10 books like The Anarchy

By William Dalrymple,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Anarchy. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Sapiens

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

I was blown away by this book and then went on to read his second and third books and can’t wait for his fourth book! The book is an elegant and easier-to-understand version of many longer and harder-to-read books trying to unearth and explain similar matters. Also I agree with Harari about so much of what he’s trying to teach.  

Read the book and you’ll understand so much more about what makes humans tick!

Sapiens

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Sapiens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…


Metropolis

By Ben Wilson,

Book cover of Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind's Greatest Invention

To understand cities today, you also have to understand why and how they were built to begin with. After all, our environment contains the materialization of previous decisions – we should know why those were made! Through the story of over a dozen global cities, historian Ben Wilson demonstrates how cities are concentrations of hopes, dreams, power, and conflict. While many great historians like Lewis Mumford and Stephen Hall have preceded him with excellently detailed urban history books of their own, this book stands out in its readability, attention to detail, and especially its coverage of global cities. After all, the urban future of most of the world lies beyond the Global North, and this broad survey shows the vast differences in urbanism between cultures.

Metropolis

By Ben Wilson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Metropolis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Sunday Times bestselling author, a dazzling, globe-spanning history of humankind's greatest invention: the city.

'Brilliant...enchanting' Evening Standard 'Exhilarating' New York Times

The story of the city is the story of civilisation. From Uruk and Babylon to Baghdad and Venice, and on to London, New York, Shanghai and Lagos, Ben Wilson takes us through millennia on a thrilling global tour of the key urban centres of history.

Rich with individual characters, scenes and snapshots of daily life, Metropolis is at once the story of these extraordinary places and of the vital role they have played in making us who…


The Island at the Center of the World

By Russell Shorto,

Book cover of The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America

Chronicling the early days of the Dutch presence in Manhattan, New York, the book is full of rich stories from the earliest days of the colony; encounters with wildlife, Indians, and other Europeans. I have read this book three times, captivated by the multi-ethnic beginnings of New York, a characteristic that defines the city even today. Tidbits like how facets of the Dutch language have been incorporated into English, such as the words “boss,” “cole slaw,” and “cookie.” The orange colour in the New York Mets uniform is an homage to Dutch heritage. What if the Dutch had been able to repel the British invaders? Would we all be speaking Dutch? Don’t wooden shoes cause blisters? But take off those shoes, put your feet up and read, an excellent read.

The Island at the Center of the World

By Russell Shorto,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Island at the Center of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a riveting, groundbreaking narrative, Russell Shorto tells the story of New Netherland, the Dutch colony which pre-dated the Pilgrims and established ideals of tolerance and individual rights that shaped American history. 

"Astonishing . . . A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past." --The New York Times

When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely…


1491

By Charles C. Mann,

Book cover of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Charles Mann's book was an eye-opener to many people, pointing out that much of the history we learned as children in school was wrong. The realization that the pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas were rich, vibrant, and advanced has taken time to be accepted broadly, but Mann's book pushes that understanding to a new level. The book combines history with science and archaeology to present a full picture of the American history we never learned.

1491

By Charles C. Mann,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked 1491 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492—from “a remarkably engaging writer” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized…


West with the Night

By Beryl Markham,

Book cover of West with the Night: A Memoir

Beryl Markham was a bush pilot in Africa during the early years of aviation. She is a marvelous writer and an adventurous soul. Ernest Hemingway wrote of her: “Did you read Beryl Markham’s book? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could put pen to paper except to write in her flyer’s log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I am completely ashamed of myself as a writer.... She can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers.”

Hemingway is right. This is the best written travel book I’ve read. I grew up in what is now called South Sudan, not far from Kenya where Markham grew up. Her writing brings back the land and people, the weather and hardships, the beauty of that land and its lonely skies.

West with the Night

By Beryl Markham,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked West with the Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WEST WITH THE NIGHT appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s.

Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license.

In 1936 she determined to fly solo…


Sixty Somethings

By Nicola Madge, Paul Hoggart,

Book cover of Sixty Somethings: The Lives Of Women Who Remember The Sixties

The swinging sixties are commonly thought of as hedonistic days (if you remember them you weren’t there). It was a period when young people threw off the trappings of their parents and, allegedly fuelled by drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll, set out to put the world to rights: a time without precedent.

But was it really like that? What are the women of that generation up to now; and what do they remember of those times? Is sixty the new forty?

Despite pursuing careers, raising families, with quite a few as grandparents, others caring for their own aging parents, could it be true that the once hipsters – a few now with literally new hips – have an undiluted appetite for life?

This fascinating book looks back over the lives of 67 women in their sixties, all of whom lived through ‘The Sixties’, to explore these questions through their…

Sixty Somethings

By Nicola Madge, Paul Hoggart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sixty Somethings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 'Swinging Sixties' are commonly depicted as hedonistic days. A point in history remembered for the generation of young people who shed the trappings of their parents and grandparents and, fuelled by sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, set out to put the world to rights. A time when individuality was heralded and convention widely challenged. A time without precedent. But what was it really like and what is this generation up to now? What did they expect from their lives, and were they so different from those of their parents and grandparents and, indeed, even their children? Had their youthful…


Raising the Skirt

By Catherine Blackledge,

Book cover of Raising the Skirt: The Unsung Power of the Vagina

This is a simply astonishing book, one to be read by all women but, perhaps more importantly, by all men. To say it was a revelation to read is a bit of an understatement. It is described as a revolutionary book, providing a new understanding of what it is to be female. It’s gynaecological, historical, cultural, anthropological, and evolutionary in its massive scope. 

As the author says, the vagina is actually a muscular marvel of engineering, sensitive and strong, fluid and flexible. Far from being passive vessels, female genitalia control the most important ‘role’ of all: the survival of the species.

Dr. Blackledge is a scientist, sex educator, and fertility campaigner, and her book has sold over 100,000 copies and been translated into ten languages. Jeanette Winterton says of Raising the Skirt, ‘it is completely fascinating’.

Much more than that, it throws into sharp relief the oppression of women…

Raising the Skirt

By Catherine Blackledge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Raising the Skirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A meticulous guide not only to the vagina but to changing perceptions of womanhood' OBSERVER
'An empowering and enlightening book' IRISH TIMES

The vagina is the ultimate symbol of female power. Sexual power, creative power and the power to prevent harm. For too long, though, the true extent of vaginal power has been ignored, hidden and misrepresented.

Raising the skirt: the unsung power of the vagina reveals this revolutionary view of female genitalia and points the way to a new understanding of what it means to be female. An inspiration for millennia, the vagina is actually a muscular marvel of…


Failures of State

By Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott,

Book cover of Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain's Battle with Coronavirus

The authors work for the Sunday Times Insight team and the book they have produced is, you might say, a public inquiry of the kind we won’t be getting from any government, now or in the future. We’ve all been living through this nightmare and the concept of journalism being a first rough history of events is more than adequately demonstrated by this excellently researched text.

Unless you’ve been asleep, or visiting another planet during the past 15 months, you’ll be painfully aware of how badly the pandemic has been handled in the UK. Coming on the back of Brexit, the big event that caused the Government to never have its eye on the Coronavirus ball at the critical moments in January and February, 2020, the pandemic was at first ridiculed, then fatally downplayed by Boris Johnson.

Worse, as we all know to our personal and collective cost, was to…

Failures of State

By Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Failures of State as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*

A GUARDIAN AND SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'An astonishing book' James O'Brien

'A gripping, devastating read' Sunday Times

The inside story of the UK's response to the pandemic from the Insight investigations unit at The Sunday Times

Failures of State recounts the extraordinary political decisions taken at the heart of Boris Johnson's government during the global pandemic.

Fully updated and corroborated by hundreds of sources, this is the insider's account of how the government sleepwalked into disaster and tried to cover up its role in the tragedy. Thrillingly told, it exposes one of the…


The Conquest of Bread

By Peter Kropotkin,

Book cover of The Conquest of Bread

Kropotkin was a remarkable man with remarkable ideas and this book, written in Brighton and first published in 1892 remains a gem in the canon of historic anarchist literature.

In the 130 years since it was published, communism has demonstrably failed (China is less communist, more sinister state gangsterism, like North Korea); socialism looks to be on its last legs. On the left, then, there is only anarchism remaining. This is nothing like the idiotic street antics of modern youth – more nihilism than any coherent political position – but thoughtful sets of ideas around governance without the presence of a central authority.

If it is anything, anarchism is rooted in a concept of collectivist, cooperative, local communities. This is what The Price of Bread explores. Yes, it is wildly idealistic, utopian in intent. It was written before the horrors awaiting us in the 20th century, epitomised by Lenin,…

The Conquest of Bread

By Peter Kropotkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Conquest of Bread as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Well-being for all is not a dream.'

In this brilliantly enjoyable, challenging rallying-cry of a book, Kropotkin lays out the heart of his anarchist beliefs - beliefs which surged around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and which have a renewed relevance and poignancy today. Humane, thoughtful - but also a devastating critique of how modern society is organized (with the brutal, narrow few clinging onto their wealth and privileges at the expense of the many), The Conquest of Bread is a book to be argued over, again and again.


The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

Book cover of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Even more than the oil curse, the location curse is key to understanding the Middle East. Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads is one of the best explorations of what imperial geographers identified as Eurasia, the ancient, much-fought-over land bridge between west and east running from the eastern Mediterranean to the Himalayas of which the modern construct of the “Middle East” is only one, sadly reduced part. Frankopan looks away from today’s association with regimes that are unstable, violent threats to international security and/or human rights, and popularly perceived as somehow peripheral to the interests of the West—to its historic center at the crossroads of civilization.

By tracing the evolution of the vitally interconnected trade routes known as the “Silk Roads", from conveying Chinese luxury goods and Turkic slaves to gold and silver, Iranian oil and Ukrainian wheat, Mongolian rare earths, and transcontinental telecommunications links, he shows how the region has…

The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Silk Roads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller - a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west - in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China and India, is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture - and is shaping the modern world. This region, the…


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