• The best books on Empires - The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture by Peter Garnsey & Richard Saller
  • The best books on Empires - The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India, Awadh and Punjab, 1707-48 by Muzzafar Alam
  • The best books on Empires - A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology by Pamela Kyle Crossley
  • The best books on Empires - Empire: The Russian Empire and its Rivals (from the 16th century to the present) by Dominic Lieven
  • The best books on Empires - The Birth of the Modern World 1780-1914 by C.A. Bayly

The best books on Empires, recommended by Peter Fibiger Bang

Empires are a reflection of the fact some states are stronger than others and are by no means just a relic of the past, says Peter Fibiger Bang, historian of empire and world history at the University of Copenhagen. Here, he recommends books on a variety of empires, from the ancient Romans to the Mughal, Qing and Russian empires and explains what it is that made some empires so durable and resilient across the centuries.

  • The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire - The Persian Empire by J M Cook
  • The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire - Discovering Cyrus: a Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World by Reza Zaghamee
  • The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire - The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period by Amélie Kuhrt
  • The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire - The Palace of Darius at Susa: The Great Royal Residence of Achaemenid Persia by Jean Perrot
  • The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire - Creation by Gore Vidal

The best books on The Achaemenid Persian Empire, recommended by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

At the height of its greatness, the Achaemenid Persian Empire was the largest empire the world had ever known. Too often it is given merely a villainous walk-on part in the heroic history of classical Greece. Here, historian Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones explains why that needs correcting, looks at its cultural achievements and discusses why the first Persian empire is worth studying in its own right and on its own terms.

  • The best books on The Ghana - Golden Trade of the Moors: West African Kingdoms in the Fourteenth Century by E.W. Bovill
  • The best books on The Ghana - Ancient Ghana and Mali by Nehemiah Levtzion
  • The best books on The Ghana - Social History of Timbuktu: The Role of Muslim Scholars and Notables 1400-1900 by Elias Saad
  • The best books on The Ghana - Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples by David C. Conrad
  • The best books on The Ghana - Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire: Al-Sa'di's Ta'rikh Al-Sudan down to 1613 and Other Contemporary Documents by John Hunwick

The best books on The Ghana, Mali and Songhai African Empires, recommended by Michael Gomez

Long before the Europeans arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries, sub-Saharan West Africa saw the emergence of a series of African empires that lasted for centuries and stretched over vast swathes of the continent. They were known as the Ghana, Mali and Songhai Empires. Here, historian Michael Gomez discusses what led to their greatness, what sustained them and why they fell.

  • The best books on Environmental History - The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail by W. Jeffrey Bolster
  • The best books on Environmental History - Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters by Kate Brown
  • The best books on Environmental History - Ecological Imperialism by Alfred Crosby
  • The best books on Environmental History - The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World by John F. Richards
  • The best books on Environmental History - The Ecology of Oil: Environment, Labor, and the Mexican Revolution, 1900-1938 by Myrna I. Santiago

The best books on Environmental History, recommended by John R McNeill

Environmental history is the study of the relationship between society and the natural world—both in terms of human impacts on the environment, and the constraints placed upon cultures by the landscapes they live in. Here, John R. McNeill, a pioneer of the field, recommends five of the best environmental history books with ambition, engaging prose, and heft.