Social History Books

10 Products

Social history books allow you to delve into the past and bring history to life. Browse our selection of the best social and cultural history books and top authors of the genre. They're great for devouring by yourself or gifting to fellow history buffs.


History is a rich, varied and fascinating subject, so it's rare to find the whole lot in one book...until now. The History of the World in Bite-Sized Chunks pulls it all together, from the world's earliest civilizations in 3500 BC to the founding of the United Nations in 1945, passing by the likes of Charlemagne, the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean War, to name a few. Here's your chance to introduce yourself to the full spectrum of world history, and discover just how the modern world came to be. The History of the World in Bite-Sized Chunks is a concise history of the world which leaves no stone unturned and shows us how it all fits together. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781782437079 • Author: Emma Marriott • Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books • Format: Paperback • Pages: 192 • Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 1.3cm

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£2.50 RRP £7.99 Save £5.49 (69% Off RRP)

Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms. The nearly 350 stories illustrate what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008454227 • Author: Max Hastings • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm

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£12.00 Was £20.00 RRP £30.00 Save £18.00 (60% Off RRP)

1922 was a year of great turbulence and upheaval. Its events reverberated throughout the rest of the twentieth century and still affect us today, 100 years later. Empires fell. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after more than six centuries. The British Empire had reached its greatest extent but its heyday was over. The Irish Free State was declared and demands for independence in India grew. New nations and new politics came into existence. The Soviet Union was officially created and Mussolini's Italy became the first Fascist state. In the USA, Prohibition was at its height. The Hollywood film industry, although rocked by a series of scandals, continued to grow. A new mass medium - radio - was making its presence felt and, in Britain, the BBC was founded. In society, already changed by the trauma of war and pandemic, the morals of the past seemed increasingly outmoded; new ways of behaving were making their appearance. The Roaring Twenties had begun to roar and the Jazz Age had arrived. In a sequence of vividly written sketches, Nick Rennison conjures up all the drama and diversity of an extraordinary year. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780857305015 • Author: Nick Rennison • Publisher: Oldcastle Books • Format: Paperback • Pages: 256 • Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.2cm

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£7.00 RRP £9.99 Save £2.99 (30% Off RRP)

This is a unique collection of strange laws, heroic deeds, surprising revelations and other quirky stories that have shaped the unique history of Scotland. Scotland's long history is an extraordinarily rich source of amazing facts, whether your interest is political, social, architectural or historical. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781910821145• Author: Douglas Skelton• Publisher: Rydon Publishing• Format: Hardback• Pages: 144• Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 1.5cm

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£1.00 Was £4.00 RRP £9.99 Save £8.99 (90% Off RRP)

As we approach the bicentenary of the abolition of the Atlantic trade, Walvin has selected the historical texts that recreate the mindset that made such a savage institution possible - morally acceptable even. Setting these historical documents against Walvin's own incisive historical narrative, the two layers of this extraordinary, definitive account of the Atlantic slave trade enable us to understand the rise and fall of one of the most shameful chapters in British history, the repercussions of which the modern world is still living with. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781802060751 • Author: James Walvin • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 272 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.9 cm

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£3.00 RRP £9.99 Save £6.99 (70% Off RRP)

From cultural icon Margaret Atwood comes a brilliant collection of essays - funny, erudite, endlessly curious, uncannily prescient - which seek answers to Burning Questions such as: Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? How can we live on our planet? In over fifty pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at our world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better questioner of the many and varied mysteries of our human universe. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781784744519 • Author: Margaret Atwood • Publisher: Random House UK Ltd • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 4.3cm

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£10.00 Was £15.00 RRP £20.00 Save £10.00 (50% Off RRP)

Do you know your Aristotelianism or Asceticism from your Egalitarianism? No? Well this book will give you all the information you need to tell one from the other and impress your friends with the seeming depth of your knowledge. From happiness to politics and power, science, religion and love - this compact and accessible primer captures the diverse moral and ethical arguments - and major theories - of Western Philosophy. In his warm and concise narrative, the author brings the great ancient and modern 'thinkers' and their unique perspectives vividly to the page. This is a thought-provoking whistle-stop tour of established philosophical thinking and its continued relevance in our lives today. Jam packed with all the important ideas but at the same time highly accessible and informative, Philosophy for Busy People is perfect for those who enjoy thinking about the big questions in life. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789294415 • Author: Alain Stephen • Publisher: Michael O'Mara • Format: Paperback • Pages: 192 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03 cm

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£3.00 RRP £7.99 Save £4.99 (62% Off RRP)

We need to talk about racial injustice in a different way: one that builds on the revolutionary ideas of the past and forges new connections. In this incisive, radical and practical essay, Emma Dabiri - acclaimed author of Don't Touch My Hair - draws on years of research and personal experience to challenge us to create meaningful, lasting change. 'An absolute blockbuster of clear thinking and new angles...the most clear, alliance building, shame removing look at race. Emma is once-in-a generation clever' – Caitlin Moran Product Information: • ISBN: 9780141996738 • Author: Emma Dabiri • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 176 • Dimensions: 18.1 x 11.1 x 0.9 cm

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£6.00 RRP £7.99 Save £1.99 (25% Off RRP)

As Britain emerges into the mid-twentieth century, change is afoot. Cities are beginning to shift from smog-filled industrial hubs to more efficient metropolitan centres of commerce and, despite the country once again being blighted by war, society is beginning to shift towards a more modern, forward-thinking era. But change is not only limited to regular men and women; under the shifting tides of development, the criminal underbelly, too, is evolving, anxious for new avenues of exploitation and expansion . . . And so, in the third instalment, historian Carl Chinn examines this new era in the landscape of Britain's gangs. After the violent reign of the Peaky Blinders, the intimidation of the Birmingham gang and frequent gang wars up and down the country, from the wreckage new groups are emerging with new ways of making money and causing trouble, and, like those who came before them, they leave havoc and destruction in their wake. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789464511 • Author: Carl Chinn • Publisher: John Blake • Format: Paperback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03cm

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£4.00 RRP £8.99 Save £4.99 (56% Off RRP)

Find out about the life of Martin Luther King Jr from how he fought racism and led the civil rights movement to his tragic death and how he is remembered now around the world. For children following Book Bands, it is suitable for children reading at band 9, gold. Product Information: ISBN: 9781445166469 Author: Izzi Howell Publisher: Franklin Watts Format: Hardback Pages: 24 Dimensions:  20 x 0.9 x 23.4 cm

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£10.00 RRP £11.99 Save £1.99 (17% Off RRP)