Archive for August, 2008

Outside Reading List

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2008 by John Murnane

Each student must read one of the following (first come first serve; no two students in a given class period are allowed to present on the same book–email me your choice please). Most of these titles are on reserve at the library. You are required to make a 5-10 minute presentation on the book you’ve read, given in class on your scheduled day. Powerpoint or short film required (click here for examples of student films). Think of this as a way of sharing information with your classmates; because this is a survey of world history, there are many interesting topics we must cover relatively quickly; the out-side readings give you a chance to study areas in depth and the presentations give the class a chance to share in this experience to some extent. A second benefit is that these presentations give you an opportunity to develop public speaking skills–an important skill no matter what you do later on in life.

There is a blog assignment that goes along with this (click here).

Please email me re: your choice; first come, first serve. Thanks.

I. After winter break:

  1. Ashe, Geoffrey. Gandhi. Rohit/ C period
  2. Aczel, Riddle of the Compass. Divya/ C period
  3. Stewart Allen, The Devil’s Cup.
  4. Balfour, Sebastian. Castro: Profiles in Power
  5. David Bodanis, E=MC2 (click here)
  6. Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin.
  7. Alfred Crosby, Ecological Imperialism.
  8. Henrich Jacob, Six Thousand Years of Bread.
  9. Mark Kurlansky, Salt.
  10. John Keegan, History of Warfare.
  11. William McNeill, Plagues and Peoples. (Allison, C period)
  12. William McNeill, The Human Web (click here)
  13. Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered the Americas.
  14. Giles Milton, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg.
  15. Gately, Iain, Tabacco. Roxanne/ F period
  16. Jonathan B. Tucker, Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox. Libby/C period
  17. Hans Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History. Ann/ F period
  18. Larry Zuckerman, The Potato. Natalie/ C period
  19. Peter Bernstein, The Power of Gold .
  20. Mark Boren, Student Resistance.
  21. Norman Cantor, In the Wake of the Plague.
  22. David Courtwright, Force of Habit.
  23. Jeanette Farrell, Invisible Enemies,
  24. Niall Ferguson, The Cash Nexus.
  25. Barbara Freese, Coal.
  26. Mark Kurlansky, Cod.
  27. Mark Kurlansky, 1968 : The Year That Rocked the World. (Grant/F Period)
  28. Victor Hanson, Carnage and Culture.
  29. Mark Pendergrast, Uncommon Grounds.
  30. Dava Sobol, Longitude.
  31. J. George, The Crest of the Peacock.
  32. Bhutto, Benizar,  Autobiography of Benizar Bhutto
  33. Brown, Archie. Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin.
  34. Chang, Jung, The Unknown Story: Mao. Edlyn/ C period
  35. Duiker, William. Ho Chi Minh.
  36. Greenspan, Alan. The Age of Turbulence.
  37. Herbert, Bix. Hirohito.
  38. Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost Anita/ C period
  39. Isaacson, Walter. Einstein.
  40. Isaacson, Walter. Kissinger.
  41. Martinez, Tomas. Santa Evita.
  42. kidelsky, Robert. John Maynard Keynes.
  43. Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.
  44. Buruma, Ian. Inventing Japan, 1853-1964.
  45. Elkins, Caroline. Imperial Reckoning. Margaret/C period
  46. Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy.(Anish/C period)
  47. Shlaim, Avi. War and Peace in the Middle East.
  48. Yergin, Daniel. The Prize.


I will explain this assignment in more detail in class. However, I strongly urge you to decide which book you want to read very quickly and plan accordingly–it is your responsibility to complete assignments on time (particularly in the case of presentations, where the whole class is expecting to hear from you on a scheduled day).