The best books about Europe 📚

Browse the best books on Europe as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Black Europe and the African Diaspora

Black Europe and the African Diaspora

By Darlene Clark Hine, Trica Danielle Keaton, Stephen Small

Why this book?

As one of the first scholarly attempts to investigate the Black experience on a continental scale (as opposed to in individual European nations), this edited volume presents a good introduction to the multifaceted questions and approaches that emerge when studying this topic. Offering insights from various scholarly disciplines and 20th and 21st-century case studies from individual countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and the Netherlands, it provides thoughtful essays that explore the meanings of ‘Blackness’ and belonging in Europe, and the roles the local, national, global, and metaphysical play within (imaginary) diasporic discourse and identity. As such, it…

From the list:

The best books on Black Europe

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Book cover of The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848

The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848

By Paul W. Schroeder

Why this book?

This masterful analysis of European foreign policy encompasses a period slightly larger than the life of Napoleon, but the core of the book is the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. On first reading this I was struck not only by the depth and breadth of Schroeder’s knowledge, but also by his uncanny ability to question standard interpretations and to present an original and oftentimes provocative evaluation. This book made me think about how best to write history. Elegantly written, this is an accomplished tome that will be read by students of foreign policy for many years to come. 

From the list:

The best books about the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on Europe

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Book cover of Rain!

Rain!

By Linda Ashman, Christian Robinson

Why this book?

This book shows a grumpy man and a cheerful little kid’s morning on rainy day, of course a grumpy old man grumbles about rainy day and a little guy enjoys the rainy day. Same rainy day outing, two totally different attitude! And we all get to know it’s the positive attitude make everything brighter and more fun! Christian’s simple, colorful illustrations caught my eyes first, the contrast between the grumpy man and a kid’s world is just perfect!

From the list:

The best children’s books about rainy day

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Book cover of The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

By Lucille Clifton, Brinton Turkle

Why this book?

King Shabazz doesn’t believe in this spring that everybody is talking about, but he and his friend Tony Polita and set out through the city in search of it, finding spring in green growing sprouts with pointy yellow flowers in a vacant lot and a nest of eggs birds have made in an abandoned car. 

From the list:

The best books about growing things

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Book cover of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

By Catherine Nixey

Why this book?

You can’t overstate the impact of religion on this tumultuous period. The transition from paganism to Christianity not only coincided with, but greatly impacted everything that happened in early medieval Europe. Catherine Nixey’s controversial book focuses on that transition and shows it in full, gory detail – the violence it spurned, and the destruction it caused to the ancient culture that preceded the onset of Christianity. A necessary read for understanding the full picture of the 4th and 5th centuries in Europe.

From the list:

The best books on Barbarian Europe

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Book cover of Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire

Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire

By Alan Forrest

Why this book?

Not since the monumental work of Jacques Morvan in his Le Soldat Imperial, almost a century ago, has a scholar brought so much learning and insight to the experience of the soldiery of the longest wars in modern European history. Forrest brings his hallmark skills as an archival scholar to the daunting task of reassembling the lives of the men who did the fighting, endured the horrors and the hardships behind the glittering uniforms, and heroic paintings of the battles. He brings the ordinary to life and puts the extraordinary in its proper context of the hardscrabble, but adventurous,…

From the list:

The best books on Napoleon and an era that shook Europe to its core

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