Best Books of 2008

Top 10 Books: History

Best of 2008
Welcome to our Best of 2008 top 10 lists in History. This year we've put our editors' picks and our year-end bestsellers for each category on the same page together, so you can easily compare. Click on "Editors' Picks" to see our editors' list of the best history books of 2008, including our top pick, Nixonland, Rick Perlstein's sharp examination of American politics during the rise and fall of Richard Nixon. And click on "Customer Favorites" to find the bestselling history books at Amazon.com during 2008. (Ranked according to customer orders through October. Only books published for the first time in 2008 are eligible.) See more editors' picks and customers' favorites in our Best of 2008 Store.


Editors' Picks | Customer Favorites
1. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
by Rick Perlstein
4.0 out of 5 stars (164 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Scribner
May 13, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: How did we go from Lyndon Johnson's landslide Democratic victory in 1964 to Richard Nixon's equally lopsided Republican reelection only eight years later? The years in between were among the most chaotic in American history, with an endless and unpopular war, riots, ... Read more

2. The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America
The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America
by Thurston Clarke
4.6 out of 5 stars (73 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Henry Holt and Co.
May 27, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, June 2008: When Senator Robert F. Kennedy entered the presidential race during the chaotic year of 1968, anarchy appeared to be gathering on the horizon. America was coming to grips with an unwinnable war in Vietnam and unacceptable social policies at home. The Last ... Read more

3. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
by David Hajdu
4.2 out of 5 stars (70 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
March 18, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Significant Seven, March 2008: I may be alone here, but when I read Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a whole strata of American artists came to life for me. Ever since then I've been waiting for a book like David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague ... Read more

4. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
by Annette Gordon-Reed
3.8 out of 5 stars (178 customer reviews)
In Stock
W. W. Norton & Company
September 17, 2008
Hardcover

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List Price:$35.00
Price:$24.52
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Amazon.com Review
Book DescriptionThis epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the ... Read more

5. The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington
The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington
by Jennet Conant
3.7 out of 5 stars (93 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Simon & Schuster
September 9, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Long before Willy Wonka sent out those five Golden Tickets, Roald Dahl lived a life that was more James Bond than James and the Giant Peach. After blinding headaches cut short his distinguished career as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, ... Read more

6. The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer
The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer
by David Goldblatt
4.3 out of 5 stars (41 customer reviews)
In Stock
Riverhead Trade
January 2, 2008
Paperback

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List Price:$25.00
Price:$17.51
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Amazon.com Review
The definitive book about soccer. With a new foreword for the American edition. There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single ... Read more

7. One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War
One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War
by Michael Dobbs
4.6 out of 5 stars (121 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Knopf
June 3, 2008
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Washington Post reporter Dobbs (Saboteurs) is a master at telling stories as they unfold and from a variety of perspectives. In this re-examination of the 1963 Bay of Pigs face-off between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., Dobbs combines visits to Cuba, discussions with Russian participants and fingertip ... Read more

8. Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
by David Maraniss
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Simon & Schuster
July 1, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, July 2008: Armed with the same engaging narrative found in Clemente and When Pride Still Mattered, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss chronicles the triumphs, tragedies, and treacheries of "the Olympics that changed the world" with Rome 1960. The same Games that announced the ... Read more

9. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
by Jon Meacham
3.6 out of 5 stars (351 customer reviews)
In Stock
Random House
November 11, 2008
Hardcover

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List Price:$35.00
Price:$24.49
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From Publishers Weekly
Newsweek editor and bestselling author Meacham (Franklin and Winston) offers a lively take on the seventh president's White House years. We get the Indian fighter and hero of New Orleans facing down South Carolina radicals' efforts to nullify federal laws they found unacceptable, speaking the words of democracy even ... Read more

10. Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
by H. W. Brands
4.4 out of 5 stars (113 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Doubleday
November 4, 2008
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: With Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, H.W. Brands penetrates the clenched grin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a masterful biography of one of America's most beloved leaders. Though born into the upper ... Read more