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History books make the best gifts. Some resources to kickstart your shopping list

We all know that the best holiday gifts are books. And the best books are history books.

Perhaps you need some gift ideas for a friend or loved one. Perhaps you need to make a few oh so gentle reminders to those buying your gifts.

Ah, heck. Feel free to buy these for yourself. After the fall you’ve probably had, you deserve something nice. (And don’t forget to buy local!) No matter why you’re looking for a book, the lists below have got you covered.

Where should you start?

Maybe you’re thinking about finding books to use with your students? Try some of these:

What books do I have my eye on? Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

DIRT: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking
An excellent history of cooking in Lyon and French cuisine in general.

Life Of A Klansman: A Family History In White Supremacy
Edward ball wrote the powerful Slaves in the Family and now doesn’t shirk from his family’s role in preserving white supremacy, specifically a great-great-grandfather who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan in postbellum New Orleans, terrorized Black Americans, and tried to overthrow the government. The connections to contemporary issues almost make themselves.

The Deepest South Of All: True Stories From Natchez, Mississippi
A related book detailing connections between past and present profiles a city that is both glorifying and grappling with its Old South legacy. You’ve got dueling garden clubs, lots of bourbon, and the first Black gay mayor in Mississippi. So . . . thats’ right, perfect holiday gift.

The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons From World War To Cold War
After WWII, more than a million Eastern Europeans ended up in American refugee camps. We let in thousands of war criminals but often refused Jewish refugees due to blatant anti-Semitism. This story shows the heartlessness with which the West dealt with refugees.

You Never Forget Your First: A Biography Of George WashingtonThe cover alone makes me want to read this. The author claims to be the first woman to write a Washington bio in 40 years. Looking forward to learning more about how and why he named his dog Sweetlips. Plus, you know, all that other Revolutionary War and president stuff.

Kent State: Four Dead In Ohio
This history of the Kent State shootings in a graphic novel format provides historical context and a sense of narrative to this graphical history. The attention to the guardsmen’s side of things – their lack of training, systemic hostility, and paranoia – provides a vivid connection to 2020 images of police and #BLM protesters.


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