78 books like The Lights That Failed

By Zara Steiner,

Here are 78 books that The Lights That Failed fans have personally recommended if you like The Lights That Failed. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Gambling with Armageddon

By Martin J. Sherwin,

Book cover of Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis

L谩szl贸 Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From the list on the search for truth in history.

Who am I?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

L谩szl贸's book list on the search for truth in history

Why did L谩szl贸 love this book?

I was privileged to know Marty Sherwin in person. He was the friendliest person ever with a tremendous sense of humour 鈥 and a magnificent, honest scholar.

He was the friendliest person ever with a tremendous sense of humour 鈥 and a magnificent, honest scholar. History, as Paul Ricoeur has reminded, is not a record to be played.聽The Cold War nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, and mainly, the Cuban missile crisis did not have to end as they did, peacefully.

When two A bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945, a genie was released that the world will not be able to get rid of any time soon. Martin J. Sherwin, the doyen of American nuclear historians always argued that this did not have to be so. Nuclear technology could have been placed under international supervision and arms race and proliferation could have been鈥

By Martin J. Sherwin,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Gambling with Armageddon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Prometheus comes the first effort to set the Cuban Missile Crisis, with its potential for nuclear holocaust, in a wider historical narrative of the Cold War鈥攈ow such a crisis arose, and why at the very last possible moment it didn't happen.

In this groundbreaking look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, Martin Sherwin not only gives us a riveting sometimes hour-by-hour explanation of the crisis itself, but also explores the origins, scope, and consequences of the evolving place of nuclear weapons in the post-World War II world. Mining new sources and materials, and going鈥


Minds on Fire

By Mark C. Carnes,

Book cover of Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College

Michael A. Barnhart Author Of Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations

From the list on history books for teaching and learning.

Who am I?

Gaming led to my career as a history professor. When I was about ten, I discovered some of the first commercial board games, Gettysburg or Diplomacy. Hooked, I delved into the history behind such games and discovered a passion for delving deeper. After I began teaching, I thought I could share that passion with my students through historical simulations. My 鈥渟im鈥 courses became among the most popular in the university. 

Michael's book list on history books for teaching and learning

Why did Michael love this book?

Carnes wrote this book about ten years ago as a reflection of his experiences in using role-immersion games鈥攕imulations鈥攕ince the 1990s. It recounts the tremendous enthusiasm of students as a result. Perfect attendance, coming long before and staying long after classes. Student reflections on how much deeper their learning experiences were. It inspired me to write my book based on my use of simulations in the classroom.聽

By Mark C. Carnes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

In Minds on Fire, Mark C. Carnes shows how role-immersion games channel students' competitive (and sometimes mischievous) impulses into transformative learning experiences. His discussion is based on interviews with scores of students and faculty who have used a pedagogy called Reacting to the Past, which features month-long games set during the French Revolution, Galileo's trial, the partition of India, and dozens of other epochal moments in disciplines ranging from art history to the sciences. These games have spread to over three hundred campuses around the world, where many of their benefits defy鈥


Strange Victory

By Ernest R. May,

Book cover of Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France

Michael A. Barnhart Author Of Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations

From the list on history books for teaching and learning.

Who am I?

Gaming led to my career as a history professor. When I was about ten, I discovered some of the first commercial board games, Gettysburg or Diplomacy. Hooked, I delved into the history behind such games and discovered a passion for delving deeper. After I began teaching, I thought I could share that passion with my students through historical simulations. My 鈥渟im鈥 courses became among the most popular in the university. 

Michael's book list on history books for teaching and learning

Why did Michael love this book?

Another benefit of teaching through simulation is to show that history鈥檚 outcomes are not preordained. All of May鈥檚 works, but especially this one, stress the contingent nature of history. There was nothing inevitable about Germany鈥檚 victory over France in 1940. On the contrary, that victory was unlikely. May lays out a solid case that France ought to have won, and then takes care to dissect the circumstances that contributed to its defeat.

By Ernest R. May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How did Hitler and his generals manage the swift conquest of France, considering that the French and their allies were superior in every measurable dimension and considering the Germans' own scepticism about their chances? This title is a new interpretation of Germany's lightning attack that swept the Wehrmacht to Paris in the spring of 1940. It studies the years leading up to those crucial weeks and suggests new ways to think about the decisions taken on both sides.


Thinking in Time

By Richard E. Neustadt, Ernest R. May,

Book cover of Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers

Michael A. Barnhart Author Of Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations

From the list on history books for teaching and learning.

Who am I?

Gaming led to my career as a history professor. When I was about ten, I discovered some of the first commercial board games, Gettysburg or Diplomacy. Hooked, I delved into the history behind such games and discovered a passion for delving deeper. After I began teaching, I thought I could share that passion with my students through historical simulations. My 鈥渟im鈥 courses became among the most popular in the university. 

Michael's book list on history books for teaching and learning

Why did Michael love this book?

Neustadt and May wrote this book based on their seminars with government officials. Those seminars, and this book, taught two points. First, policy-makers rarely studied the background and context of the issues they were facing but instead were consumed with the need for swift decisions on immediate action. Second, those policy-makers nevertheless used history in making their decisions, nearly always using it simplistically and often incorrectly. The book is composed of a myriad of case studies. In each, the authors show how a better understanding of history might have led to better decisions.

By Richard E. Neustadt, Ernest R. May,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A convincing case that careful analysis of the history, issues, individuals, and institutions can lead to better decisions-in business as well as in government" (BusinessWeek).

Two noted professors offer easily remembered rules for using history effectively in day-to-day management of governmental and corporate affairs to avoid costly blunders. "An illuminating guide to the use and abuse of history in affairs of state" (Arthur Schlesinger).


The Triumph of the Dark

By Zara Steiner,

Book cover of The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933-1939

Michael A. Barnhart Author Of Can You Beat Churchill? Teaching History Through Simulations

From the list on history books for teaching and learning.

Who am I?

Gaming led to my career as a history professor. When I was about ten, I discovered some of the first commercial board games, Gettysburg or Diplomacy. Hooked, I delved into the history behind such games and discovered a passion for delving deeper. After I began teaching, I thought I could share that passion with my students through historical simulations. My 鈥渟im鈥 courses became among the most popular in the university. 

Michael's book list on history books for teaching and learning

Why did Michael love this book?

Surely the rise of Hitler and the impact of global depression gave an air of inevitability about the holocaust to follow? In this successor volume, Steiner makes clear many other factors were in play that might have altered Europe鈥檚 fate. She details the West鈥檚 overriding fear of Soviet communism, the crucial role Mussolini played as termite to the tentative international order built in the 1920s, and the deep internal divisions that French leaders ultimately were unable to overcome, divisions that played their own role in strengthening British Prime Minister Chamberlain鈥檚 decision to deal with Hitler at the Munich conference.聽

By Zara Steiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this magisterial narrative, Zara Steiner traces the twisted road to war that began with Hitler's assumption of power in Germany. Covering a wide geographical canvas, from America to the Far East, Steiner provides an indispensable reassessment of the most disputed events of these tumultuous years.

Steiner underlines the far-reaching consequences of the Great Depression, which shifted the initiative in international affairs from those who upheld the status quo to those who were intent on destroying it. In Europe, the l930s were Hitler's years. He moved the major chess pieces on the board, forcing the others to respond. From the鈥


On Looking into the Abyss

By Gertrude Himmelfarb,

Book cover of On Looking into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society

L谩szl贸 Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From the list on the search for truth in history.

Who am I?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

L谩szl贸's book list on the search for truth in history

Why did L谩szl贸 love this book?

This book is the symbol of intellectual brilliance and honesty and one which argues that if we are to preserve western civilization, we must restore historical truth as the center of historical inquiry.

I will advertise this magnificent book with a quote: 鈥淟ooking into the most fearsome abysses of modern times, the historian sees not beasts but faceless bureaucrats, not corpses but statistics, not willful acts of brutality and murder but the banal routine of everyday life, not gas chambers and gulags but military-industrial-geopolitical complexes.鈥 The reader also will learn why.

The reader also will learn why footnotes disappeared from history books. A book to be enjoyed and savored when in a contemplative mood.

By Gertrude Himmelfarb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Looking into the Abyss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discusses the intellectual arrogance and spiritual impoverishment at the heart of structuralism, deconstructionism, and postmodernism, and shows how they have led to the belittling of the Holocaust


Book cover of Hungary between Two Empires 1526-1711

L谩szl贸 Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From the list on the search for truth in history.

Who am I?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

L谩szl贸's book list on the search for truth in history

Why did L谩szl贸 love this book?

For those who are interested in Central European history 鈥 Hungary then engulfed what is today Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, a part of Romania, and a chunk of Serbia 鈥 in the formative period of the modern world.

The collection of essays discusses US foreign policy, nuclear politics, and the Cold War. My favorite is Trachtenberg鈥檚 critical reassessment of the origins of the First World War, a destructive conflict no one wanted to happen but still walked into.聽

It is about the clash of empires, Christian and Islamic, of civilizations, and of course, war machines. Author has single-handedly rewritten the history of this battleground between the Habsburgs, Hungarians, and Turks on the basis of primary sources from many archives in the region.

His book is a fascinating synthesis of international, economic, and cultural history for the reader who time to immerse in history.

By Geza Palffy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hungary between Two Empires 1526-1711 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Hungarian defeat to the Ottoman army at the pivotal Battle of Mohacs in 1526 led to the division of the Kingdom of Hungary into three parts, altering both the shape and the ethnic composition of Central Europe for centuries to come. Hungary thus became a battleground between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires.

In this sweeping historical survey, Geza Palffy takes readers through a crucial period of upheaval and revolution in Hungary, which had been the site of a flowering of economic, cultural, and intellectual progress-but battles with the Ottomans lead to over a century of war and devastation. Palffy鈥


History and Strategy

By Marc Trachtenberg,

Book cover of History and Strategy

L谩szl贸 Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From the list on the search for truth in history.

Who am I?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

L谩szl贸's book list on the search for truth in history

Why did L谩szl贸 love this book?

For readers who are interested in learning how to think about international relations, strategy, security, and history.

The collection of essays discusses US foreign policy, nuclear politics, and the Cold War. My favorite is Trachtenberg鈥檚 critical reassessment of the origins of the First World War, a destructive conflict no one wanted to happen but still walked into.

I always assign this book to my students.

By Marc Trachtenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work is a powerful demonstration of how historical analysis can be brought to bear on the study of strategic issues, and, conversely, how strategic thinking can help drive historical research. Based largely on newly released American archives, History and Strategy focuses on the twenty years following World War II. By bridging the sizable gap between the intellectual world of historians and that of strategists and political scientists, the essays here present a fresh and unified view of how to explore international politics in the nuclear era. The book begins with an overview of strategic thought in America from 1952鈥


Book cover of Before the Court of Heaven

Joe Kilgore Author Of A Farmhouse in the Rain

From the list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front.

Who am I?

I鈥檝e always been enamored with the World War II era. It was a time that seems virtually non-existent today, where almost everyone in my country was on the same page. There seemed to be a collective commitment to the struggle. An agreement that this was indeed good versus evil. Of course, I鈥檓 sure its nostalgic allure is much greater for those of us who didn鈥檛 actually have to live through it. But the strength, perseverance, and everyday heroism it brought out in soldiers and civilians alike, deserves to be chronicled and remembered forever.

Joe's book list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front

Why did Joe love this book?

Most of this novel鈥檚 action occurs between World War I and World War II. It鈥檚 the riveting tale of a young German crushed by his country鈥檚 defeat and dedicated to doing something about it. He joins a network of assassins and aids in the murder of a high-ranking Jew in the Weimar government. Sent to prison, he meets a unique individual and begins an acute reexamination of everything he鈥檚 previously believed. This is a passionately compelling tale of one man looking deep within himself to make sense of what he鈥檚 done with his life. The author brings the times, as well as his characters vividly to life and makes this chronicle of redemption a supremely fulfilling read.

By Jack Mayer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Historical Fiction based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich. Winner of 13 book awards.2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - Historical Fiction聽2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - General Fiction聽2016 IndieReader Discovery Award - 1st Place - Fiction2015 Nautilus Book Award Winner - Fiction - Silver medal2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award - Gold Medal - Fiction -Social Issues2016 Finalist - Grand Prize (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction2016 Honorable Mention (Eric Hoffer Award) - Commercial Fiction聽2016 Finalist - First Horizon Award (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction聽2015 Finalist - Foreword鈥


Artful Dodging

By M. S. Spencer,

Book cover of Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders

Mark Love Author Of Devious

From the list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

Who am I?

I鈥檓 a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales always grab my attention. A touch of romance never hurts. In college, one professor suggested the old 鈥榳rite what you know鈥 approach. I don鈥檛 know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I鈥檒l be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary cozy mysteries

Why did Mark love this book?

This was my first experience with M.S. Spencer. To say she had me right away would be deadly accurate.聽The setting, the conflict, the characters, the mystery all flowed together so smoothly, I could easily picture myself propped in a corner of the room, watching everything play out.聽聽

And I must confess that the Milo character has left an indelible mark in my memory.聽She鈥檚 one of my favorite players.

Several times I thought for sure I had figured out who was behind the murders. Of course, I was wrong, but that just kept me going.聽Spencer always delivers an engaging tale.

By M. S. Spencer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Milo Everhart is waiting out the rain in a pub when she is captivated by the handsome man next to her. Blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren't enough, a second crisis erupts鈥攁 proposal to gut her beloved art center.

Tristram Brodie, hard-driving lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful Milo, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions.鈥


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