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Doctor Brain's Laboratory
Dr. Brain finds and rates the best History learning sites on the Web
As of 05 December 2002, There are 27 History Learning Site Reviews on Doctor Brain's Laboratory!
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History Categories
As of 29 July 2002, there are 26 History learning site reviews on Dr. Brain's Laboratory
Ancient Australia Europe Medieval Canada United States US Civil War Renaissance Victorian Era World

History -> Ancient

New and used books on european history at Powell's
Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 7000-3500 BC: Myths and Cult Images


The goddess, fertility images, mythical animals, and other artifacts are analyzed for their mythic and social significance in this beautifully illustrated study

Site: Ancient Egypt Discovery Case

Author: Royal Ontario Museum

URL: http://www.rom.on.ca/egypt/case/

The "Discovery Case" of this site's title is an interactive treasure chest loaded with beautifully-presented information on dozens of subjects relating to Ancient Egypt. Aimed at older students and adults, with a teacher's area and links to resources. Dr. Brain says, "This one's a keeper!"

Tip: During the school year, you can click the question mark icon at the bottom of the menu to "Ask an Egyptologist."

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books on ancient egypt at Powell's
Ancient Egypt: The Great Discoveries


The history of Egyptian archaeology, beginning with Napolean's Great Expedition in 1799 through to the excavation of the golden mummies in 1999

New and used books at Powell's
Ancient Rome


Explore the customs and daily life of the Romans - layered transparendcies reveal the outside and inside of a Roman town house, a theater, an army fort, and the Roman baths - full-color photos

Site: The Romans

Author: BBC

URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/romans/

This is the place to learn about Rome, whether you're a middle-grade student or an adult with an active sense of adventure. Lots and lots of content everywhere, with a timeline, fun facts, pop-up glossary definitions, printable activities galore, and a teachers and parents' area. Dr. Brain is impressed.

Tip: At the bottom of each subject page are links to "More to Explore," with even more interesting stuff, and a quiz about the page's contents.

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New and used books at Powell's
The Romans


Examines the everyday lives of ancient Romans -- filled with colorful pictures, maps and diagrams

New and used books on ancient greece at Powell's
The Greek World: Classical, Byzantine and Modern


Twelve international specialists analyze every facet of Greek history, life, and culture

Site: The Ancient Greek World

Author: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology

URL: http://www.museum.upenn.edu/Greek_World/Index.html

Beautifully-designed and executed site about numerous aspects of Ancient Greece, from Geography, Economy, and Religion, to details of everyday life.

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New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Who's Who in the Classical World


Biographical entries on nearly 500 individuals of central importance from the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome (Maps)

New and used books on ancient greece at Powell's
The Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women

447 Greco-Roman women who were very influential during the times in which they lived - map, glossary, and bibliography

Site: The Roman Empire in the First Century

Author: Public Broadcasting System

URL: http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/index.html

Created as a companion site to the PBS series of the same name, these pages contain a wealth of historical, cultural, and literary information, as well as links to other classroom resources. And it's gorgeous to look at, too.

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New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Babylonians


The myths, religions, language, trade, politics, and warfare of the Babylonians - 12 color and 84 black-and-white illustrations, two maps

New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
From Aristotle to Zoroaster: An A-To-Z Companion to the Classical World


The key peoples, places, institutions, and events of Greece, Rome, Persia, India, and China encompassed in a single volume - a wealth of information for students, experts, and classical history buffs

Site: Collapse: Why do Civilizations Fall?

Author: Annenberg/CPB

URL: http://www.learner.org/exhibits/collapse/mayans.html

This great site discusses the fall of four once-great civilizations now known to us only through ruins: the Maya, Mesopotamia, Chaco Canyon, and Mali & Songhai. Interactive hands-on explorations in two of the units, and lots of archaeological web resources for further study.

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New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Black Spark, White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe?


Were the ancient Egyptians black? Did Egyptian explorers land in Greece some 4,000 years ago, plant colonies, establish royal houses, and bring civilization to Europe's savage tribes?

Free Dish TV!

Try it Three Months for Free!

Site: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Author: Alaa K. Ashmawy.

URL: http://ce.eng.usf.edu/pharos/wonders/

Not exactly interactive in the best sense, but thoroughly interlinked to photos, ancient texts, directories of links and resources about the ancient world. Lots of great information if you don't get lost in all the links.

Tip: Links to the "seven wonders" are contained in the illustration at the top of the page.

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New and used books on ancient celts at Powell's
Chronicles of the Celts: The Classic Sagas


Savor an epic world of ancient warriors, bards and druids, dragons, tyrants, and sorcerers - these marvelous tales reveal the eternal power and spirit of the Celtic universe

New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Newgrange: Archaeology, Art and Legend


Newgrange is one of Europe's most beautiful and mystical places, regarded by prehistorians as the great national monument of Ireland

Site: Akhet Egyptology

Author: Iain Hawkins

URL: http://www.akhet.co.uk/

Interlinked lessons about many aspects of Ancient Egyptian life. Lots of pages, with lots of photos.

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New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities


Aerial Views of Pre-Columbian Ruins in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras

New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Imagining Atlantis


The idea of Atlantis has tantalized the human imagination since the fourth century B.C. when it was first mentioned by Plato. Is it only a myth, or did a real Atlantis exist?

Site: A History of the Roman Legions

Author: Andrew Brozyna

URL: http://www.redrampant.com/history.html

Lots of good historical information, presented clearly but plainly, with lots of individual pages and good color illustrations by the author.

Tip: The site also contains information on cultures who interacted with the Roman Empire

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New and used books on ancient history at Powell's
Beyond the Edge of the Sea: Sailing with Jason and the Argonauts, Ulysses, the Vikings, and Other Explorers of the Ancient World


The story of Jason and the Argonauts and Homerís tales of Ulysses are among the greatest ancient epics, but are they merely nautical legends or true stories?


History -> Australia

New and used books on ancient celts at Powell's
The Celts: Life, Myth, and Art


The artistic brilliance and sophisticated vision of a civilization that stretched from Ireland to Turkey - richly illustrated with 120 glorious color photos and specially commissioned artworks across every page

Site: Documenting a Democracy

URL: http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/

A beautifully-presented and comprehensive site about the history of Australia through its documents. Dr. Brain is willing to bet that unless you actually are Australian you know very little about this fascinating, vital nation. Maybe it's time you learned. Explore via Places, Pathways (theme trails), a Timeline of events, or the Picture Album. There's a useful site directory, and a glossary of possibly unfamiliar words.

Tip: Indigenous Australians are advised that this website may include images or names of people now deceased.

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New and used books on Australian history at Powell's
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding


A beautifully recounted story of the strange origins of the Australian soul

New and used books on Australian history at Powell's
What Happened When: A Chronology of Australia from 1788


The definitive guide to the fascinating events and achievements in Australian history - an invaluable reference for archivists, students, historians, librarians, and trivia buffs

Site: Ned Kelly: Australian Iron Outlaw

URL: http://www.ironoutlaw.com/

Ned Kelly (1854-1889) is Australia's most infamous folk hero, soon to be the subject of a major motion picture starring Australian actor Heath Ledger. This site unfolds the story and the legend of Ned and his gang in numerous well-designed and well-illustrated pages packed with information and entertainment. Dr. Brain says, "Don't miss this one!"

Tip: The opening page, linked above, is not to be missed, but if the navigation confuses you, let us suggest this page for a clearer idea of the site structure.

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books on Australian history at Powell's
Australian Cowboys, Roughriders, & Rodeos


Did you know there were Australian cowboys? Dr. Brain didn't. Aren't books wonderful?

New and used books on Australia at Powell's
In a Sunburned Country


Three billion year old fossilized organisms off the western coast; a giant lobster on the side of a highway; empty, forbidding spaces... this is Australia, a giant, mostly barren continent in the Indian Ocean populated by fewer people than are born each year in China

Site: Australian History

URL: http://www.austemb.org/history.htm

A briefer history of Australia than Documenting a Democracy, above, this is nonetheless a good overview of the major points of Australian history from prehistory until 1901. Includes a timeline of events from 1901-1994.

Tip: Indigenous Australians are advised that this website may include images or names of people now deceased.

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New and used books on australian history at Powell's
Claiming a Continent: A New History of Australia


Learn more about the history of the least-known continent on the planet

New and used books at Powell's
Australia: Eyewitness Guide


A useful and well-illustrated tourist guide to Australia. Cultural, Geographical, and Historical information; maps, tourist attractions, everything you need to know.

Site: Joe Byrne: Lieutenant of the Kelly Gang

Author: Mike Lawson

URL: http://www.joeonline.tr.cx/

This site focuses on Ned Kelly's friend and lieutenant Joseph Byrne, a man whose role in the history of the famed Ned Kelly gang is usually undreplayed, according to the site's author. Painstakingly researched and illustrated with many old photographs, the site chronicles Joe's life (with more to come) and his association with Ned Kelly. Sections on Joe Byrne's unique armour, and the text of some historical documents are of interest.

Viewers will certainly enjoy what's there now, but at present there's a lot promised but still missing, which Dr.Brain hopes will soon be remedied.

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books at Powell's
The Great Barrier Reef Dive Guide


All the most up-to-date information on the Great Barrier Reef; everything you need to plan your dives down to the smallest detail. Animal and plant life, depths, hazards, weather, lighting conditions, and lots more.


History -> Europe

New and used books on English history at Powell's
Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot


The "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" uncovers the gripping true story behind one of the most famous conspiracies in British history

Site: The Gunpowder Plot

Author: The Gunpowder Plot Society

URL: http://www.gunpowder-plot.org/

Guy Fawkes, often referred to as "the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions," was the most celebrated (and most burned in effigy) of 13 conspirators in the "Gunpowder Plot" of 1605. If you have no idea what Dr. Brain is talking about, or if you want to learn more about 17th century English history, this is the place to start. The site hasn't been updated recently, and much seems to be promised that was never added, but you'll find quite a bit of info here, and some links to further study.

Tip: A frames-only site.

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New and used books on English history at Powell's
The Story of England


The ideal introduction to English history - concise, informative, highly readable and beautifully illustrated, - the broad outline of England's political, economic and cultural history from Neolithic times


History -> Medieval

New and used books on european history at Powell's
Wars of the Roses


The war between the royal Houses of Lancaster and York, the longest and most complex in British history, profoundly altered the course of the monarchy - the war itself and the historic figures who fought it on the great stage of England

Site: Middle Ages

Author: Annenberg/CPB/Learner.org

URL: http://www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/

7 beautifully-illustrated learning areas. Each page gives a brief overview, then offers a more detailed article from a link at the bottom. Here and there are mini-pictures leading to even more details. Medieval life at home, in towns, in the church, and much more.

Tip: Don't ignore the link at bottom if you want more details than are offered on the first page of each learning area.

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New and used books on european history at Powell's
The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium: An Englishman's World


Included are descriptions of daily life, clothing trends, medical practices, and more, all related to life in 10th-century medieval Europe

New and used books on medieval history at Powell's
A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age


William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering on the brink of collapse to the grandeur of its rebirth

Site: The Middle Ages

Author: Scott Rees

URL: http://radiantworks.com/middleages/

This is a very brief overview of the Medieval period, its social and political systems, and everyday life. It's a good place to start if you're curious, and very well designed and illustrated with photographs and paintings. If it presented more material it would quickly earn a fourth brain in our ratings.

Tip: The author is updating the site, so bookmark and come back from time to time.

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books on medieval history at Powell's
Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World


Learn more about a period that has had a profound and lasting influence on the world we live in today


History -> North America -> Canada

New and used books on canadian history at Powell's
The Penguin history of Canada


Canada possesses a history rich in incident and personality. Here, it is traced from the earliest expeditions in search of fish and fur to the 20th century

Site: Living Memory

Author: National Archives of Canada/Archives Nationales du Canada

URL: http://www.archives.ca/05/0509_e.html

Explore the history of Canada by theme (First Peoples, New France, Women, etc.), by time period, or by media type. The site features links to historical art, maps, government records, manuscripts and more from the Canadian National Archives. Play games, unscramble puzzles, download a Canadian Treasures screensaver.

Tip: Both broad and deep, this site's easy to get lost in, but well worth the trip. Pack a bag.

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New and used books on canadian history at Powell's
Flight from Famine: The Coming of the Irish to Canada


The moving story of the mass migration that brought a million Irish men and women to Canada in the first half of the 19th century


History -> North America -> United States

New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Great Chicago Fire


A history of the event that shaped the modern midwest, illustrated with photos and drawings

Site: The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory

Author: Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University

URL: http://www.chicagohs.org/fire/intro/

"an online exhibition produced by the Chicago Historical Society and Academic Technologies of Northwestern University to mark the 125th anniversary of one of the most famous events in American history, as well as the most formative event in the history of Chicago," this site views an event of monumental historic significance from many different viewpoints, including eyewitness acconts, contemporary newspaper accounts, fiction, poetry, and art. Stunning depth and breadth of information, well-presented. Dr. Brain says "You'll learn why you should have learned more about the Great Chicago Fire. This is a real WOW of a site."

Tip: Be sure to check out both ends of the site: The Great Chicago Fire and The Web of Memory.

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Great Chicago Fire


A history of the Great Fire of 1871 and its aftermath - illustrated with photos and drawings

New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Life of P.T. Barnum


The definitive biography of the Great American Showman, founder of Barnum's American Museum

Site: The Lost Museum

Author: The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and others

URL: http://www.lostmuseum.cuny.edu

An ongoing interactive project dedicated to Barnum's American Museum, one of the cultural wonders of 19th century America, which was destroyed by fire on 13 July 1865. A visual and auditory feast for those with fast internet connections (a 'slow connection version is also available from the link above). Explore the 3-D virtual reality museum; open doors and drawers and cabinets. See the actual contents of the museum reproduced (with numerous links to related reasources), and launch your own investigation into the causes of the mysterious fire that destroyed this amazing piece of American history. Dr. Brain would like to give this one six brains!

Tip: Use the arrows to move around in each section of the museum, and don't neglect the "Archive" link when it appears, for fascinating additional information. You can also browse the entire museum archives from the "Browse the Archives" link at the bottom of each museum page.

Tip: Explore, explore, explore. Click on everything. And come back again, as the project continues to grow.

This site is a winner of Dr. Brain's Big Brain Award

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New and used books on american history at Powell's
American Circus Posters in Full Color


Dozens of frameable posters, reproduced from rare originals - acrobats, parades, animals, specialized acts, etc., 1890 to 1940

New and used books on american history at Powell's
Acts of Discovery: Visions of America in the Lewis and Clark Journals


A new look at the journey of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, & Co., nearly 200 years ago.

Site: Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

Author: WETA, Washington D.C.

URL: http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/

Another of those wonderful PBS sites with lots of great information beautifully presented; a companion site to the Ken Burns series. 2003 marks the 200th anniversary of this daring and ambitious journey into the unknown. Site also includes classroom resources, and ever-changing content.

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New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Journals of Lewis and Clark


Also available as an electronic book

New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Twentieth Century: A People's History


A "bottom-to-top" perspective on history - the stories of such groups as African Americans, women, Native Americans, and laborers of all nationalities told in their own words.

Site: American Cultural History: the 20th Century

Author: Peggy Whitley, et al

URL: http://www.nhmccd.edu/contracts/lrc/kc/decades.html

Each decade of the 20th century is deeply explored in learning areas covering arts, technology, personalities and much more. Each area has many links to related information and related websites, and is illustrated with lots of period photographs.

Tip: The links do not open into a new page, so be careful of getting away from the site.

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New and used books on american history at Powell's
The Greatest Generation


Tom Brokaw presents the personal stories of the young men and women who served our country in WWII, and shaped the foundation of post-war America.

New and used books on benjamin franklin at Powell's
Benjamin Franklin


The most comprehensive and the most intelligently sympathetic biography of Franklin ever written

Site: The Electric Franklin

Author: Independence Hall Association

URL: http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/index.htm

A little bit of everything about Benjamin Franklin, from a full text of his autobiography (and a shorter, 'good parts' version for student reports) and indexed Franklin quotes, through a reprint of the first issue of the New-England Courant, the first newspaper he worked on, through games and activities for students, two 360-degree VRML presentations. A great site for learning about early American history, and a streaming media video about the Electric Franklin project.

Tip: Click everywhere; lots of info to be had here.

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New and used books on benjamin franklin at Powell's
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography


Franklin's life and times in his own words - utterly fascinating

Also available as an electronic book

New and used books on seattle at Powell's
King Country and Its Emerald City: Seattle: An Illustrated History


A history of Seattle with illustrations and bibliographic references

Site: Fort Nisqually

Author: Scott Rees

URL: http://reesbuilders.com/nisqually/

Fort Nisqually, originally a fur-trading post near present-day Tacoma, Washington, tells its story of British and Native American life in this lovely historical learning site. Illustrated with historical photos and great re-enactment photos by Mel Woods, it was created with the assistance of the Fort Nisqually Historical Site at http://www.fortnisqually.org/, where you can also find more info on Fort Nisqually and present day activities there.

Tip: If you don't have a fast connection or lots of time to wait, you might want to use the "lite" version: http://reesbuilders.com/nisqually/fort2/fort.htm

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Free NetFlix Trial!
Try NetFlix for Free!


History -> North America -> United States -> Civil War

New and used books on the civil war at Powell's
The Civil War, a Narrative


Shelby Foote's monumental narrative of the U.S. Civil War - a unique and brilliant achievement

Site: The Valley of the Shadow

Author: Edward L. Ayers

URL: http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/vshadow2/

Letters, diaries, maps, images, official records and more, in an interlinked archive that teaches about both the military and civilian sides of the U.S. Civil War, seen from both sides. Features animated maps of the theaters of war, which require the free Macromedia Shockwave Plug-in.

Tip: The main historical content is accessed from three links at the bottom of the illustration at the top of the page. Click one of them and use the Site Index link at the left of the page to get a good idea of what's available. You can get lost in here, but it'll be a great trip.

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New and used books on the civil war at Powell's
For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought the Civil War


Draws from more than 25,000 uncensored letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides of a nation's greatest conflict

New and used books on the civil war at Powell's
A Diary From Dixie


One of the most famous southern accounts of the Civil War years, these are the diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut

Site: America's Civil War

URL: http://www.fredericksburg.com/CivilWar/index_html

Images, re-enactment videos, and music of the Civil War period are only a few of the features on this very comprehensive site. The battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg are dissected in detail, photos, and biographies of some prominent figures in the war, and more.

Tip: Don't miss the "artifacts" link at the bottom of the page linked above. Letters and other objects from the period illustrated and explained.

Dr. Brain's Directory

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New and used books on the civil war at Powell's
All for the Union: The Civil War Diary and Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes


Anyone who heard these diaries of a common Union soldier excerpted on the PBS-TV documentary The Civil War will recognize Elisha Hunt Rhodes' accounts of campaigns from Bull Run to Appomattox, which remain outstanding for their clarity and detail - 70 photos


History -> Renaissance

New and used books on the renaissance at Powell's
Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance


Provocative and wholly absorbing, this fascinating work presents a radical interpretation of the Renaissance, arguing that the creation of culture during the time was inextricably tied to the creation of wealth

Site: Renaissance

Author: Annenberg/CPB/Learner.org

URL: http://www.learner.org/exhibits/renaissance/

5 beautifully-illustrated learning areas. Each page gives a brief overview, then offers a more detailed article from a link at the bottom. Here and there are mini-pictures leading to even more details. How the Renaissance affected exploration, trade, the arts, and much more.

Tip: Don't ignore the link at bottom if you want more details than are offered on the first page of each learning area.

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New and used books on the renaissance at Powell's
Renaissance Lives: Portraits of an Age


Fifteen brilliant biographies of the Renaissance era's most creative and vivid figures, fascinating individuals who embody the hopes, discoveries, and struggles of an age that gave birth to the modern world


History -> Victorian Era

New and used books on the victorians at Powell's
A Victorian Household


Told through the diaries of Marion Sambourne, this book records the miutiae of daily life in a Victorian household: where she shopped, what the family ate, who came to call, instructions for the servants and household inventories from the price of hairpins to her opinion of Harrods

Site: The Victorian Web

URL: http://65.107.211.206/vn/victorov.html

A detailed and complex site featuring over a dozen major site areas, plus 15 main articles linked to numerous sub-articles and tidbits. Unless you are already an expert on this period, you'll learn things you never knew about the Victorians and their personal, creative, and intellectual worlds.

Tip: From the page linked above, the articles are accessed through the text links on the left. The major site areas can be found by clicking the little Victoria button on the lower left. Happy Exploring!

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New and used books on the victorians at Powell's
Inventing the Victorians


"Suppose that everything we think we know about the Victorians is wrong." - a compact and mind-bending whirlwhind tour through the soul of the nineteenth century, and a round debunking of our assumptions about it


History -> World

New and used books on european history at Powell's
In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made


Much of what we know about the Black Plague of the fourteenth century is wrong. Recent scientific discoveries and groundbreaking historical research - the story of the Black Death as a gripping, intimate narrative

Site: The 20th Century: Conflict, Attitude, and Changing Religions

Author: Frank E. Smitha

URL: http://fsmitha.com/h2/

55 very detailed learning areas to deepen and broaded your knowledge of the events of the century just past. Linked historical maps keep you anchored geographically to the events. A very good site of its kind.

Tip: Use the "Search This Site" link at the upper right of the page linked above to find a thematic index to all the material covered in these lessons. Very helpful if you're looking for particulars.

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New and used books on history at Powell's
The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century


24 of the world's most distinguished scholars survey the momentous events and the significant themes of the 20th century

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