Glasgow University History Subject Summer Reading Suggestions
Due to covid-19 restrictions, many of us have had travel and life plans disrupted. One silver lining is that this may create more time for enjoyable reading. In these posts, Glasgow University History Department make suggestions of the books that have inspired them and, in some cases, inspired their different historical approaches. Many of the book suggestions in these lists are works of fiction rather than history. Fiction can be important for going beyond what certain types of historical sources tell us. For example, the 'rock star economist' Thomas Piketty, in his monumental Capital in the Twenty-First Century, analysed vast amounts of economic data to transform our understanding of the historical trajectory of capitalism and inequality, but he began with reference to the literary work of Austen and Balzac to expand understanding beyond the economic sources.
Dr Christine Whyte's book suggestion
Other books on the virtual bookshelf
Recommended by Professor Samuel K Cohn: R.W. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages (1953) is a classic of twentieth-century historiography and not just for the Middle Ages. It is a wonderful melding of historical prose and analysis and valuable today in the use of literary analysis for historical understanding.