Skip to content Skip to footer

The biggest challenge when writing an historically set story is make it feel it isn’t happened today. Sure, people is people, but history is history and nobody should expect people of nearly one hundred years ago to think and act exactly like us. Nor should their lives appear to be just like our own life.

Of course there may be exceptions. In fact, as a storyteller, you’ll want to have exceptions in your story. But in order to do this and to make these exceptions still credible in your historical setting, you need as an author to be aware of what the ‘standard path’ was and to make your reader aware of the same.

So you need to know your facts, of course, nothing comes before that, but you also need to know and be aware of the similarities and the differences in the way people would think and feel in the time period as oppose as to what people think and feel today in the same situation. And honestly I find this to be the most fascinating part of the research.

NOTE: I tried to track down the first ever edition of every book, because I think knowing when a book was written puts it in the right perspective.

social history

Allen, Frederick Lewis, Only Yesterday. An Informal History of the 1920s. Harper & Brothers, New York, 1931

Behr, Edward, Prohibition. The Thirteen Years That Changed America. Penguin Group & BBC Enterprises, London, 1997

Chapman, Erin D., Prove It on Me. New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s. Oxford University Press, New York, 2012

Coffey, Thomas M., The Long Thirst Prohibition in America: 1920-1933. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, 1975

Eabinovitch-Foz, Einan. Dressed for Freedom : The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism. University of Illinois Press, Champaign, Illinois, United States of America, 2021

Fass, Paula S., The Damned and the Beautiful. American Youth in the 1920s. Oxford University Press, New York, 1977

Gara, Larry, The Baby Dodds Story Edition: As Told by Larry Gara. Rebeats Pubblications, Alma (MI), 2003 (revised edition)

Kobler, John, Ardent Spirits. The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Da Capo Press, New York, 1973

Kobler, John, Capone. The Life and World of Al Capone. Da Capo Press, New York, 1971

Kyvig, David E., Daily Life in the United States 1920-1940. How Americans Lived Through the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and the Great Depression. Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago, 2002

Lambert, G.E., King of Jazz Johnny Dodds. A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., New York, 1961

Moore, Lucy. Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties. Atlantic Books, London, 2008

Munford, Kevin J., Interzones. Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century. Columbia University Press, New York, 1997

Ogren, Kathy J., The Jazz Revolution. Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz. Oxford University Press, New York, 1989

Okrent, Daniel, Last Call. The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Scribner, New York, 2010

Perrish, Michael E., Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York, 1992

Takaki, Ronald, A different Mirror. A History of Multicultural America. Little, Brown and Company, New York, 1993

african american history and culture

Black Jr, Timmuel D., Bridges of Memories. Chicago’s First Wave of Black Migration. An Oral History. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 2003

Carson, Clayborne, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., Warner Books, New York, 1998

Douglas, Frederick, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, The Anti-Slavery Office, Boston, 1845

Drake, St. Clair, Cayton, Horace R., Black Metropolis. A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1945, 1962, 1970

DuBois, W.E.B., The Souls of the Black Falk, University Press John Wilson and Son, Cambridge (MA), 1903.

Fanon, Franz, Peau Noire, Masques Blancs. Edition de Seuil, 1952

Haley, Alex,  The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Ballantine Books, New York, 1964

King Jr., Martin Luther, The Words of Martin Luther King Jr, William Morrow Paperbacks , New York, 1984

Mahoney, Olivia, Douglass/Grand Boulevard. A Chicago Neighborhood. Arcadia Publishing, Chicago, 2001

Thompson, Lowell, African Americans in Chicago. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, 2012

Tiberini, Elvira Stefania, Black Inc., CISU, Roma, 2007

native american history and culture

Black Elk, Nicholas/Neihardt, John G., Black Elk Speaks. Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Excelsior Editions, Albany (NY), 1932

Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. An Indian History of the American West. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1970

Buffarini, Domenico, Il popolo degli uomini: gli Indiani del Nordamerica. Edizioni Amrita, Torino, 1994

Buffarini, Domenico/Marra, Mauro, Wakan. Società, spiritualità, religione degli Indiani del Nordamerica. Associazione “Mitakuye Oyasin”/Associazione “Huka Hey”, Venezia/Pordenone, 1998

Comba, Enrico, Riti e misteri degli Indiani d’America. UTET, Torino, 2001

Delany, Michelle, Buffalo Bill Wild West Warriors. A photographic History by Gertrude Käsebier. Smithsonian Institute/Collins Pushisher, New York, 2007

Eastman, Charles A. (Ohiyesa), The Soul of the Indian. An Interpretation. 1911

Epes Brown, Joseph/Black Elk, Nicholas, The Sacred Pipe. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1953

Gibbon, Guy, The Sioux. The Dakota and Lakota Nations. Blackwell Publishing, Malden (MA), 2003

Green, Rayna/Melanie Fernandez, Encyclopaedia of Native North America. British Museum Press, London, 1999

Hamilton, Charles, Cry of the Thunderbird. MacMillan Publishing, 1950

Hassrick, Royal B., The Sioux. Life and Customs of a Warrior Society. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1964

Jacquin, Philippe, Histoire des indiens d’Amèrique du Nord. Payot, Paris, 1976

Lowie, Robert, Indians of the Plains. American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1954

Nerburn, Kent, The Wisdom of the Native Americans. New World Library, Novato (CA), 1999

Peltier, Leonard/Harvey Arden, Prison Writings. My Life Is My Sun Dance.  St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 1999

Pizza, Giovanni, Miti e leggende degli Indiani d’America. Newton&Compton Editore, Roma, 1988

Wall, Steve, To Become a Human Being.The Message of Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah. Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Charlottesville (VA), 1999


Isnenghi, Mario – Rochat, Giorgio, La Grande Guerra, 1914-1918, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2014

Laqueur, Walter, Weimar, A Cultural History 1918-1933. Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd. London, 1971

Mai, Gunther, Die Weimarer Republik, C.H. Beck Verlag, Munchen, 2009

Travero, Enzo, A ferro e fuoco. La guerra civile europea (1914-1945), Il Mulino, Bologna, 2008

Weitz, Eric D., Weimar Germany. Promise and Tragedy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2007

Leave a comment

Captcha loading...