edwards, Tracey Borman, Caroline Moorehead, Janina Ramirez, Sarah Bakewell….?


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