What historical books should an A-level student read to put on Personal statement?

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harryisalegend
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#1
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#1
I want to study the full course of History at university but to show my enthusiasm for the subject, I want to read historical books in my spare time. Which books/biographies/historians should I read to show my understanding OF THE subject for my PS?
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the bear
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#2
anything by Norman Davies

http://normandavies.com/?lang=en


you could perhaps start with Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe:_A_History
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Good bloke
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(Original post by harryisalegend)
I want to study the full course of History at university but to show my enthusiasm for the subject, I want to read historical books in my spare time. Which books/biographies/historians should I read to show my understanding OF THE subject for my PS?
None. The truth is that a strong candidate will have read books in furtherance of an interest in the subject and learned from them, and then (as a by-product) be able to use that activity and learning to demonstrate the interest.

You should do nothing FOR THE PS, but use what you have done AS PART OF YOUR INTEREST to demonstrate what a good candidate you are.
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oswalds
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#4
What areas of history are you interest in? Pick something in this area, you can use this to demonstrate your interest in history rather than just listing books. It might also be useful to read some historiography. Two quite big ones that I read when I was applying were E. H. Carr's What is History? and Richard J Evans In Defense of History. I really like these, and I've used them while at uni as well. These books really helped me personally understand that history is a lot more than just learning facts, which is something I've found to be really emphasized at uni.
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Lord Kitchener
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#5
John Tosh's pursuit of History was recommended to me at end of year 1 and I finished first year top of my year in second year. I think Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities is also massively good to read as it challenges so many of your ideas behind nationality and citizenship, also introduces lots of interesting concepts. You'll almost certainly read Said's Orientalism in first year so perhaps buy that and read the introduction. Show you are willing to look beyond the national!
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Muttley79
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#6
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#6
(Original post by harryisalegend)
I want to study the full course of History at university but to show my enthusiasm for the subject, I want to read historical books in my spare time. Which books/biographies/historians should I read to show my understanding OF THE subject for my PS?
Just put down the ones you've already read ... a PS should not be a book list anyway. What else have you done to demonstrate your passion for History?
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isabella_con
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#7
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#7
"What Is History?" by E.H Carr
"On History" by E.Hobsbawm
"Uses and Abuses of History" by M.Macmillan
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MJlover
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#8
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#8
In my personal statement, the history books I referenced were "Islam: A Short History" by Karen Armstrong and Josephine Kamm's "Rapiers and battleaxes: The women's movement and its aftermath", also a general history book of the twentieth century.

Three books covering disparate topics but I tried to rationalize why they inspired me in my PS.
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