Books You Read in College as a History Major

A reading syllabus for history buffs and Hamilton fans.

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History is one of those scary subjects that can really get people down if they’re not into the whole names-and-dates thing. But history is essentially the stories about where we come from, how our culture and society came to be, what went before. Or, as J-Lo would put it, “No matter where I go, I know where I came from.” History is also an incredibly broad topic, so we’ve chosen some books here that may be familiar to you history majors out there, some that the non-history majors may get excited over, and some that seem like they definitely should be on every history major’s syllabus.

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About Ilana Masad

Ilana Masad

ILANA MASAD is an Israeli-American writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Printer’s Row, The Toast, The Butter, The Rumpus, Hypertext Magazine, and more. She is the founder of, a podcast for new, emerging, and struggling writers. She is (way too) active on Twitter @ilanaslightly.