Three books for history buffs


David Graeber at City Lights Bookshop

Boxes and boxes of fascinating books keep flooding in and every section in the shop is full of ‘goodies’. I’ve picked out just 3 titles from our history section which could well interest you or be a great gift ideas. We also have lots of wonderful Australian history books – another blog for some for those!

‘Histories of Nations: How Their Identities Were Formed’ is edited by Peter Furtado and he has brought together 28 leading authors from 28 countries in this fascinating book. The countries represented include Australia, come from every continent and include big and small. There are many illustrations and timelines and the essays themselves are thoughtful and engaging. Itis in hardback at $49.95.

In ‘Debt: The First 5000 Years’ David Graeber argues that history has got it wrong. Every economics textbook claims that money was invented to relieve people of onerous bartering systems. Graeber says that there is not a shred of evidence to support this. He shows that for over 5000 years, well before the invention of coins or cash, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods. Debates about debt go back to ancient times and some of the arguments we are having today about credit crises are the same as those had long ago. Hardback at $44.95.

‘Fifty Machines That Changed The World’ is a great dip-into book. Any time you have 5 or 10 minutes to spare open up this book and learn about the history of Robert’s Lathe, The Victa mower, the Graf Zeppilin. the electron microscope, the Sony Walkman (remember them!), the Tungsram light bulb and many more. This profusely illustrated trip through history is in hardback at only $35.

What machines changed your world? What machine was your ‘best-ever’ present? What machine couldn’t you do without?

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About braysbooksblog

Independent booksellers since 1969.
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2 Responses to Three books for history buffs

  1. White Fox says:

    Glad to see you doing more reviews and info on books. I enjoy all your blogs but have felt for a while that more book stuff would be good. I love coming in and browsing but it is good to be able to ‘browse’ when I don’t have time to get into Brays.The ‘Histories of Nations’ sounds fascinating! Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks White Fox. I have resolved to make regular time for blogging because there are so many great books to write about. Let’s hope I can be sufficiently self-disciplined to keep it up! Philip.

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