While history is by definition the study of the past, no subject tells us more about the present, or is as exciting to follow in contemporary times. The range of subgenres within history writing is huge. Some authors cover a massive scope, while others zoom in to examine tiny, overlooked elements in a new way. History may focus on individuals or groups, or speculate on the significance of items, materials, and inventions. Unlike your history class of old, these selections don’t demand memorization of names and dates—instead, they explore unsolved mysteries, fascinating questions, and provocative concepts to ponder long after the final credits. Read on for the 20 best history audiobooks in our catalog.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century
A History of the World in 6 Glasses
The Devil in the White City
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Alexander Hamilton
The Naturalist
Twelve Years a Slave
Guns, Germs and Steel
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
The Crusades
The Greatest Generation
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Princesses Behaving Badly
Bobby Kennedy
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Extreme Ownership