The best stories from history lie beyond the margins of textbooks, says the historian. He tells us about five extraordinary tales from the past, from visions of the Virgin Mary to the golden age of American con artistry.
The historian defines and discusses micro-history, choosing five books that use historical minutiae to answer big questions about the past.
Some argue there is no necessary connection between the rejection of traditional religious ideas and the evolution of democracy but that's wrong, argues the eminent historian. He chooses books that give as full as possible a picture of the Enlightenment in all its dimensions.
Racism is not innate but emerges under special conditions, says the King's College professor and author of the sweeping history Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century. He chooses five books that inspired him.
Their language indicates they originated in India, but the music they play is world music. Some will tell your fortune but they don't believe in supernatural powers. Yaron Matras recommends the best books and dispels some common myths about Gypsies.
Palestinians living in Israel are cut off from both sides of the conflict and constantly trying to square the circle, argues Nazareth-based writer Jonathan Cook.
The writer and journalist Peter Hessler selects five books, from Haight Ashbury to a fifth grade classroom, which show how nonfiction can bring true stories to life through literary techniques