Calling all history buffs: We know you’re on the hunt for your next fascinating read. That’s why we rounded up the best free and discount history books you can download now from Apple Books.
Apple Books, Apple’s new and improved version of iBooks, offers a wide variety of history titles for your reading pleasure—many of which are available for free. From a revealing biography of Joan of Arc to the harrowing account of America's worst naval disaster, these discount or free ibooks belong on your TBR list.
Note: Prices are accurate as of publication, but may be subject to change.
The Art of War - $0.00
For over 2,000 years, Sun Tzu's treatise on war and strategy has influenced everyone from military tacticians to political leaders and economists. This free edition includes two translations, one straightforward and the other enhanced with text commentary. In addition, readers will find notes on pronunciation, discussions of Chinese dynasties and historical events, and more.
In Harm's Way - $2.99
On July 30, 1945, a Japanese submarine fires a torpedo into the USS Indianapolis. Hundreds of sailors are killed upon impact, while nearly 900 more are tossed into the South Pacific. What follows is a hellish four days and nights lost at sea where the survivors struggle against hypothermia, shark attacks, and the relentless churn of the sea. Focusing on the stories of three survivors, author Doug Stanton delivers a harrowing account of this World War II naval disaster—and of the 317 men who survived the ordeal.
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland - $1.99
What does it take to push a person into carrying out a violent act they would never commit on their own? In Ordinary Men, Christopher R. Browning presents the finely-researched true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101, a unit of average, middle-aged German citizens who transformed into a killing force for the Nazi party during World War II. Throughout, Browning explores the brutality of war—both physical and psychological—and plumbs the frightening depths of human behavior in times of conflict.
Joan of Arc: A History - $1.99
After hearing the voice of God, a 15-year-old peasant girl takes up her sword and leads the French army to victory against the English, only to be accused of heresy and burned at the stake before she's 20 years old. Her epic story transcends history—but how well do we know the 15th century woman who became Joan of Arc? In this rich and engaging historical narrative, Helen Castor casts her gaze beyond the icon to find a living, breathing young woman from medieval Domrémy, born into an era of religious tumult and war, who through passion and sheer will achieved greatness.
Hannibal - $3.99
He was the general who brought Rome to its knees and remains one of history's greatest military commanders. In this gripping biography that reads like a page-turning thriller, Patrick N. Hunt recreates the life of Hannibal Barca: from his formative years in Carthage to his successful march across the Alps and his epic clashes with the Roman Army, to his eventual fall from power and final years in exile.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave - $1.99
Fredrick Douglass's moving autobiography of his early life as a slave is as powerful today as it was when it was written more than a century ago. Born in 1818 into slavery, Douglass secretly learned to read and write—an act punishable by death. After his escape from bondage, Douglass went on to become a passionate abolitionist and suffragist, a statesman, and one of America's greatest orators. Here Douglass leads readers through the daily dehumanization he endured as a slave and his own triumph over it.
Mistress of the Vatican - $1.99
New York Times bestselling historian Eleanore Herman invites you into the guarded corridors of the Catholic Church, where a powerful woman once wielded incredible influence over the male-dominated world of the Papacy and 17th century Italy. Expertly researched, Herman's biography of Olimpia Maidalchini is a riveting mix of history and political intrigue, presenting a new chapter in the history of the Vatican and Catholic Europe.