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By: Lucy Cazalet (1870-1956)

Book cover Short History of Russia

A Short History of Russia by Lucy Cazalet is a helpful introduction to the people, places, and events that shaped Russia, the largest country in the world. While covering the bullet points of Russian history, the author expands to greater detail when talking about the people whose ideas and victories became the backbone of Russian culture and politics. The timeline of this book is the 9th century A.D. to 1906, when the country's first State Parliament opened, but before the last Romanov Tsar, Nicholas II, was executed, and Revolution swept the entire country.

By: Edward Ellis Morris (1843-1902)

Book cover Age of Anne

This short survey of the age of Queen Anne begins with the War of the Spanish Succession and the career of the Duke of Marlborough, leader of the allied armies against Louis XIV. Scotland joins England to form the United Kingdom. Peter the Great wrests control of the Gulf of Finland from Charles XII of Sweden and builds St. Petersburg. Despite the Jacobite threat, the Whigs secure the Protestant Succession and George I ascends the throne. Pope writes a mock epic in couplets, Addison's "Spectator" enlivens coffee houses and tea tables, and Defoe creates the immortal "Robinson Crusoe."

By: Joseph Martin McCabe (1867-1955)

Book cover Romance of the Romanoffs

The eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were periods of stark contrast between the opulent lifestyle of the rich and the extreme poverty of the peasants throughout the world. In addition, Russia straddled eastern and western cultures, not fitting neatly into either. The church was an important force, and those adhering to traditional eastern religions were peaceful and accustomed to 'doing as they were told'; followers of western thought were more eager for a democratic society. Add an autocratic czar and the conditions were ripe for revolution, corruption and murder...

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Book cover Service

An essay in three parts written in July 1840. "Human life is his topic, and he views it with an Oriental scope of thought, in which distinctions of Time and Space are lost in the wide prospect of Eternity and Immortality." - Summary by Fritz

By: Robert Dale Owen (1801-1877)

Book cover Wrong of Slavery, the Right of Emancipation, and the Future of the African Race in the United States

"The Wrong of Slavery" is a work written by Robert Dale Owen based largely off of the work of the Freedmen's Inquiry Commission where he served. It traces the early beginnings of the slave trade from its English beginning to the United States Civil War. It puts a focus on the barbarism of the slave trade from capture and transportation to the arrival in the Americas, the extreme cruelties that took place in the West Indies and South America, facts about slavery in the United States, and the advantages of a freed black population to the South.

By: Van Wyck Brooks (1886-1963)

Book cover The Ordeal of Mark Twain (Version 2)

The Ordeal of Mark Twain analyzes the literary progression of Samuel L. Clemens and attributes shortcomings to Clemens' mother and wife. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says, Brooks' work "was a psychological study attempting to show that Twain had crippled himself emotionally and curtailed his genius by repressing his natural artistic bent for the sake of his Calvinist upbringing." Also, Brooks says, his literary spirit was sidelined as "...Mark Twain was inducted into the Gilded Age, launched, in defiance of that instinct which only for a few years was to allow him inner peace, upon the vast welter of a society blind like himself, like him committed to the pursuit of worldly success...

By: Francis Tiffany (1827-1908)

Book cover Life of Dorothea Lynde Dix

A biography of a woman who advocated for the humane treatment of people with mental illness. As a young woman travelling overseas, Dorothea Dix met with people who were interested in reforming how the mentally ill were treated. Returning to America, she pushed for changes and proper care for these individuals, meeting with strong resistance. Her work ultimately resulted in social reform and the creation of asylums. Dorothea Dix was a tireless crusader and instrumental in important social reforms in the United States and the world. - Summary by Phyllis Vincelli

By: Various

Book cover Christmas Miscellany 2020

Nine stories, chapters, or essays about Christmas or around Christmas. - Summary by David Wales

By: Robert James Cressman

Book cover Infamous Day: Marines At Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941

Historical overview and personal reminiscences published in 1992. Pearl Harbor attack 7 December 1941. Part of U.S. Government U.S. Marine Corps World War II Commemorative Series. - Summary by David Wales

By: Eva March Tappan (1854-1930)

Book cover World’s Story Volume XII: The United States

This is the twelfth volume of the 15-volume series of The World’s Story: a history of the World in story, song and art, edited by Eva March Tappan. Each book is a compilation of selections from prose literature, poetry and pictures and offers a comprehensive presentation of the world's history, art and culture, from the early times till the beginning of the 20th century. Part XII compiles stories about the early history of the United States, starting with the first explorators, the fights with the native Americans, the early settlers and culminating with the struggle for independence from the European leaders. - Summary by Sonia

By: Harriet Theresa Comstock (1860-1925)

Book cover Molly, The Drummer Boy

Molly, The Drummer Boy is the tale of a brave drummer, who, during the war of the Revolution, passed like a gleam of brightness, fun—and alas! sadness through the scenes of war and bloodshed; winning the friendship of all, the esteem and consideration of General Washington himself, and lastly a page or so in history. - Summary by Harriet Theresa Comstock

By: Frederick Douglass

Book cover Oration by Frederick Douglass Delivered on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the Freedmen's Monument, April 14, 1876

This is the speech given by Fredrick Douglass at the unveiling of the Freedmen's Monument in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, April 14, 1876 along with the appendix which includes additional information about the order of the events and the story of the beginning of the collection of funds. - Summary by Edward Graham V

By: Elmer Holmes Davis (1890-1958)

Book cover History of The New York Times, 1851-1921

A beautifully written and witty history of The New York Times, and of newspaper publishing in general, from the 1850s to 1921 by three-time Peabody Award winner Elmer Davis. Davis provides a detailed history of the founding of The Times; its role in the exposure and demise of the notorious Boss Tweed; its resurrection from near-failure by legendary publisher Adolph Ochs; its role in local and national politics; and how The Times became the dominant newspaper of his generation. Along the way, Davis shares insight into how technology influences newsgathering, and reveals The Times' surprising role in some of the major technological advances of the era...

By: Francis Whiting Halsey (1851-1919)

Book cover Great Epochs in American History, Volume III

This is the third volume in ten volume series of great epochs in the history of the United States, from the landing of Columbus to the building of the Panama Canal. In large part, events composing each epoch are described by men who participated in them, or were personal eye-witnesses of them. Volume III describes the French war and the Revolution and covers time period from 1745 to 1782. - Summary by Kikisaulite

By: John Clay Coleman

Book cover Jim Crow Car; Or, Denouncement of Injustice Meted Out to the Black Race

"My opposition to injustice, imposition, discrimination and prejudice, which have for many years existed against the colored people of the South, has led to this little book. In many parts of America the press has been furnished with “matter” for defending the colored people, through the medium of “Coleman’s Illustrated Lectures.” By request of my many auditors, some of whom being leading elements of the Northern States and Canada, this volume is published. Many persons interested in the welfare of the negro, have sought a more elaborate book on the Southern horrors...

By: John Dryden Kuser (1897-1964)

Book cover Haiti: Its Dawn of Progress after Years in a Night of Revolution

This book is part history and part travelogue, an account of a brief visit by a wealthy, white U.S. politician during a lamentable time in Haiti’s history of its invasion and occupation by the U.S. military. Dryden offers his views of elements of Haitian culture such as education, religion and commerce, with some optimism but with the shallow understanding of a casual observer who has not been immersed in the culture enough to provide truly insightful understanding. One chapter is an account of his duck hunting expedition. This is, nonetheless, valuable in helping us understand how many understood the Haitian situation in the early twentieth century. Summary by Larry Wilson.

By: George William Cox (1827-1902)

Book cover Crusades

The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought between 1096 and 1272 to recover the Holy Land from Islamic rule. According to the Latin Church, Crusaders were penitent pilgrims whose sins were forgiven. British historian, George Cox, writes of the churchmen, great and small, who inspired the Crusades, of the warriors who left families and lands behind, of the wily Venetian merchants and Byzantine emperors who exploited the knights, and of the valor of the Saracens. Here are accounts of sublime sacrifice and bestial ferocity, of dynastic conflict within the Crusader States, of sieges, starvation, pestilence, and ambush, and of the clash and interpenetration of two cultures...

By: John Winthrop (1587-1649)

Book cover History of New England, 1630-1649

John Winthrop served as governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony for several years. His History of New England, 1630-1649 details life in the colony and narrates several controversies that arose within the plantation. Examples include the excommunication of Anne Hutchinson and a civil suit over a sow that expressed the tension between the aristocracy and democracy and led to the establishment of the bicameral system within the New England government. The Pequod war, treaties with other Native American tribes such as the Naragnasetts, and the establishment of the United Colonies are also covered.

By: Robert Futrell (1917-1999)

Book cover Vietnam: The Advisory Years to 1965

This book explains the policy of the United States and France toward Vietnam beginning after World War II until the beginning of America's entry into the Vietnam War in 1965. Summary by Craig Campbell

By: F. J. Foakes-Jackson (1855-1941)

Book cover Social Life in England 1750-1850

In 1916, the Cambridge historian, F.J. Foakes-Jackson braved the wartime Atlantic to deliver the Lowell Lectures in Boston. In these wide-ranging and engaging talks, the author describes British life between 1750-1850. There are John Wesley's horseback peregrinations over thousands of miles of English countryside. Next, Foakes-Jackson introduces the mordant rural poet, George Crabbe, who began life as a surgeon apothecary and ended up as a parish rector who made house calls. He gives us a female convict, assorted Cambridge University dons, Regency fops and rakes, and Victorian slices of life from Dickens and Thackeray...

By: Edward Frederick Knight (1852-1925)

Book cover Cruise of the Alerte - In Search of Treasure

The book describes a voyage undertaken in 1889 by an English barrister Edward Frederick Knight to the South Seas. This delightful story takes the reader on a voyage to the forbidding desert island of Trindade, where it is rumored that immense treasure lies buried. Though the heroes of this treasure-hunt do not have to contend with malicious people, they have their share of adventures. Almost inaccessible desert island, changing weather, hideous land crabs and heavy digging in the mud are enough challenges for the brave adventurers.

By: Julia Mary Cartwright (1851-1924)

Book cover Pilgrims' Way from Winchester to Canterbury

"This account of the Way trodden by the pilgrims of the Middle Ages through the South of England to the shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury originally appeared in the Art Journal for 1892, with illustrations by Mr. A. Quinton. It was published in the following year as a separate volume, and reprinted in 1895 and 1901. Now by the courtesy of Messrs. Virtue’s representatives, and in response to a continued demand, it appears again in a new and revised form, with the additional attraction of illustrations from original drawings by Mr. Hallam Murray. - Summary adapted from the Preface

By: John Bagnell Bury (1861-1927)

Book cover Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth

John Bagnell Bury was Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University in the early twentieth century. In The Idea of Progress, he assesses the concepts of history found in the classical period and then traces the historical development of the concept of political and social progress by looking at writers from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. It is interesting to consider what the history of the past hundred years would add to such an analysis. - Summary by Barry Ganong

By: Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Book cover Fear and Trembling (selections)

"And God tempted Abraham and said unto him: take Isaac, thine only son, whom thou lovest and go to the land Moriah and sacrifice him there on a mountain which I shall show thee. Genesis 22:1" Soren Kierkegaard wondered how Abraham made the movement of faith that made him the father of faith mentioned in the New Testament . Fear and Trembling is the product of his wonder. Work out your salvation in fear and trembling . One-third of "Fear and Trembling" was translated in 1923 by Lee Hollander in the University of Texas Bulliten. This book has already been read in parts in the Short Nonfiction Collection but I think some might be interested in listening to it as a complete reading.

By: Herbert Wildon Carr (1857-1931)

Book cover General Principle of Relativity: In Its Philosophical and Historical Aspect

The main purpose of this book is to show the historical relations of the new principle to the old philosophical problems and to the classical theories of space and time. - Summary by Adapted from the Preface

By: Isabella L. Bird (1831-1904)

Book cover Korea and Her Neighbors

In this book, Isabella L. Bird, who had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society only 2 years prior, describes her travels through Korea from 1894 - 1897 in her well-known style. She went on lengthy trips through the interior of what is today both North- and South Korea and vividly describes the landscapes, people and customs of the "Hermit Kingdom". Isabella's sojourn coincided with a time of great turmoil in Korea. Shortly after her arrival, the Japanese occupied the country, ostensibly to protect their expatriate community...

By: Elizabeth Wallace (1865-1960)

Book cover Mark Twain and the Happy Island

This Mark Twain Memoir by Elizabeth Wallace paints an idyllic portrait of his time in Bermuda, not long before his death in 1910. Wallace and Twain met in Bermuda in 1908, became fast friends, and shared time together on the island and regular correspondence until 6 weeks before Twain's death. According to one academician, "Wallace’s deep affection for Twain is evident in her writings, so she also may have wished to burnish his legacy. As a result, Happy Island is a popular treatment in a breezy, occasionally sentimental style. It portrays Twain as a fun and caring friend but only hints at weightier matters." - Summary by John Greenman

By: Ward Hill Lamon (1828-1893)

Book cover Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847-1865

Abraham Lincoln came to the presidency under a heavy shroud of uncertainty, not only about his threatened life but, of course, the very existence of the United States, which was already falling apart. Ward Hill Lamon was, in effect, his first Secret Service agent, his security guard and this biography, heavily edited by his daughter, Dorothy Lamon sets down for posterity many details surrounding Lincoln's near-fatal journey to his inauguration, how he dealt with day to day presidential decisions and a wide range of interpersonal relationships with the visionaries, schemers and power brokers surrounding him. - Summary by John Greenman

By: Frederick Adams Woods (1873-1939)

Book cover Influence of Monarchs

Frederick Adams Woods presents compelling evidence to support the great man theory of history and his own category scientific inquiry known as historiometry, or the study of history. In this work, the summarised history of fourteen European nations that have achieved renown at some point in their recorded timeline is compared to the biography of their monarchs and demonstrates the strong link between the intellect and willpower of the supreme leadership and the condition of their country. - Summary by Leon Harvey

By: William E. Barton (1861-1930)

Book cover Life of Clara Barton - Volume 1

Clarissa Harlowe Barton was a pioneering American nurse who founded the American Red Cross. She was a hospital nurse in the American Civil War, a teacher, and a patent clerk. Since nursing education was not then very formalized and she did not attend nursing school, she provided self-taught nursing care. Barton is noteworthy for doing humanitarian work and civil rights advocacy at a time before women had the right to vote. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973. Volume 1 ends during the years just after the end of the Civil War.

By: Eva March Tappan (1854-1930)

Book cover World’s Story Volume XIII: The United States

This is the thirteenth volume of the 15-volume series of The World’s Story: a history of the World in story, song and art, edited by Eva March Tappan. Each book is a compilation of selections from prose literature, poetry and pictures and offers a comprehensive presentation of the world's history, art and culture, from the early times till the beginning of the 20th century. Part XIII is the second volume of the history of the United States, exploring topics from the Civil War, the settlement on the West Coast, and new scientific discoveries from the 19th and early 20th centuries. - Summary by Sonia

By: Brinsley MacNamara (1890-1963)

Book cover Valley of the Squinting Windows

The Valley of the Squinting Shadows was the author's first novel and proved controversial. In it, he tells a realistic tale of life in a small Irish town as he saw it, rather than the romanticized version told by others, or how the locals wished to be seen. Mrs. Brennan, the local dressmaker, has opinions. Her son is off studying to become a priest, which elevates him -- and thus her -- in her opinion. Mr. Brennan is forgiven all his transgressions, on account of being father to the son. Mrs. Brennan is less tolerant of those not related to her and her acerbic tongue is well-known throughout the village...


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