Feast your ears on this list of the best history audiobooks! From biographies to histories of countries and civilizations, this list has something for everyone who loves learning about the past.
So whether you’re stuck in traffic or relaxing at home, these great audiobooks will keep you entertained and informed. Happy listening!
1. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is one of the best history audiobooks out there. It tells the story of the Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman who came to America to fight in the Revolutionary War. Lafayette quickly became a close friend and confidant of George Washington, and he played a pivotal role in several key battles.
After the war, Lafayette returned to France and helped to lead the French Revolution. But, his fame never dimished in the newly established United States. Though he did not return to the country helped found until 1824, Lafayette was hailed as a hero everywhere he went.
A voice actor as well as an author, Sarah Vowell narrates much of the book. To voice the quotes of famous figures, Vowell called on acclaimed actors such as Patton Oswalt, Fred Armisen, and Nick Offerman.
I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the Revolutionary War or the French Revolution.
2. Gun, Germs, and Steel
In Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond asks a simple question: why did some human societies become vastly more prosperous and powerful than others?
The answer, he argues, has to do with the geographical and environmental luck of the draw. Societies that happen to be located in areas with fertile soils, accessible mineral resources, and a temperate climate are more likely to develop complex civilizations than those that are not.
Similarly, those societies that have domesticated fire-resistant plants and animals are more likely to survive natural disasters than those that have not. This is not to say that Diamond rejects the importance of cultural factors; rather, he argues that they are secondary to the physical conditions of a society’s environment.
As a result, Guns, Germs and Steel is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the rise and fall of human societies.
3. Stamped From the Beginning: A Definitive Idea of Racist Ideas in America
In his National Book Award-winning book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram K. Xendi takes listeners on a journey through more than five centuries of American history, from the early days of the European colonization to the present day.
Kendi expertly weaves together political, social, and cultural history to provide a comprehensive overview of how racist ideas have developed and evolved over time. He also offers insightful analysis of the impact that these ideas have had on individuals and society as a whole.
In addition to being informative and thought-provoking, Stamped from the Beginning is also extremely well-written and narrated, making it one of the best history audiobooks available.
4. Cuba: An American History
Ada Ferrer’s Cuba: An American History is one of the best history audiobooks out there.
It tells the story of how the United States and Cuba have been intertwined for over two hundred years. Ferrer does an excellent job of chronicling the major events in this history, from the American Revolution to the Cuban Revolution.
She also paints a vivid picture of daily life in both countries, giving listeners a real sense of what it was like to live through these tumultuous times. Best of all, Ferrer’s narration is clear and engaging, making this complex history accessible to even the most novice listener.
If you’re looking for a good history audiobook, Cuba: An American History is definitely worth checking out.
5. Empire of the Summer Moon
Empire of the Summer Moon is one of the best history audiobooks out there. It tells the story of Quanah Parker, the last great chief of the Comanches. The Comanches were once the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. They ruled over the Great Plains with an iron fist, and no one could stand up to them. But then, things began to change.
The white settlers began to arrive in Comanche territory, and they began to fight back. The Comanches fought bravely, but they were ultimately outnumbered and outgunned. They were forced to surrender, and their way of life was destroyed forever. Quanah Parker was one of the last Comanches to give up fighting. He eventually surrendered, but he never forgot his people or their way of life.
Gwynne does an amazing job of detailing the history of the Comanches from the arrivals of Spanish colonists through Parker’s life in the late 1800s. This is an incredible story, and S. C. Gwynne does a fantastic job of telling it. If you’re interested in American history, this is one audiobook you won’t want to miss.
6. Lakota America
In Lakota America, historian Pekka Hamalainen uses the history of the Lakota people to explore the origins of Indigenous power in North America. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Hamalainen shows how the Lakota emerged as a powerful force in the region through their strategic use of violence and diplomacy.
He also tells the story of how they were able to hold their own against the powerful United States and Canadian governments, despite being outnumbered and outgunned.
Hamalainen’s account is a fascinating look at the little-known history of one of America’s most resilient Indigenous groups. It is also one of the best history audiobooks available.
7. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
In this groundbreaking work, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating and largely unknown story of the United States’ overseas territories and possessions.
Immerwahr offers a revelatory account of America’s role in the world by exploring the islands America acquired around the world. In places like Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam the United States has acquired a world-wide empire.
With wit and insight, Immerwahr explores how the United States has used its power to shape not only its own history, but also the course of global events. How to Hide an Empire is a must-listen for anyone interested in understanding America’s place in the world today.
8. Dreams of El Dorado
In his best-selling history of the American West, H.W. Brands tells the story of how the region was settled and how its inhabitants wrestled with the contradictions of their newfound wealth and power.
The American pioneers kicked off many accomplished many events: the Oklahoma land rush, the California gold rush, the Texas Revolution, and a few more rushes.
But, they also launched war on the Native Nations of the west, massacred millions of bison, and even fought among themselves.
In Dreams of El Dorado, Brands brings these dichotomies to life through an unforgettable cast of characters and recounts a vivid history of pioneering and conquest. The result is an essential book for anyone interested in this most American of regions.
9. First Family
If you’re interested in early American history, then the Best History Audiobooks has a great selection for you. One of their best is First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis.
This book tells the story of one of the most important couples in American history. It chronicles their lives from their early days as young lovers to their time as president and first lady. Along the way, you’ll learn about their relationship with each other and with their children, as well as their roles in some of the most important events in American history.
First Family: Abigail and John Adams is a fascinating listen that will give you a new appreciation for this important period in American history.
10. Alexander Hamilton
Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton is widely considered to be one of the best history audiobooks ever produced.
It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the most important and influential figures in American history. Chernow’s narration is engaging and informative, bringing Hamilton’s story to life in a way that is both entertaining and educational.
Through this book, Chernow brought Alexander Hamilton, and his contributions to the early United States, to center stage. While Hamilton was often overlooked in favor of more famous patriots like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Chernow has made sure that won’t ever happen again.
This is an audiobook experience that is both enjoyable and enlightening, and that provides a rich understanding of one of the most important periods in American history.
If you’re looking for one of the best history audiobooks out there, you can’t go wrong with Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick.
This award-winning book tells the story of the Pilgrims’ journey from England to America, and their first years in the New World. Philbrick’s vivid prose brings the story to life, and his expertise as a historian ensures that it is always accurate and well-researched.
But Philbrick doesn’t romanticize the Pilgrims. He also delves into the history of the wars that erupted across New England between English settlers and Native Nations.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a good story, Mayflower is sure to please.
12. Encounters at the Heart of the World
If you’re looking for one of the best history audiobooks around, look no further than Elizabeth A. Fenn’s Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People.
This book is a fascinating account of the Mandan people, who lived in what is now North Dakota. Fenn tells the story of the Mandan people from their earliest known history to the present day.
She paints a picture of a proud and resilient people who have overcome immense challenges. The audiobook is narrated by Heidi Sheppard, who brings Fenn’s words to life. Sheppard’s performance is mesmerizing, and she gives voice to the many different characters in the book.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply interested in learning more about Native American culture, this is one audiobook you won’t want to miss.
13. Young Benjamin Franklin
Looking for a great history audiobook? Look no further than Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity by Nick Bunker.
This book tells the story of Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s most famous founding fathers, from his humble beginnings as a printer’s apprentice to his groundbreaking work in science and politics. Bunker does an excellent job of bringing Franklin to life, and his narration is both engaging and informative.
If you’re interested in learning more about American history, this is one audiobook you won’t want to miss.
14. Empire of Blue Water
Empire of Blue Water is one of the best history audiobooks out there. It tells the story of Captain Henry Morgan, his recruitment of a fleet of high-seas outlaws, and their battles against the world’s largest empires.
Stephan Talty brings this epic tale of pirates and naval battles, as well as their importance, to vivid life. While some paint pirates as renegades who were thorn in the side of the powerful, but nothing more, Talty shows how Morgan and his men changed the course of history.
The book is also very educational, providing a lot of information about pirate culture and history. Overall, Empire of Blue Water is an excellent choice for anyone interested in history or piracy.
15. American Colonies: The Settling of North America
If you’re looking for the best history audiobooks, look no further than American Colonies by Alan Taylor.
From the early days of European exploration to the establishment of the thirteen colonies, Taylor expertly weaves together a fascinating tapestry of history, weaving together the history of Native American Nations and colonists from France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Russia. The result is an engaging and enlightening listen that is sure to please even the most avid history buffs.
So if you’re looking for a great way to learn about this important period in American history, be sure to check out American Colonies by Alan Taylor.
16. Hero of Two Worlds
Mike Duncan’s Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution is one of the best history audiobooks I’ve ever encountered.
It tells the story of Lafayette, a French aristocrat who fought in both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Duncan does an excellent job of painting a picture of Lafayette as a complex and flawed individual, and his narration brings the story to life.
Throughout the book, Duncan explores Lafayette’s unwavering commitment to his values in an age of revolution, whether they landed him in front of a cheering crowd or a prison cell.
On top of being a New York Times Bestselling Author, Mike Duncan is also one of the most famous history podcasters out there. So, as both the author and narrator of Hero of Two Worlds, Duncan is able to bring the story to life like few others can.
If you’re looking for a fascinating history audiobook, I highly recommend Hero of Two Worlds.
17. The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke
If you’re looking for a captivating history audiobook, you’ll want to check out The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler.
This book tells the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, a group of English settlers who mysteriously vanished in the late sixteenth-century and Lawler’s journey to uncover what happened to the colonist. Along the way, he uncovers some fascinating theories about what might have happened to them.
To round out his fascinating story, Lawler delves into. thelives of the history hunters leading the search for the Roanoke colony, making it a truly immersive listening experience.
Whether you’re interested in American history or just want a good mystery to keep you entertained, The Secret Token is definitely worth a listen.