A History of Civilization by Year

A fun way to learn history…

Like many people, I enjoy reading about history, but I don’t get through many textbooks. It’s popular history books for me! So, in order to get a chronological history of the world, if a bit random, I’ve started collecting books that focus on just one year.

I figure that an entire book on the events of one year is going to be pretty thorough. If I read these, it will be looking at history through a bunch of snapshots in time.

(A corresponding collection which I’m starting to build, but not yet catalog, is a history of major cities. My theory is that if the history-by-year books are a perpendicular slice of time, then the history-by-city books are horizontal. It seems like viewing history through two perpendicular lenses could give me a good perspective. Some of these history-by-years turn out to be pretty limited in scope, especially the military ones, but it’s a good theory, at least!)

This is not a comprehensive bibliography, but rather a way for me to keep track of my own little section.

  • 69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors. Gwyn Morgan

  • AD 381: Heretics, Pagans and the Christian State. Charles Freeman

  • The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman’s World. Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger
  • The Year 1000. Henri Focillon.
  • The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. James Reston
  • 1066: The Year of the Conquest. David Howarth
  • 1215: The Year of Magna Carta. Danny Danziger
  • Bannockburn 1314. Chris Brown
  • 1421: The Year China Discovered America. Gavin Menzies [NEED ANOTHER]
  • 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance. Gavin Menzies [NEED ANOTHER]
  • 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West. Roger Crowley
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Charles C. Mann
  • 1492: The Decline of Medievalism and the Rise of the Modern Age. Barnet Litvinoff
  • 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. Charles C. Mann [NEED ANOTHER]
  • 1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half. Stephen R. Bown
  • A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599. James Shapiro.
  • 1603: The Death of Queen Elizabeth I, the Return of the Black Plague, the Rise of Shakespeare, Piracy, Witchcraft, and the Birth of the Stuart Era. Christopher Lee
  • 1676: The End of American Independence. Stephen Webb.
  • 1688: A Global History. John E. Wills, Jr.
  • 1700: Scenes from London Life. Maureen Waller
  • 1775: A Good Year for Revolution. Kevin Phillips
  • 1776. David McCullough
  • 1777: The Year of the Hangman. John S. Pancake
  • 1787: The Grand Convention. Clinton Rossiter and Richard B. Morris
  • 1788. Watkin Tench and Tim Flannery
  • 1805: Austerlitz: Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition. Robert Goetz
  • 1812: The War That Forged a Nation. Walter R. Borneman
  • 1812: The Navy’s War. George C. Daughan
  • The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History. William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman
  • 1831: Year of Eclipse. Louis P. Masur
  • The Year of Decision 1846. Bernard DeVoto [NEED ANOTHER]
  • 1846: Portrait of the Nation. Margaret C. S. Christman
  • 1863: The Rebirth of a Nation. Joseph E. Stevens
  • The Year of the Century: 1876. Dee Brown
  • 1877: Year of Violence. Robert V. Bruce
  • 1898: Prelude to a Century. John A. Corry
  • 1900. Rebecca West
  • 1915: The Death of Innocence. Lyn MacDonald
  • 1918: War and Peace. Gregor Dallas
  • 1918: The Year or Victories. Martin Marix Evans
  • Nineteen Nineteen. A.I. Hunsberger
  • 1919: The Year Our World Began. William K. Klingaman
  • 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents. David Pietrusza
  • 1927: The Picture Story of a Wonderful Year. Carl H. Giles
  • 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR–Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny. David Pietrusza
  • 1933. Philip Metcalfe
  • 1939: A Retrospect Forty Years After. Roy Douglas
  • 1940: Myth and Reality. Clive Ponting
  • 1940. Laurence Thompson
  • 1941: Our Lives in a World on the Edge. William K. Klingaman
  • 1943:The Victory That Never Was. John Grigg
  • 1945: The War That Never Ended. Gregor Dallas
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. Mark Kurlansky