“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” For history buffs everywhere, this quote from philosopher George Santayana only further entices them to enjoy their favorite subject. It’s a reminder that learning about the past is crucial for building a better future—and it’s often a fascinating ride. So to discover a few brand new corners of history, check out the five eye-opening reads below.
America’s Black Capital: How African Americans Remade Atlanta in the Shadow of the Confederacy
By Jeffrey Ogbar
A University of Connecticut professor chronicles how a center of Black excellence emerged amid virulent expressions of white nationalism, as African Americans pushed back against Confederate ideology to create an extraordinary locus of achievement. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jeffrey Ogbar, in the Next Big Idea App
The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of British History at Hampton Court
By Gareth Russell
The Palace takes us into every room in England’s Hampton Court Palace, revealing the ups and downs of royal history and illustrating what was at play politically, socially, and economically at the time. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Gareth Russell, in the Next Big Idea App
Yesterday: A New History of Nostalgia
By Tobias Becker
Surveying the successive waves of nostalgia that swept the United States and Europe after the Second World War, an independent scholar shows that longing for the past is more complex and sometimes more beneficial than it seems. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Tobias Becker, in the Next Big Idea App
Sheridan’s Secret Mission: How the South Won the War After the Civil War
By Robert Cwiklik
A deeply researched, narrative history recounting the little-known late-Reconstruction era mission of General Philip Sheridan, a Union Army hero dispatched to the South ten years after the Civil War to protect the rights of newly freed Black citizens, who were under siege by violent paramilitary groups like the White League intent on erasing their postwar gains. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Robert Cwiklik, in the Next Big Idea App
The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky
By Simon Shuster
A monumental account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the forging of a leader, The Showman provides an insider’s perspective on the war reshaping our world, based on unprecedented access to Volodymyr Zelensky and the high command in Kyiv. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Simon Shuster, in the Next Big Idea App
The Key Ideas in 15 Minutes
“If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books,” Roald Dahl once famously said. The only trouble is, reading even one book from cover to cover takes hours—and you may not have many hours to spare.
But imagine for a moment: What if you could read a groundbreaking new book every day? Or even better, what if you could invite a world-renowned thinker into your earbuds, where they personally describe the 5 key takeaways from their work in just 15 minutes?
With the Next Big Idea App, we’ve turned this fantasy into a reality. We partnered with hundreds of acclaimed authors to create “Book Bites,” short audio summaries of the latest nonfiction that are prepared and read aloud by the authors themselves. Discover cutting-edge leadership skills, productivity hacks, the science of happiness and well-being, and much more—all in the time it takes to drive to work or walk the dog.
Go Deeper with a Next Big Idea Club Membership
The Next Big Idea App is free for anyone to try—and if you love it, we invite you to become an official member of the Next Big Idea Club. Membership grants you unlimited access to Book Bites and unlocks early-release, ad-free episodes of our LinkedIn-partnered podcast. You also gain entry to our private online discussion group, where you can talk big ideas with fellow club members and join exclusive live Q&A sessions with featured authors.
For a more focused learning experience, we recommend a Hardcover or eBook Membership. Every few months, legendary authors and club curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink select two new nonfiction books as the must-reads of the season. We then send hardcover copies straight to your doorstep, or eBook versions to your favorite digital device. We also collaborate with the authors of selected books to produce original reading guides and premium video e-courses, 50-minute master classes that take you step by step through their most life-changing ideas. And yes, it’s all available through the Next Big Idea App.
Learn Faster, from the World’s Leading Thinkers
Whether you prefer to read, listen, or watch, the Next Big Idea is here to help you work smarter and live better. Wake up with an always-fresh Idea of the Day, the perfect shot of inspiration to go with your morning coffee. Then dive into one of our Challenges, hand-picked collections of Book Bites that form crash courses in subjects like communication, motivation, and career acceleration. Later, watch the playback of an interview with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, or philosopher John Kaag. And be sure to check the “Events” tab in the app, so that you can join an upcoming live Q&A and personally chat with the next featured thought leader.
If you’re hoping to grow as a person or as a professional, we hope you’ll join us and tens of thousands of others who enjoy the Next Big Idea. Get started by downloading the app today!