Brand new free resources for History Teachers

Outstanding History

Explaining History has helped thousands of students over the past five years, but until now there has been nothing specifically designed to make the lives of history teachers easier. The working world for history teachers grows harder each year, with more stress, less time and demands ever increasing.


My new site Outstanding History is designed to remedy that.

New Title Coming Soon: Chiang, Mao and the Battle for China 1919-1937

Between the end of the First World War and the beginning of China's Second World War in 1937, a bitter struggle between the Nationalist Kuomintang under Chiang Kai Shek and the Chinese Communist Party, led by the emerging Mao Zedong was waged. The two sides battled for the soul of China, a vast new republic emerging from a century of exploitation by European colonial powers. The battle for control of the country involved alliances with the warlords that dominated vast swathes of the rural interior and alliances with the Soviet Union, the USA and the growing threat of the Japanese Empire. This ebook is the second part of the Explaining History 20th Century China series.

New: Explaining History TV on YouTube.

Check out our new Explaining History video channel on YouTube, featuring advice, study skills, theory and further exploration of 20th Century themes. Click here for more

Welcome to Explaining History:20th Century history ebooks for Kindle and iBooks, Kobo and more

New Guest Essay by Ahmed Masood:  Exploring the relationship between missionary activity and colonialism in the 19th Century.

This month we have an excellent new guest essay from Ahmed Masood, one of this year's entries into the Peterhouse Vellacott Prize. Ahmed has explored the often contradictory relationship between British and French Christian missionaries and the powerful colonising powers they originated from. The nature and evolution of European colonisation and the role that evangelical Christianity played in its development is explored here

New Title: The Genocidal Century

The 20th Century has been an age of mass killing. A legacy of genocide has shaped the world in which we live in the early 21st Century and how we remember the victims and the crimes. In this concise ebook guide to the age of genocide, Julia Routledge explores five key atrocities: The Armenian genocide, Stalin's Ukrainian famine, The Jewish Holocaust, Cambodia's Killing Fields and the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She examines the testimonies of survivors, bystanders and perpetrators with compassion, insight and analysis. To download your copy, click here

The Communist Century by Chris Kostov

From the very origins of the communism, in the radicalised European working class movements of the late 19th Century, a vast an complex ideological movement that would eventually dominate much of humanity a century later emerged. The 20th Century was communism's century, a belief system that promised utopia managed instead to spread terrific suffering and bloodshed in its wake. The expansion of communist revolutions around the world after the two world wars, communism's first state in Russia, Stalinism and the dictator's empire in Eastern Europe and the influence of communism in China, Asia, South America and Africa are all covered here in this short introductory guide by Chris Kostov. For those who are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of 20th Century history, or for students who want a better grasp of the broad scope of change during the century, this is an indispensable guide. To download your copy, click here.

New Guest Essay By Tom Layton: Stalin, Trotsky and 'Socialism In One Country'

Why did the utopian goals of spreading the worker's revolution beyond the borders of Russia die after the Russian Civil War? What were the causes of the ascendency of Stalin's argument of building up 'Socialism In One Country', the final expression of which was the industrialisation of the Five Year Plans. Tom Layton explores the convoluted intellectual history of the post civil war era and unravels the shift towards Stalin's arguments and away from his bitter rival, Leon Trotsky. You can read the full article here

A New Title And A New Series For 2014 - 20th Century Lives: George Orwell by Julia Routledge

The 20th Century was the age of the public intellectual and foremost amongst the thinkers and writers who helped interpret the century was George Orwell. His best known works, Animal Farm and 1984 have become the means by which most of humanity in the decades since his death have come to explore the issues of totalitarianism, the surveillance state and propaganda. In this new ebook, the first in Explaining History's biography series, Julia Routledge explores the life and the works of Orwell, from his days as an imperial policeman in Burma to his experiences in the slums of London and Paris and on the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War. This book serves as far more than an introductory guide to the events of his life or a narrative account of Orwell's travels. It is an exploration of the man and his writing and the times that shaped both. You can download your copy here

Coming Soon: Red Sun At War Part Three: Fighting Back From The Coral Sea To The Kokoda Trail

By early 1942 the Japanese appeared to be unstoppable. On land, sea and in the air they have devastated their European and American enemies and in the space of a few months built a vast empire in the Pacific and South East Asia. 1942 would be a year of desperate struggle for the Australians and Americans who defended the Marshall Islands and Papua, the only defences that Australia possessed against the encroaching enemy. This ebook tells the story of the dogged defence of Australia and the end of Japan's ambitions of permanent conquest, charting the end of her run of conquests and the start of a long defensive retreat that would end, three years later with total defeat. This is the third part of a six ebook series on the Pacific War, but can also be read as a stand alone title. To download your copy click here

New Title: Explaining The Russian Revolution - A Student's Guide

The Russian Revolution can be one of the hardest subjects at school or college to study, complex ideologies and arguments need to be understood before the actual events of the revolution start to make any sense at all. In this new ten point guide I've condensed everything I have taught on Russia over the past decade into an easy to understand guide, along with two bonus essays at the end. This title is perfect for students who want to understand the revolution and its aftermath or learners who want to master the topic and included in the ebook are in depth answers to the following questions:
* What is communism?
* Who was Lenin?
* What problems did the Tsar face?
* Why did the February Revolution happen?
* Why did the October Revolution happen?
* Why was there a civil war in Russia?
* What was the Red Terror?
* What happened to Russia's churches?
* What was the NEP?
* Why did Stalin succeed Lenin?
This ebook is available to download here

New Title: Darkest Hour, Finest Hour: Norway, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain

The year of 1940 was a strange mix of catastrophy and triumph for Britain and her ability to hold out against the seemingly unstoppable success of Hitler's war machine had profound implications for the rest of the war. This ebook covers the first German campaigns in the west, the fall of Norway and Denmark, the capture of Holland and Belgium and the collapse of France.

The biggest military disaster to befall the British Army in Europe left 300,000 men trapped at the port of Dunkirk, and it was British resilliance, organisation and determination that saved the majority of the British Expeditionary Force from anihillation on the beaches. Operation Dynamo and two other key evacuations gave Britain enough men from which to rebuild the British Army. Throughout it all the controversial figure of Winston Churchill, flawed, brilliant, inspirational and exasperating to his generals, united a country who's confidence had buckled, and led them on with inspirational words: "We Shall Never Surrender." You can download this first volume of Britain at war here

New Title: Hitler, Stalin and the Destruction of Poland

In 1939 a stunned international community absorbed the news that Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, hated and implacable enemies, had signed a non-agression pact. The treaty between them contained a hidden clause, one which divided Poland between the two murderous regimes. This ebook explores the Nazi-Soviet division of Poland and the fate of the Poles and Poland's Jews. It also explores the Soviet Union's disasterous war against Finland, and Hitler's plans in the run up to the invasion of the USSR itself. Explaining History is a series of ebook titles dedicated to making 20th Century history accessible for all readers, ideal for enthusiasts, students and readers who want to know more. To read this ebook, click here


Reaction, Revolution and the Birth of Nazism (20th Century Germany: Part One)

By the end of the First World War Germany was in a state of anarchy as rival political forces battled to determine her fate. Since Germany's birth in 1871 the ideas behind the revolution the broke out in 1918, socialism, communism, anarchism, had been countered by a growing reactionary nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism, and it would be in the crucible of war that these conflicting beliefs would finally clash. This ebook tells the story of the German Revolution of 1918, an often overlooked event that had consequences every bit as far reaching as its Russian counterpart in 1917. It is the first part in a series that will look at the German Century. Explaining History is a series of ebook titles dedicated to making 20th Century history accessible for all readers, ideal for enthusiasts, students and readers who want to know more. To read this ebook click here


Sun Yat Sen and the Birth of Modern China (Explaining History: 20th Century China)

This is the first ebook in a series of three that explores the dramatic changes that have shaped the Chinese 20th Century, and look set to shape the 21st.

As the increasingly powerless Qing Dynasty in 19th Century China struggled to defend itself from European, American and Japanese colonial control, and bloody civil wars and rebellions fought by an angry and desperate people raged, a new revolutionary force emerged.
Sun Yat Sen's Tongmenghui, later known as the Kuomintang adopted the revolutionary ideas of the west, but in a bid to sweep away not only the weak Qing Dynasty, but the western powers that had brought China to her knees. To read this title click here

Hitler, Chamberlain and Munich: The End Of The Twenty Year Truce. The Breaking of Versailles Part Two

In the mid 1930s, Hitler's determination to wage a European war and destroy the Treaty of Versailles seemed to be an unstoppable force in international affairs. The weak and divided British and French, crippled by multiple crises over the Rhineland, Spain, Abyssinia and Austria were poorly prepared for the ordeal to come. This ebook explains how Hitler schemed and manipulated them in order to guarantee the destruction of Czechoslovakia and Poland. To download this ebook click here

Red Sun At War Part Two: The Fall of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies

From the sinking of Repulse and the Prince of Wales to the fall of Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra and Java and the bombing of Darwin, Japan's armies crashed through poorly defended and ill prepared colonies. With them came a degree of brutality towards prisoners and ethnic cleansing of Chinese civilians that made Japan's war synonimous with cruelty and prejudice. This ebook will explore how the European powers made so many avoidable errors and how they were to learn from their mistakes. To download this ebook click here

Stalin, The Five Year Plans and the Gulags: Terror and Slavery 1929-53

Stalin's war against the people of Russia took many guises, the famines that were caused by his policy of collectivisation, the breakneck speed of industrialisation and the labour camps that facilitated it and the great and bloody purges.

This new Explaining History Ebook follows on from Russia's Struggle with Modernity and explains how Stalin attempted to resolve the age old question of Russia's place in the modern world. It also unravels the paranoia and suspicion not only of the west, but of everyday Soviet citizens, caught up in the maelstrom. You can download your copy here

New for Students! Explaining Nazi Germany


From the Explaining History series, this is a new ebook for students of Germany history designed to dispel the six most pervasive myths about the Third Reich and help students get to grips with the most common problems. Also check out the link for additional bonus material and a free six part modern history course. To download the book click here


Red Sun At War: Pearl Harbour and Japan's Pacific Gamble

The devastating attack on Pearl Harbour, the tragic losses, extraordinary courage of the US sailors and airmen, and the fatal decisions of the Japanese are all examined through eye witness accounts and testimony. The terrible repercussions of the attack are explained in full and the story of how Pearl Harbour changed the war not just for America, but for Britain, Germany and the Soviet Union. Red Sun at War is the eagerly awaited sequel to Red Sun Rising, Japan, China and the West. To download this ebook click here

Hitler, Ribbentrop and Britain: The Breaking of Versailles Part One

A fraudulent chancer, fantasist and con artist, Joachim Von Ribbentrop charmed Hitler and dominated the Fuhrer's inner circle for much of the 1930s. Hitler was totally taken in by the version of the world Ribbentrop presented to him, so much so that he became the Nazi leader's unofficial, then official ambassador, causing discord and diplomatic havoc wherever he went.
This edition of Explaining History focuses on Hitler's first attempts to reshape the European order, by undermining the Treaty of Versailles, and attempting to build an alliance with Britain. It was an attempt doomed to failure, and fated to shape the nature of the coming war. To download this ebook click here

New Title: Russia's Struggle With Modernity: From the Romanovs to the Bolsheviks 1815-1929

This edition of the Explaining Modern History series is a very accessible introduction to the theme of modernisation in Russia and to 19th Century Russia in general. It is ideal for students of history and for enthusiasts alike, and is written to make modern history accessible and clear.

In 1917 Czarist Russia collapsed during the catastrophe of the First World War, but the tensions that had accumulated inside the empire for a century due to the challenges that modernisation presented were the real seeds of her undoing. The 19th Century was a battle for the soul of Russia, and it decided whether she would embrace liberal democracy and industrialisation like her contemporaries in Europe, or whether she would retreat into the past. In fact, she did both, and the human legacy of the disasters that followed is still being barely comprehended. To download this new title, click here.

American Radicals: The Red Scare

The Palmer Raids and the Red Scare 1918 -1920


The Red Scare we all tend to think of when we look at the USA happened after the Second World War, and culminated in the McCarthy witch hunt, but an earlier panic, involving far more violence on both sides gripped the USA after 1918. This is the story of the first Red Scare and you can read all about it here

The Roaring 20's and the Wall Street Crash

Latest Titles: Britain, France and Germany and the Treaty of Versailles.


What was so fundamentally wrong about the peace that was agreed at Versailles? Why did it decay within a generation? Why had other treaties proven far more durable? This is an easy, accessible ebook explaining the horrors of the First World War and the impact they had on the peace. Learn more here


If you have a passion for history and a curiosity to understand more then the Explaining Modern History Series will take you on a century's journey, from the battlefields of the world to the private meetings and discussions of presidents, emperors, generals, statesmen, visionaries and adventurers, covering in depth, but in an accessible way, everything you need to know, and some more besides.





The Wall Street Crash was an epic failure of the financial system at the start of the 20th Century, but it alone did not cause the Great Depression. This edition of Explaining Modern History looks at the deeper causes of the crisis. Ideal for GCSE and A Level.


Anyone who wants to understand our current economic crisis should examine this very similar one that took place over 80 years ago. To download the ebook click here

Red Sun Rising: Japan, China and Europe 1894-1941

Between the end of the 19th Century and the start of World War Two, Japan's power in the Far East grew in direct proportion to the decline of Russian, German, British and other European powers. This ebook explores the conflicting and often contradictory relationships between Japan and the West as they each planned how best to conquer China. The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbour was over in three hours, but was at least half a century in the making. This is an easy and accessible guide to understanding the tensions and crises in the far east during the first part of the 20th Century. To download the ebook click here