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Historic book treasure (world history via fiction and non-fiction)

Patrick W. Crabtree "The Old Grottomaster"
The list author says: "There are so many wonderful books about historical figures, cultures, events, and eras of our planet, (and, of course some marginal books on these topics exist as well but none of those losers are listed here!), both works of fiction and of non-fiction. Some of these works aren't necessarily page-turners but they're all captivating for those of us who savor the past. I've penned full reviews on most of them so you can check those for more detail. This list represents an unorthodox blending (everything from mystery novels to academic works) of the scholarly with the imaginative.

Happy reading!"
Salammbo (aka Salambo)
Salammbo (aka Salambo)
"This one really *is* a page-turner. Carthagenian battles and adventure. Fiction based upon actual events of the Third Century B.C."
Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854-1856
Crimea: The Great Crimean War, 1854-1856
"A slow-moving account of this little-discussed but fascinating war, including the charge of the Light Brigade. Basically, England, France, and Turkey versus Tsarist Russia. NON-FICTION."
The Seamstress: A Novel
The Seamstress: A Novel
"A superb fictional account of the defining of Brazil [or Brasil] as a modern nation. This recently written/published page-turner will be interesting to nearly anyone."
The Return of the Native (Modern Library Classics)
The Return of the Native (Modern Library Classics)
"Classic fictional tale of southern England by a renowned master -- a really outstanding read with tons of background details."
Mr. Jelly's Business
Mr. Jelly's Business
"A.K.A. "Murder Down Under" [American title], you'll find Upfield's mystery yarns wholly linked with the actualities of early 20th-Century Australia. All of Upfield's murder mysteries are equally articulate on this point. FICTION."
Down Second Avenue
Down Second Avenue
"Mphahlele was a product of Apartheid South Africa which he precisely describes in this wonderful, fact-based, fictional account. But it's not all doom and gloom (surprisingly!) and you'll not soon forget this fine story."
War and Peace (Modern Library Giants, G1)
War and Peace (Modern Library Giants, G1)
"I've read all the English translations [12] and I like Garnett's version the best of all for her artful, lyrical prose. A monumental fictional account of Napoleon's invasion of Tsarist Russia [1812] and much more."
The Gadfly
The Gadfly
"One of my favorite novels -- revolution in Italy and the role of one Catholic Priest of the period and of the unfortunate rebel which he had shriven. FICTION."
The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519
The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519
"Hibbert was a renowned British historian -- this non-fictional work about a very nasty Italian Pope and his family is an actual joy to read."
Murder of a Medici Princess
Murder of a Medici Princess
"I really enjoyed this non-fictional account of a ruling-class Italian family which used murder as it became necessary to their agendas. Lots of details and gossipy at times."
Pontius Pilate
Pontius Pilate
"Historian/author Ann Wroe builds an image of this often-despised Biblical-period ruler from very limited source information and with great skill. An easy read. NON-FICTION."
The City of God
The City of God
"Want to find out where so many of the modern-day Christian Church rituals sprang from? You'll discover most of the answers here. NON-FICTION."
The Washing Of The Spears: The Rise And Fall Of The Zulu Nation
The Washing Of The Spears: The Rise And Fall Of The Zulu Nation
"The Brits battle the Zulus in Southern Africa -- the work has an obvious British slant but the reading is marvellous. NON-FICTION."
Green Dolphin Street
Green Dolphin Street
"A nearly flawless novel, chiefly of New Zealand during the bizarre Maori Wars. One of my all-time favorites. FICTION"
Nicholas and Alexandra
Nicholas and Alexandra
"No World War I enthusiast should consider passing this one by. Massie is a marvelous storyteller. NON-FICTION."
Imperial Legend: The Mysterious Disappearance of Tsar Alexander I
Imperial Legend: The Mysterious Disappearance of Tsar Alexander I
"Here we have one of the most intriguing stories of Russia's violent history. Did a beloved Tsar actually fake his own death and then live on as a hermit-monk ["starets"] for many years? Find out! NON-FICTION."
The Frontiersmen (Narratives of America series, Book 1)
The Frontiersmen (Narratives of America series, Book 1)
"An *almost* non-fictional work about the settlement of The Ohio Country by white explorers. This outstanding book will draw you in from page one. FICTION."
Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind
"For an eye-opening perspective of the southerners during the American Civil War I don't think you could do better than to read this renowned book. FICTION."
Three Lives for Mississippi
Three Lives for Mississippi
"Early factual account of the racism-inspired murders of three young civil rights workers (Schwerner, Cheney, & Goodman) during the 1960s. A fast read and a darn good one too. NON-FICTION."
Shogun
Shogun
"I read this fictional snapshot of Japanese history when it was first published, years ago, which inspired me to read many subsequent books about the vast Orient. This is truly a great novel."
Kidnap: The Story of the Lindbergh Case
Kidnap: The Story of the Lindbergh Case
"Detailed true account of one of America's most compelling and heinous true crime stories. Waller empowers the reader with a breath-taking historical paradigm of the 1930s Depression era."
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History)
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History)
"This fact-filled account unfolds for the reader like a fast-moving novel. I guarantee that you'll learn a lot! NON-FICTION."
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
"How World War I was ultimately concluded... sort of. When you've finished this book, you'll know much about how WW II got rolling. Slow reading at times but very factual and detailed. NON-FICTION."
The Jungle (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (B&N Classics)
The Jungle (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (B&N Classics)
"A novel of truth. Immigrants in Chicago's early-period slaughterhouse industry were treated like chattel by the local robber-barons. The publication of this hair-raising account led directly to food safety legislation in the U.S. FICTION."
The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome
The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome
"Tough reading and a very old book, but a real eye-opener. The genesis of the city-state around early Rome, in Greece, and some in India. How "private gods" and "city gods" received tribute and other local customs. Written as non-fiction and [later] in conflict with Durkheim's views on these topics. SPECULATION."
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (Verba Mundi)
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (Verba Mundi)
"Fiction based upon an actual event... Islamic Turks turn on Armenian Christians. This is an outstanding novel by a remarkable author."
The Pool in the Desert (Broadview Literary Texts)
The Pool in the Desert (Broadview Literary Texts)
"Written long ago by a female Canadian Journalist, these four loosely-linked short stories yield up a wealth of lifestyle and custom in Colonial India. FICTION."
The Royals
The Royals
"Published just months prior to the death of Princess Di, Kelly details a sordid history of the family who became known to us as *The Windsors*, and how they influenced Great Britain and the world. Terrific, hard-hitting, gossipy non-fiction."
Mozart
Mozart
"A wonderful, straightforward biography of the prodigal musician-composer... but the book also gives us a remarkably clear sense of life in 1700s Europe. NON-FICTION."
Memoirs of a Revolutionist (Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science)
Memoirs of a Revolutionist (Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science)
"Prince Kropotkin became a sort of benevolent anarchist and he traveled widely during the 19th Century across Europe and into the wilderness of Siberia and the Orient. An amazing glimpse of little-known territories and obscure societies. NON-FICTION."
Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival
Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival
"Life under the cruel USSR Stalinist and subsequent  Communist dictatorships. Follow Matthews' family and in-laws from their initial relative prosperity into a realm of frequent abject misery. NON-FICTION."
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine
"The culture of 12th Century Europe is revealed through Weir's diligent digging for facts from the most obscure of sources. While the reading is at times cumbersome, the reader will believe every word she has written. NON-FICTION."
Russia And Japan: And A Complete History Of The War In The Far East (1904)
Russia And Japan: And A Complete History Of The War In The Far East (1904)
"Unger penned this hallmark work contemporary with this (commencing) 1904 war which ultimately led to disaster for Russia and for the Romanov Tsarist Monarchy. Here, the Japanese are established as a world power. NON-FICTION."
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics)
"A landmark novel about civil war in 1937 Spain. One garners a perceived authentic feel for the conflict and for the people involved. I think that this was Hemingway's finest work -- infinitely readable. FICTION."
Battle for a continent
Battle for a continent
"A detailed account of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) in which *Lieutenant Colonel George Washington* played a vital role. Most Americans can tell you little of this bloody conflict. NON-FICTION."
Hitler and Nazi Germany (6th Edition)
Hitler and Nazi Germany (6th Edition)
"I think that this is the best summary of the infamous German leader and of the historical time and place. Spielvogel is a master storyteller and I highly recommend this particular book. NON-FICTION."
Josephus: The Complete Works
Josephus: The Complete Works
"Born 37 A.D., Josephus provides us with about the only corroborating evidence of "The New Testament" stories and figures, especially regarding Jesus Christ; however, a number of his *historical facts* are now often challenged -- written as non-fiction."
The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, and Other Affairs of Plain Living
The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, and Other Affairs of Plain Living
"This entire series (of which there are now many entries) details cultural life in remote Appalachia as well as much of its regional history, particularly regarding the late 19th- and early to middle 20th-centuries. Especially highly recommended for Americans of [Protestant] Scotch-Irish and [Catholic] Italian ancestry. View the Film "Matewan" for a partial explanation of this. NON-FICTION."
Aztec
Aztec
"A profound novel of this often violent and bloody culture. Jennings did a superb job of capturing the Aztec societal mores for the reader, (much of it through speculation based upon research.) FICTION."
Connections
Connections
"A nuts-and-bolts look at mankind's scientific, industrial, economic, and cultural history from Ptolemy forward to contemporary times. I'm concluding the list with this book because it represents a summary of man, his environment, and time. NON-FICTION."