Skip to Main Content
Michigan State University

Who Would Have Thought There's a History of That?!: Third Edition

This is the bibliography of a book exhibit/display featuring recently published histories of topics and things that are a bit unusual and not much written about.

Third Edition

The exhibit outside the Fine Arts Library, fourth floor, West Wing of the Main Library, features/featured recently published histories of topics and things, tangible and intangible, that came to our attention because they seemed unusual, mostly not having been written about before. History is often an unpopular subject in school and college. People think studying or reading about famous or infamous individuals, people groups, wars, eras, ideologies, and noteworthy events is boring. We hope by featuring some of these titles to show you another, hopefully more interesting, side of history.  With thanks to Anita Ezzo, for many suggestions of books to include.

When the exhibit concludes, the books will be available for checkout.  Here is the bibliography of books represented in our third edition of this exhibit, with call numbers:

Aldersey-Williams, Hugh.  Periodic Tales, a Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc.  N.Y., Ecco, 2011.  QD 467 .A457 2011

Ambrose, Tom.  History of Cycling in Fifty Bikes.  N.Y., Rodale Press, [2013]. TL 410 .A43 2013.

Barker, Hugh.  Hedge Britannia, a Curious History of a British Obsession.  London, Bloomsbury, 2012. SB 437 .B37 2012

Basbanes, Nicholas A.  On Paper, the Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History.  N.Y., Knopf, 2013.  Z 247 .B34 2013

Beaulieu, Denyse.  Perfume Lover, a Personal History of Scent.  N.Y. St. Martin’s, 2013.  TP 983 .A66 B43 2013

Cobain, Ian.  Cruel Britannia, a Secret History of Torture.  London, Portobello Books, 2012.  HV 8599 .G8 C62 2012

Coyle, Diane.  GDP [Gross Domestic Product], a Brief but Affectionate History.  Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, [2014]. HC 79 .I5 C725 2014

Deutsch, Jonathan.  Barbecue, a Global History.  London, Reaktion Books, 2014. TX 840 .B3 D478 2014

Eire, Carlos M.N.  Very Brief History of Eternity.  Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, c2010. BT 913 .E74 2010

Forman-Brunell, Miriam.  Babysitter, an American History.  N.Y., New York Univ. Press, c2009.  HQ 769.5 .F67 2009

Franklin’s Thrift, the Lost History of an American Virtue, edited by David Blankenhorn, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, and Sorcha Brophy-Warren.  West Conshohocken, PA., Templeton Press, c2009.  HC 110 .S3 F73 2009

Gantz, Carroll.  Vacuum Cleaner, a History.  Jefferson, N.C., McFarland, c2012. TX 298 .G29 2012.

Hall, Ian R.  Taming the Truffle, the History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom.  Portland, Ore., Timber Press, 2007.  SB 353.5 .T78 H344 2007

Hecht, Jennifer Michael.  Stay, a History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It.  New Haven, Yale U.P., 2013.  HV 6545 .H372 2013

Hendy, David.  Noise, a Human History of Sound and Listening.  N.Y., Ecco, [2013]. P 96 .S66 H46 2013

Isacoff, Stuart.  Natural History of the Piano, the Instrument, the Music, the Musicians—from Mozart to Modern Jazz, and Everything in Between.  N.Y.  Knopf, 2011.  ML 650 .I83 2011

Jones, David Albert.  Angels, a History.  Oxford, Oxford U.P., 2010.  BL 477 .J66 2010

Kindstedt, Paul.  Cheese and Culture, a History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization.  White River Junction, VT., Chelsea Green, c2012.  SF 270.4 .K56 2012

King, Casey.  Ambition, a History, from Vice to Virtue.  New Haven, Yale U.P., 2013. E 162 .K59 2013

Krampner, Jon.  Creamy and Crunchy, an Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food.  N.Y., Columbia Univ. Press, c2013.  TX 803 .P35 K73 2013

La Niece, Susan.  Gold.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Univ. Press, 2009.  Fine Arts NK 7106 .L23 2009

Matt, Susan J.  Homesickness, an American History.  Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press, 2011. BF 575 .N6 M295 2011

Merriman, Philippa.  Silver.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Univ. Press, 2009. Fine Arts NK 7104 .M47 2009

Metcalf, Allan A.  OK, the Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.  PE 2831 .M48 2010

Milanović, Branko.  Haves and Have-Nots, a Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality.  N.Y.  Basic Books, c2011.  NC 79 .I5 M547 2011

Moscoso, Javier.  Pain, a Cultural History. N.Y., Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.  BF 789 .S8 M6713 2012

Müller-Wille, Staffan.  Cultural History of Heredity.  Chicago, Univ. of Chicago Press, 2012.  QH 438.5 .M8513 2012

Nye, David E.  When the Lights Went Out, a History of Blackouts in America.  Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press, c2010.  HD 9685 .U5 N944 2010

Ott, Cindy.  Pumpkin, the Curious History of an American Icon.  Seattle, Univ. of Washington Press, c2012.  SB 347 .O88 2012

Potts, John.  History of Charisma.  Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. BF 698.35 .C45 P68 2009

Prioleau, Elizabeth Stevens.  Swoon, Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them.  N.Y.  W.W. Norton and Co., 2013.  HQ 1090.27 .P75 2013

Quinzio, Jeri.  Pudding, a Global History.  London, Reaktion Books, 2013.  TX 773 .A56 2012

Radkau, Joachim.  Wood, a History.  Cambridge, Polity, c2012. SD 131 .R3313 2012

Ribbat, Christoph.  Flickering Light, a History of Neon.  London, Reatkion Books, 2013.  Fine Arts TK 4383 .R5313 2013

Rieger, Bernhard.  People’s Car, a Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Univ. Press, 2013.  TL 215 .V6 R54 2013

Rogers, Katharine M.  Pork, a Global History.  London, Reatkion Books, 2012. TX 749.5 .P67 R64 2012

Rosenfeld, Sophia A.  Common Sense, a Political History.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Univ. Press, 2011.  JA 83 .R724 2011

Russell, Sharman Apt.  Hunger, an Unnatural History.  N.Y., Basic Books, c2005. HN .R88 2005

Salzman, James.  Drinking Water, a History.  N.Y., Overlook Duckworth, 2012.  GB 661.2 .S26 2012

Shaffer, Marjorie.  Pepper, a History of the World’s Most Influential Spice.  N.Y., Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2013.  TX 407 .P4 S53 2013

Soar, Hugh D.H. Straight and True, a Select History of the Arrow.  Yardley, PA., Westholme, c2012.  U 877 .S63 2012

Solomonson, Lesley Jacobs.  Gin, a Global History.  London, Reatkion Books, 2012. TP 607 .G4 S65 2012

Spacks, Patricia Meyer.  Boredom, the Literary History of a State of Mind.  Chicago, Univ. of Chicago Press, c1995.  PR 408 .B67 S67 1995

Stearns, Peter N.  Fat History, Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West.  N.Y., New York Univ. Press, c1997.  RM 222.2 .S755 1997

Tanselle, G. Thomas.  Book-Jackets, Their History, Forms, and Use.  Charlottesville, VA, Bibliographical Society of the University of irginia, 2011.  Fine Arts NC 973 .T36 2011

Valenze, Deborah M.  Milk, a Local and Global History.  New Haven, Yale U.P., 2011. GT 2920 .M55 V35 2011

Zipes, Jack.  Irresistible Fairy Tale, the Cultural and Social History of a Genre.  Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, c2012.  GR 550 .Z59 2012.


Exhibit created and bibliography written by Agnes Haigh Widder, Humanities Bibliographer. 

Michigan State University