Best Summer Readings for AP European History

AP European History is a difficult subject, yet preparation can ease whatever fears you may have about the upcoming AP exam. If you prepare during the summer before class begins, you will develop a better understanding of what you are going to learn about. Here is a list of great reads you can accomplish this summer before starting your AP European History class.

– The European Settlement Of North America: 1492-1763, by George E. Stanley. Primary sources are important for understanding any event. The AP European History exam will more than likely provide you with primary documents, and ask you to write a concise and cohesive essay that makes use of those documents. You can familiarize yourself with potential documents by taking even small glances at them. This one is a good choice, because it covers documents pertaining to the exploration of North America.

– The Marx-Engels Reader, by Karl Marx, Engels, and edited by Robert C. Tucker. This little red book provides you with all of Marx’s known writings, as well as those written by Engels. This is a comprehensive reader that will give you insight to what was happening during Marx’s time. This book also provides a source of primary documents.

– Modern European History, by Birdsall Viault. Although I used this book in my AP European History class a few years ago, it is still relevant for students today. It is a little outdated, but it is still good reading for summarizing important events and movements in European history. Again, it is useful to look up further information about all of the events mentioned in this book, because it is not very comprehensive.

– Cracking the AP European History Exam, 2010 Edition, by Princeton Review. Although most students only start purchasing review books for AP exams near the end of the year, towards exam time, it’s even better to start preparing and reviewing now. Take note of what this book mentions, and expand that information. Do research of your own. The summer is the best time to start doing this because you have more time on your hands.

– The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions that Made Modern Europe: 1648-1815, by Tim Blanning and edited by David Cannadine. This is a book that is pretty comprehensive and will teach you about a few important events spanning a couple hundred years. Revolutions are important because they affect history immediately and in the long term. Chances are, there will be questions about a revolution on the exam.