Virginia History Books

Browse selected volumes on popular topics, such as the Civil War, the American Revolution, Fredericksburg, and the surrounding counties. These titles are updated frequently, so check back often for more recommendations. Most books can be requested and checked out from your home library branch. Use the menu below to limit your search to areas that interest you.

For students wanting historical tales--true and otherwise--check out our lists of Virginia History Books for Kids.

Andersonville

By MacKinlay Kantor

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"Before there were The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals there was Andersonville. MacKinlay Kantor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1955 for this novel, an epic account of the notorious prison camp in Macon County, Georgia. Though many of his characters are fictional, many are based on historical figures. Even some of the minor characters who appear as suffering prisoners of war are historical. Writing in the early fifties it was perhaps inevitable that Kantor drew subtle echoes of the Nazi concentration camps as he told this grim story of the greatest of Confederate war crimes. Kantor spent most of his life studying and writing about the Civil War. His emphasis was always on the small-town, ordinary citizens confronted with the horrors of Civil War.'

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Antique Garden Ornament: Two Centuries of American Taste

By Barbara Israel

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A collector's guide to some 300 individual decorative objects from American gardens from 1740 to 1940. 400 photos, 100 in full color. 12 line drawings.

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Antiques from the Garden

By Alistair Morris

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A perfect book for those who enjoy old and eclectic gardens. The Antique Collectors' Club details the large garden pieces, such as fountains and gazebos, as well as fascinating, old-fashioned gardening implements.

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Archaeology and the Colonial Gardener

By Audrey Noel Hume

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Gardening meets archaeology in this publication from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Available to read in our Virginiana Room at the Headquarters branch.

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Battle of the Ironclads: The Monitor and the Merrimack

By Alden R. Carter

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This book for elementary school students examines the construction, battles, and technological and historical impact of the Civil War battleships, the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack).

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Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park

By Joan M. Zenzen

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This is the story of how one American Civil War site has garnered national attention and taught Americans lessons about the future of historic preservation. It covers the earliest moves to create the Manassas Battlefield Park up to the struggle to prevent the Disney site nearby.
(From the publisher's description)
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Before and After Jamestown: Virginia's Powhatans and Their Predecessors

By Helen C. Rountree and E. Randolph Turner III

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Addressed to specialists and nonspecialists alike, Before and After Jamestown introduces the Powhatans--the Native Americans of Virginia's coastal plains who played an integral part in the life of the Williamsburg and Jamestown settlements--in scenes that span 1,100 years, from just before their earliest contact with non-Indians to the present day.

This first comprehensive overview of the Powhatans emphasizes how the Powhatan jigsaw has been pieced together with bits of evidence from archaeology, history, and cultural anthropology. Synthesizing a wealth of documentary and archaeological data, the authors have produced a book at once thoroughly grounded in scholarship and accessible to the general reader. Recognized authorities in Powhatan archaeology and ethnography, they have also extended the historical account through the native people's long-term adaptation to European immigrants and into the immediate present and their continuing efforts to gain greater recognition as Indians.
(From the publisher's description)

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Benson J. Lossing's Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution in Virginia & Maryland

By Jack E. Fryar, Jr., Editor

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Originally published in 1850--less than 75 years after the war--this attractive reprint of a history classic gives a unique narrative to the conflict based on the author's travels to the original sites, some of which are now unrecognizable. The Field-Book also contains many unique illustrations by the author of places, people, and objects important to the history of the American Revolution.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750

By Marcus Rediker

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What was it like when Britain ruled the waves, but pirates haunted the coasts of colonial America? In this maritime history, Rediker examines a dangerous, adventurous brotherhood of the sea.

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Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate

By Angus Konstam

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Of all the colorful cutthroats who scoured the seas in search of plunder during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early eighteenth century, none was more ferocious or notorious than Blackbeard. As unforgettable as his savage career was, much of Blackbeard's life has been shrouded in mystery-until now. Drawing on vivid descriptions of Blackbeard's attacks from his rare surviving victims, pirate expert Angus Konstam traces Blackbeard's career from its beginnings to his final defeat in a tremendous sea battle near his base at Ocracoke Island. Presenting dramatic accounts of the pirate's very effective tactics and his reputation for cruelty, Konstam offers a fascinating examination of the life and business of piracy and the lure of this brutal and bloody trade.
(From the publisher's description)

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