UPSC is one of the prestigious and toughest exams in India. If you are preparing for UPSC and opted for History as the optional paper, these books will be helpful for your UPSC preparation. So, today we are recommending best history book in English for UPSC Exam.
History NCERT Books 6-12
It is vital to go through the NCERT books. You should read prescribed NCERT books from class 6th to class 12th. It will help you to understand the key points of history. And when you read other books, the gap between them will be filled.
For a first-timer, NCERT books are important to read. These books are government prescribed and easy to read.
India’s Ancient Past by R. S. Sharma
This book is a comprehensive work that traces historical developments from the Neolithic period and the Kalkolithic period to the Harappan civilization, the Vedic period, the rise of the Mauryas, the Gupta period. The Satavahanas up to the time of Harshavardhana.
The rise and fall of empires and the reign of kings have been placed in the context of the ancient social milieu, the existing varna system, developments in science and technology, commerce and trade, and the cultural legacy that shaped society.
History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
From the Marathas to the Cholas and Pandyas, the contribution of every dynasty influencing the course of the history of a particular region in a given period has been listed out.
Chapters on the Rajputs, Mughals, and Turkish invaders were recorded to bring out the turbulent times that many parts of North India underwent and what contribution these kingdoms and societies made towards the country that we have come to live in.
With the rise of every new dynasty, many shortcomings brought about their fall and the historian in Satish Chandra with deep insight about the historical events dissects the many reasons for their downfall in detail.
History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra
This book is a journey mapping the path of colonial India from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. It traces the timeline of British rule which majorly coincides with modern Indian history. However, this is not a political narrative of the British rule, the freedom struggle, and Independence. Rather, this book is a social understanding of the factors that allowed British rulers to rule over India for such a long period. It tries to understand what the social effects of the rule were.
This is not the only accurate description of Modern Indian history, but this is much closer to the everyday reality of those who lived between the 1700s-1947 in India. This book is a recommended read for the students who are preparing for civil services with “history” as an optional paper. It is also recommended for other History enthusiasts and academies.
India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra
This book provides a narration on the impact this movement had on the people. Bipin Chandra’s book is a well-documented history of India’s freedom struggle against British rule. It is one of the most accurate books which have been painstakingly written after thorough research based on legal and valid verbal and written sources.
It maps the first war of independence that started with Mangal Pandey’s mutiny and witnessed the gallant effort of Sri Rani Laxmi Bai. Many of the pages of this book are dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation and the civil disobedience movements. It contains a detailed description of Subash Chandra Bose’s weapon heavy tactics and his charisma. This book includes all the independence movements and fights, irrespective of their size and impact, covering India in its entirety.
Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
This book offers comprehensive and latest information covering the broad field of knowledge on Indian art, paintings, music, and architecture for the aspirants of Civil Services Preliminary and Main Examinations.
Apart from two new chapters and one appendix, the chapters have been enriched with details to make them more focused and comprehensive. There are questions at the end of each chapter that will help students prepare for the examinations.