Books for History Optional for UPSC Mains

Most of the UPSC aspirants choose history as an optional because it is easy to start with and is one subject least dependent on coaching. Additionally, it helps the aspirants to deal with Prelims as well as the essay. UPSC Exam is conducted in three phases- Prelims, Mains and Interview.

History optional for UPSC IAS Mains

History is a standout subject among the other optional subjects for UPSC IAS Exam. It is a fascinating subject which gives us the data about our past. It is mixed with culture and tradition. It has a great importance in UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains exam. Taking history as an optional subject will help the candidates to tackle the questions in Prelims and general studies paper.

Here is the complete book list for History optional subject. This will help your UPSC IAS Mains preparation.

For history optional strategy for IAS, click on the link below:

Strategy for History Optional for UPSC

Books for history optional

  • Historian’s Craft-Marc Block
  • The Past and the present -Lawrence Stone
  • What is History -E.H. Carr

Best book for ancient Indian history for UPSC

  • Ancient India – An Introductory Outline -D.N. Jha
  • Ancient India (NCERT) -Prof. R.S. Sharma
  • Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India
  • History of India, Vol. -I Romila Thapar
  • The Wonder That was India -A.L. Basham

Medieval Indian history books

  • A History of South India -K.A. Nilkantha Sastri
  • Ancient India and Indian Archaeology Archaeological Survey of India
  • Ashoka & Decline of the Maurya -Romila Thapar
  • Indian Feudalism -R.S. Sharma
  • Material culture & Social Formation in Ancient India -R.S. Sharma
  • Medieval India (Macmillan) -Satish Chandra
  • Medieval India (NCERT) -Satish Chandra
  • The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1556-1707 -Irfan Habib
  • The Marathas -Gordon
  • The Mughal Empire -J.F. Richards
  • The Wonder That was India (Volume.2) -S.A.A. Rizvi
  • Urban Dynamics -H.C. Verma

Books for Modern India

  • Anatomy of the Raj (PPH) -Suhash Chakravarty
  • Freedom Struggle (NbT) -Bipan Chandra & others
  • Gandhi -B.R. Nanda
  • Gandhi -Judith Brown
  • India’s Struggle for Independence -Bipan Chandra
  • Modern India (Macmillan) -Sumit Sarkar
  • Modern India (NCERT) -Bipan Chandra
  • Peasant Movements in India -D.N. Dhanagare
  • The Raj Syndrome (Penguins) -Suhash Chakravarty
  • VAID’s Fundamentals of History Series
  • Administrative History -Pravin Kumar
  • Constitutional History -Pravin Kumar
  • Social History -Pravin Kumar
  • Freedom Struggle -Pravin Kumar

World history books for UPSC

  • Age of Capital -E.J. Hobsbawm
  • Age of Empires -E.J. Hobsbawm
  • Age of Revolution- E.J. Hobsbawm
  • Contemporary World History (NCERT) -Arjun Dev –
  • Europe Since 1815 -W.C. Craig
  • Europe Since 1870 -James Joll.
  • Europe Since Napoleon -David Thompson
  • Industry & Empire -E.J. Hobsbawm
  • The social basis of Democracy & Dictatorship -B.J. Moore
  • The Mainstream of Civilization -Strayer, Gatzke & Harbison
  • The story of Civilization, Vol. 2 (NCERT) -Arjun Dev

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