Reading List

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    Dr. Woods,

    I have a suggestion for the site. I think it would be great to have a “Reading List” page where you and the other faculty can recommend books to read for further information on various topics. I know that there are “suggested readings” that accompany many of the lectures, but sometimes it can be cumbersome to try and recall which lecture the topic you are interested in was on, and find the appropriate reading. Also, the suggested readings can sometimes leave out some critical (or just interesting) topics.

    Rather than coming to the forums and asking “Can you recommend a book on X?”, it would be great to have a page sorted by topic where you could scroll to “Thomas Jefferson” and see recommended biographies or scroll to “The French Revolution” for recommended books on that. I love reading books on history, but it can be difficult when ordering from amazon or in a library to determine which books are legitimate, and which are merely propaganda.


    It’s a good idea. Right now I don’t have the spare time to do it, but at some point we should revisit this.


    This is just a description of what I’ve started doing regarding a book list. As I’ve been going through Western Civilization to 1500, the resources links J. Jewell posts in each lecture sometimes contain links to books you can get via Amazon. I always open those links and then add the book to my wish list, it’s the easiest way for me to reference back to them in the future when I can buy and then read them.


    That’s a good idea, although I’d also like to see more resources provided, particularly in the US History lectures. Dr. Jewell did an outstanding job in the Western Civ lectures providing reading materials for almost every topic addressed in the lecture, but I’ve found the external sources a little lacking on the US History side of things.


    SmartMuffin, just ask, and we’ll reply.


    The book store section of the site is a good starting point.
    Perhaps we can assign topics and ask people to recommend books on the topics with short explanations as to why the books should be considered.
    Tom could add amazon affiliate links and make a little money from the sales.
    Or they could be bought from

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