To help prepare for the first year of your History degree, read as widely and diversely as possible.
Below are suggestions that will help you expand your awareness of the scope of History before you begin your degree. These are only preliminary suggestions based around our curriculum and course module options, so do feel free to explore areas of interest beyond this list.
- John Tosh, The pursuit of history: aims, methods and new directions in the study of modern history (2002)
- Nigel Warburton, The Basics of Essay Writing (2007)
- Peter Lambert, Phillipp R. Schofield, Making history: an introduction to the history and practices of a discipline (2004)
Barbarism and Civilisation: Medieval and Early Modern Europe
- Euan Cameron, Early Modern Europe: An Oxford History (1999)
- Beat Kumin (ed.), The European World 1500–1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History (2014)
- Peter Linehan (ed.), The Medieval World (2002)
The Shock of the Modern
- Christopher Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (2004). [Also useful for semester 2 Global history module]
- John Breuilly, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism (2013). [Also useful for semester 2 European history module]
- Saurabh Dube, Subjects of modernity: Time-space, disciplines, margins (2017)
- Eric Hopkins, Industrialisation and Society: A Social History, 1830-1951 (2013). [Also useful for semester 2 British history module]
- Eric Foner, Give me Liberty! An American History (2011) [Also useful for semester 2 American history module]
- Alexei Miller and Stefan Berger (eds.), Nationalizing Empires (2015) [Also useful for semester 2 European history module and the semester 2 Global history module] – available here: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/40907
- Augusta Dimou, Entangled Paths Toward Modernity: Contextualizing Socialism and Nationalism in the Balkans (2009) [Also useful for semester 2 European history module]
- Joan B. Landes, Visualizing the Nation: Gender, Representation, and Revolution in Eighteenth-Century France (2018)
Other areas of interest
(readings may be relevant to the core module Shock of the Modern and the Global History option module)
You can link through to all this free content. There are lots of review essays and special issues. We hope you enjoy those, as well as the stand-alone articles.
Civil War History
Free access to our Civil War Petitions website.
The website contains many essay blogs that might whet your appetite, as well as photos and transcriptions of the petitions themselves. You could see if you have a maimed soldier or war widow from your home locality. The Civil Wars are covered by a lecture on Barbarism and Civilization (1st year core module), and also feature in Religious History (2nd year Varieties module) in the Russian and English Revolutions. The National Civil War Centre are one of our external partners on the Making History module that set our students with a challenge to help their Museum. The University of Leicester and National Civil War Centre also have a partnership agreement that facilitates student placements and internships at the centre.
- Dylan Riley, The Civic Foundation of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain, and Romania, 1870-1945 (2010), relevant for semester 2 European history module and other 2nd and 3rd year modules on fascism and the Holocaust;
- Omer Bartov, Germany’s War and the Holocaust: Disputed Histories (2013), relevant for semester 2 European history module and other 2nd and 3rd year modules on fascism and the Holocaust;
- Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution. The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942 (2004), relevant for semester 2 European history module and other 2nd and 3rd year modules on fascism and the Holocaust;
- Max Bergholz, Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community (2016), relevant for semester 2 European history module and other 2nd and 3rd year modules on fascism and the Holocaust;
- Ügür Ümit Üngor (ed.), Genocide (2016), relevant for semester 2 European history module and other 2nd and 3rd year modules on the Holocaust and genocide;
- Primary sources on the Holocaust
- Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Cultural Front: Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia (2018), relevant for semester 2 European history module;
- Primary sources on Soviet history
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States. This book will be relevant to the American History option module (1st year, Semester 2).
- Open Access Review of the above book by one of our History Lecturers, Dr Emma Battell Lowman