Many students take American history classes in college. (Image credit: Brittany Hogan)

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “history” is defined as “a chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes. Because this definition is fairly broad, it reflects how wide-ranging history is itself. In terms of a college education, students can take a slew of history classes. These may include history from any time period in which humans have roamed the earth to history on any subject that has been in existence for any period of time. Most history classes require textbooks that are jam-packed with historical information and anecdotes on these topics.

According to, the following books are considered some of the best history textbooks that are frequently used in college courses. Although the books are listed as numbers 1-10, they are not necessarily in any specific order in terms of content:

1) The History Buff’s Guide to the Civil War: The best, the worst, the largest, and the most lethal top ten rankings of the Civil War (Second Edition) by Thomas R. Flagel (Cumberland House)

2) International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (Second Edition) by Antony Best, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, Joseph A Maiolo, Kirsten E. Schulze (Routledge)

3) The Boldest Plan is the Best: The Combat History of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion during WWII by Jim Travis Broumley (Rocky Marsh Publishing)

4) The Best American History Essays, 2007 by Organization of American Historians (Palgrave MacMillan)

5) The King’s Best Highway: The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America by Eric Jaffe (Scribner)

6) The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education by David Tyack (Harvard University Press)

7) The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits by Erik Sass, Steve Wiegand, and Editors of Mental Floss (William Morrow Paperbacks)

8) The Greatest Day in History: How, on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, the First World War Finally Came to an End by Nicholas Best (PublicAffairs Publishing)

9) Trafalgar: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sea Battle in History (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Nicholas Best (George Weidenfeld & Nicholson)

10) The Farming and Memorandum Books of Henry Best (Records of Social and Economic History New Series) by Henry Best (Oxford University Press, USA)

If you need to purchase or rent one of these textbooks for a history class that you are registered to take, be sure to check out to view a list of prices on these books from various online sources. You will also find prices on thousands of other history textbooks that are not included on the list above.