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        Beautiful new books appear every day!
       Here are some of the books we have found useful and enjoyable. They are invitations, separated somewhat by age, but not in detail. 
    Be sure to look at the civics booklist, and also the history of the Church and of science. 
        www.love2learn.net has a substantial history section, well-reviewed and reliable. 
RC History (website) sells plenty of good history. Sonlight curriculum is mostly very good, — Protestant, but not generally anti-Catholic.
Elementary & Mid-Level

Parin D'Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar
    The D'Aulaire books are not Catholic, (so implicitly though not blatantly anti-Catholic when the topic comes up) and not up to the latest scholarship, but their sprightly imagery and hopeful portrayals have stood up well. Colored illustrations have the texture of crayon or pastel drawings.
    Leif the Lucky was a favorite.

Hugh Ross Williamson
A Children’s Book of Saints is the collection of several previous books about the saints of different European countries. In this collection of 72 short biographies, the arrangement is historical, creating an introduction to the history of the Church. Very attractive story-telling about wonderful people.

    History Texts

Mary O. Daly
First Timeline [Linkis very short, very elementary. You can read it an hour, and it covers world history as best one can in 36 biographies. Pictures by Ana Braga-Henebry. 

Catholic Textbook Project
The Catholic Textbook Project has composed a complete set of history books from the Catholic perspective. They include some material from outside western culture.

The Story of Mankind by Willem Van Loon, Centered on western culture, and about 100 years old, an engaging standby, the only history text that ever got a Newberry award. Not Catholic, and when Catholic issues arise, you need to check another source.

A Child's History of the World from Calvert School: Like Van Loon, this engaging, 100-year old standby is centered on western culture. Not Catholic and implicitly anti-Catholic when a sensitive topic arises, .  

Mid - Level

​    Biography

Jean Lee Latham
Carry on Mr. Bowditch is the story that actually underlies the War of 1812. The British complained that their sailors were jumping ship to serve on American vessels. Well they might, because English class-consciousness forbade sailors to so much as seek to understand longitude, ignorance of which was the fundamental barrier to safe travel on the high seas and home. Ship after ship sank to ignorance of this single calculation. Mr. Bowditch composed a system of longitudinal tables that anyone could learn.
In that respect, this narrative portrays the important link between science and culture.  

All the Landmark* books from the 50's are in print again. Not Catholic, they have an anti-Catholic bias when the topic is relevant, but they are otherwise well written and enjoyable.

    History Texts

The Catholic Textbook Project 
Has composed a complete set of history books from the Catholic perspective. They include some material from outside western culture.

Mary O. Daly
Millennium of the Holy Face [Link
       Actually, I wanted to write a history of science, (I still want to) and realized I didn't know the scientists of the medieval period. Lots of people think there were none, but there were plenty. So I found them and placed them in the context. I also discovered the Veil of Manoppello and its significance for history. Hence the title. 
    This is World history, not only European history from yrs 450 to 1450

    Historical Fiction

Padraic Colum
  This wonderful writer of a few generations back makes the classics accessible as stories to the younger generation. They are first of all stories!
  The Children’s Homer: the Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy
  King of Ireland's Son (1916)
​ Many titles.

Louis DeWohl
       DeWohl wrote a series of lives of the saints that brings life to these people of faith, and to their period in history. All but the anti-hero Attila are wonderful, truly setting these men in their times. You need to know the saints to know how culture was actually built. Generals build kingdoms, but saints build culture.
     Citadel of God is the story of St. Benedict, founder of western monasticism.
     The Last Crusader is the story of Don John of Austria, the naval commander at the battle of Lepanto, 1573. It ended the Islamic threat of those days.
       Many titles.

    Geographical Fiction

Louise Rankin
Daughter of the Mountains 
       This story of a girl and her dog is set in Tibet and India in the early 20th century. It’s a lovely old story with some generous and some shady characters, and a great chase through the mountains into the steamy land below.

Kate Seredy
       Kate Seredy’s stories are set in Hungary, but with themes that are universal to childhood – love of nature, love of country, and the healing power of a wise father.
       The Good Master gives new life to a naughty city girl
       The Singing Tree has the same characters and some Hungarian folklore.

 History Links

 Secondary level


Hilaire Belloc
William the Conqueror is one os several volumes of history centered on specific characters.
​ This little volume raises many vital issues that illustrate how important an actual Catholic perspective is. Another resource says, for example, that the French clerics that William brought to England after the Battle of Hastings were the same religion as the English bishop Stigand, so any quarrels between them were clearly political, not religious. 
  No, Stigand was a brigand. The difference was in their commitment to the actual meaning of Catholicism; there is a level of corruption that prevents cultural growth, something not immediately evident to a historian who is not thinking about the gospel as an actual body of teaching.

Warren Carroll is one of the eminent popular Catholic writers of both topical and comprehensive history.
       The Guillotine and the Cross is his riveting account of the French Revolution. An interesting note on the Hope Diamond...
    The Last Crusade: Spain 1936 It is not commonly understood how bitterly anti-Catholic the Spanish civil war was: Communists lining up Catholic seminarians and shooting them for being seminarians. It is a large piece to leave out of a story.
       Several titles, and see below for a history that is not mainly a biography.

Dr. Tom Dooley
    Edge of Tomorrow
    The Night They Burned the Mountain       Deliver Us from Evil 
    Three books by the famous doctor, Tom Dooley give us a picture of doctoring in the third world in the 1950’s, and of VietNam before the war, but facing the Communist persecution of Christianity. He was treating children whose eardrums had been pierced with chopsticks for listening to the gospel. Courage. 

James Flexner
Washington: the Indispensible Man​    
 Flexner wanted to write a short biography of Washington, but he couldn't see how to do it. So he wrote six volumes, and then he saw how to write just one. This is it.

​Theodora Kroeber
Ishi the Last of the Yahi  An interesting account of the last member of the Indian group called the Yahi. Interesting not only as a Native American piece, but simply as a human story of a man who loses his last relative and reaches out to the only people in the area, who do their best to take him in.

Dava Sobel
    Longitude: the True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the Greatest Scientic Problem of his Time 
          Here is the account of a different aspect of the problem addressed in the Bowditch story above. It pits inventiveness and math against class consciousness, while sailors are dying of scurvy because their captains don’t know where they are. Sad story, but solid introduction to the heroes and the unexpected villains of this difficult enterprise. An important account of culture and science.
          There is also a DVD of the same name. Lots of good imagery.

    Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
          This very personal insight into Galileo will help you love him as well as the daughter who loved and supported him during his tribulations.

James Alexander Thom
      From Sea to Shining Sea, Ballantine Books NY, 1984
​       This is the Clark Family story. Everyone knows about Lewis and Clark, who mapped the western part of our country in 1807, but the Clark family, over a few generations, mapped America from the Atlantic to the Pacific, against all kinds of odds including nefarious schemers who sought to prevent them from doing this work or from being paid. Fascinating.
      There is an American history book with the same title -- short, elementary, Protestant, different topic.

Simon Winchester
    The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom
​       Wonderful account of the inventiveness of the Chinese people over many centuries, and of the man, Joseph Needham, who discovered this past. 
    The Professor and the Madman  One of the great contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary was locked up for his madness. Fascinating story. 

Historical & Geographical Fiction

Willa Cather
An expert at local color, Willa Cather works to make her characters true to their place in history.
    Death comes for the Archbishop is set in old Mexico.
    Shadows on the Rock is set in old Quebec City (not the same city as Quebec.)
    Always excellent.

Louis L'Amour
This is just a fun author of American Western fiction. Easy to read. Better than the Hardy Boys, which are not as clean as they started out.
   Walking Drum
   Haunted Mesa
   Many others

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History Page
  HS History Texts

Hilaire Belloc 
Belloc is not a textbook writer, but his history is comprehensive and interesting. 
The Crusades: The World's Debate — In 1938, Belloc predicted the resurgence of Islam. Here he explains the significance of the Crusades — the provocation and the lasting values.
The Great Heresies — This discussion clarifies the unity of the heresies in their blindness to the mystery of the Incarnation.
How the Reformation Happened  — The Catholic perspective and certain facts that are missing in secular texts.
Many others... on history, economics, and verse for children.

Warren Carroll 
Author of a six-volume history of Christendom, from The Founding of Christendom as the first of six volumes on the history of western civilization under the influence of the Church. Great piece of work, broad sweep.
He also has many individual pieces. 

Paul Johnson
The Americans 
  This was not written as a school text, and it is not for freshmen, but it's competent, interesting, and comprehensive, and accessible to a literate high school student. Trade books are not bound to political correctness as textbooks are.
The Intellectuals
  Really: "The intellectual snobs," and specifically the men whose pride in intellect led them to build the anti-culture with ferocious energy over the 20th century.

   Historiography - Reference

  Historiography is the discussion of how history is written. Writing about George Washington is writing history. Writing about why some people write about him one way and others write another way is historiography. It's an important concept, because the biggest battles about history are not just about details, but about whether we can know the truth about what happened and whether the other guy is falsifying the story by what he left out.
  You can't put everything in; it’s an essential discussion.

Christopher Dawson
​  Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, originally published in 1950, makes the case that western culture is the product of positive religious culture, of Christian culture to be specific. Written at a time when Arnold Toynbee appeared to have written the last great synthesis of history, -- last partly because the next generation denied that a comprehensive story could be told or that any broad truth could be known about history, -- this was Dawson's sweeping challenge to the intellectual mold that was setting up. 
  Toynbee was not a believer; he recounted with disdain the moment that his mother faltered with embarrassment when she was explaining the virgin birth to him.* He rejected the virgin birth of Jesus on the spot, and the rest of the faith over time. His 12-volume Study of History, later revised to two volumes, is full of his scorn for faith. Dawson stood up to this giant and showed that Christianity was the glorious underpinning of western culture.

* Arnold Toynbee, by then quite aged, was, for a term, visiting professor at the college I attended. He told this story to a mostly-appreciative audience, and I remember it well as being so little examined; he was old and awesome but not thoughtful on this topic.

Philip Hughes
Another eminent one from the mid-20th century, this Catholic historian's work is now available on Kindle.

Catholic Encyclopedia 1913
  In 1913, there was a full (multi-volume) set of Catholic Encyclopedias and it is now posted uploaded online at: www.NewAdvent.org/cathen/
  Bookmark this site and use it.
  The scholarship is sometimes out of date, but this resource still offers a corrective view on topics of Catholic interest. You can see the points of difference and find ways to pursue whatever questions this raises for you.

  This is an amazing resource. It's free; it's there; it covers most topics. You can find out what the average person, even the average academic, thinks about most topics, and you can find out what the important sub-topics are on most subjects. If you look at the discussion page, you can even find alternative views pretty well represented. 
  Not always. There is often a bias against Catholicism, and there are other biases as well, whenever a person or issue is politically loaded. If you want to know a name and birthdate, Wikipedia is tops. If you have a controversial issue, make sure you find other resources. 
  This is called doing your homework.