Don.eAs a historian, I specialize in the ancient world, having written numerous volumes about the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and other ancient peoples.  I have also long dedicated myself to creating accurate, up-to-date, and engaging historical material for young people and general non-scholarly readers.  When asked to name some good books for young people about ancient times, renowned historian Victor Davis Hanson (author of the classic The Western Way of War) responded: “There is an entire series of great children’s books by Don Nardo, who has emerged as the premier practitioner of that important craft.”

I have also written a number of volumes about medieval civilization and modern history, including overviews of several of America’s wars, biographies of three U.S. presidents and other world leaders, and studies of great American democratic documents.  Click on the appropriate links below to see some of my books and reviews.


Books About the Ancient World


 Books About the Medieval World



 Books About the Modern World



Books About the Ancient World

The Complete History of Ancient Greece

Complete History

-with 3 sample reviews:

Easily the best single-volume overview of the ancient Greeks I ever seen for this age group. . . . [It is] proving a tremendous aid to me personally by giving me one, compact source from which to draw facts, topics, and ideas. Would that more professional historians took the time to write as much first-rate material for high school students as Mr. Nardo does.

As general reference books for students go, this is absolutely first rate. The author, who has written numerous smaller books on the subject, goes all out here, providing almost a whole library unto itself about the ancient Greeks, their history, institutions, ideas, etc. This should be on every educated person’s shelf, not to mention every library shelf.

I’ve spent the past year spending literally thousands of dollars on various books about ancient Greece. I wish to write about it, and I’ve read about 60 books so far on the subject. I found this book in a secondary book store, and as I’ve read so many specialty books, almost passed it up. Feeling the need to step back and get a more general perspective on how everything I’d been reading about fit in to the scheme of things, I bought it. Boy, am I glad I did. I’ve read many types of collections in my time from short stories to articles, and one never really thinks of the editor who put it all together. With this book, however, I was struck early on by the fluid and expert way the various articles and excerpts by varying archeologists went together as if it were all written by the same author. The choice of the little examples of ancient life, or the passing mention of a political outlook did a great job of illuminating whatever the excerpt was about, and since the excerpts had to be edited to fit the chapters, much credit must go to Mr. Nardo for his choices of passages as well as his choices of books to borrow from and his progression and layout of chapters. If you are starting study of Ancient Greece, there is no better place to start than this book. If you only want one book to get a general understanding of the greeks, this has to be the one. I’ve never seen this sort of thing done this well before.


The Ancient Romans

The Ancient Greeks

Sample review by an Amazon reader:

Anyone familiar with the non-fiction history books that have been published in the young adult market in recent years has to be impressed with classical historian Don Nardo. As prolific as Michael Grant, as versatile as Chester G. Starr, and as thorough as A.H.M. Jones (for non-history buffs, three of the leading ancient historians of the twentieth century), Nardo has devoted several years of his time and energy to improving, and indeed single-handedly setting, the standard of historical writing for books used as reference in libraries in schools in the United States. As a former high school and junior college instructor, I have had frequent occasion to scan, review, and sometimes utilize such books in my classes, and I can testify that, with some rare exceptions, most are written by non-specialists who have little idea of what to emphasize in their texts or how to differentiate between current and dated material. These volumes are typically riddled with factual errors or at least misleading statements that students writing reports and other papers accept without question and which I have found myself correcting on a regular basis. Nardo’s books, in contrast, are factually reliable and cover their subjects with thoughtful attention to organization, proper emphasis, and inclusion of the most recent available data. This general overview of Greek civilization is no exception. It combines a feeling of epic sweep with meticulous attention to detail, much of the latter dealing with archaeological finds and how these have contributed to our knowledge of Greek history and culture. His companion volumes in the same series-one on the Romans, the other on ancient Mesopotamia-are equally good for the same reasons.

The Minoans


Roman Roads and Aqueducts

A History of the Ancient Greeks

Cleopatra: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh

Life Roman Glad.

Life of a Roman Gladiator

Sample review by a reader on

This is by far the best book about Roman gladiators on the market for young readers. Nardo, the leading historian of ancient Rome in juvenile publishing, has done a remarkable job explaining all known aspects of the fighters who fought and died in Roman arenas like the Colosseum. He begins with a thorough, up-to-date explanation of the origins of gladiators, pointing out that scholars now think they evolved from Roman, rather than Etruscan, funeral rituals. Then he covers recruitment, training, gladiator types, weapons, preparations for fighting, and the actual fighting (in marvelous detail). Especially valuable and riveting is a chapter on the rebellion of the gladiator Spartacus, with many details never included in other books for young people, and another chapter devoted entirely to the psychological and moral aspects of gladiators within the context of Roman society and the Roman world view. Most of the pictures are good too and the many maps in the Spartacus chapter are very helpful. In addition, Nardo includes numerous quotes by ancient authors about gladiators and an excellent bibliography. I highly recommend the book to all.

The Etruscans

Classical Greece and Rome

Arts, Leisure, and Sport in Ancient Egypt

Mummies, Myth, and Magic: Religion in Ancient Egypt


The Fall of the Roman Empire

Life of a Roman Soldier

Life Roman Soldier

The Ancient Greeks at Home and at Work


Encyc. Gk. and R. Myths

 Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology

The Parthenon

Life in Ancient Athens

Life Ancient Athens

The Roman Republic

The Roman Empire

The Pyramids of Egypt


Roman Amphitheaters

Roman Amphs
Sample review from Midwest Book Review:

Roman Amphitheaters by Don Nardo is a fascinating and well-researched study for young readers about the history of amazing Roman architectural structures such as the Colosseum, embellished with full-color photographs and illustrations. Touching upon the history of Rome, and showcasing both the splendor of the amphitheaters and the cruelty to which they were sometimes put, Roman Amphitheaters offers children an amazing glimpse into history itself.


Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Mesopotamia

Discovering Mythology: Monsters

Readings on Homer



The Roman Army: An Instrument of Power

Travel Guide to Ancient Pompeii

travel guide pompeii

This book tells the reader a great deal of information about life in an ancient Roman town by adopting the format of a travel guide ostensibly penned by a Roman writer shortly before the now famous eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius (which killed at least 2,000 of  Pompeii’s citizens and encased the town in a thick layer of ash). The text is therefore written in the first person and provides lively descriptions of families, homes, merchants and shops, food and drink, clothing styles, and entertainment, including gladiatorial combats in the town’s amphitheater, the first stone version erected by the Romans.

The End of Ancient Rome

Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul

Literary Companion to Medea


Literary Companion to Antigone

Alexander the Great: Conqueror of the Known World

Egyptian Mythology

Julius Caesar: Roman General and Statesman

Julius Caesar


 The Importance of Julius Caesar

Sample review from School Library Journal:

Nardo’s biography catches the essence of the man and his times. Caesar, in presiding over the death of the Roman Republic, was at times brutal and savage, at other times magnanimous to his enemies. A brilliant and charismatic leader, he bound his troops to him with the kind of loyalty that transcended their allegiance to Rome. He effectively used this military power to circumvent the Senate, crush his enemies, and, ultimately, become dictator for life. This is a complex and convoluted history, containing descriptions of many battles, devious political maneuvering, and shifting alliances, such as Caesar’s liaison with Cleopatra. Nardo tells the story with excellent pacing and attention to detail and doesn’t shy away from offering a controversial judgment.

Travel Guide to Ancient Athens

The Assyrian Empire

The Age of Pericles

 Philip and Alexander

Philip II and Alexander the Great Unify Greece

Sample review from School Library Journal:

King Philip II of Macedonia’s success in unifying the fractious Greek city-states in the fourth century B.C.E. is skillfully traced in this tightly organized monograph. Less attention is given to Philip’s son, Alexander III, who inherited the throne after his assassination. The portrayals of both men show their strengths and weaknesses. Nardo masterfully uses both primary and secondary sources to enrich the narrative. This is especially true in the quotes integrated from Demosthenes’s Philippics.


The History of Weapons and Warfare: Ancient Rome

The History of Weapons and Warfare: Ancient Greece

Greek Drama

Greek Drama

Women of Ancient Rome

Artistry in Stone: Great Structures of Ancient Egypt

Artistry in Stone

Women of Ancient Greece

Greek and Roman Sport


The Ancient Philosophers

Ancient Phils.

Sample review from Children’s Literature:

Part of the “History Makers” series, this is a multiple biography in the classic tradition of Plutarch which covers the development of ancient philosophy from the Greeks Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle, through Buddha and Confucius. As the contemporary Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski has said, “The cultural role of philosophy is not to deliver the truth but to build the spirit of truth.” In his careful analysis of the masters he describes, Nardo does a fine job of presenting this spirit of truth for younger readers to explore.

Sample review from School Library Journal:

In a clear, engaging, and elegant style, Nardo profiles five men, explains their roles in shaping the societies in which they lived, and discusses their lasting contributions to the understanding of science and philosophy. A discussion of the differences between the early thinkers of the East and the West and how they approached the major questions of nature and life establishes the groundwork for subsequent discussions of the works of Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, and Confucius. End matter includes an appendix of original documents from the philosophers profiled, extensive chapter notes, and a long list for further reading. Black-and-white photographs, reproductions, and maps extend and enliven the presentation. This concise and accessible book is a great resource for students of philosophy and ancient history.


Life of a Roman Slave

Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece

Egyptian Art
Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture

Classical Civilization: Ancient Greece

Classical Civilization: Ancient Rome

Rulers of Ancient Egypt

The Birth of Christianity


Also, a splendidly mounted, informative series on ancient Mesopotamia, covering the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Medes, Persians, and other peoples of the region in detail, accompanied by many stunning photos!

Peoples and Empires of Ancient Mesopotamia

Peoples and Empires of Ancient Mesopotamia


Life and Worship in Ancient Mesopotamia

Arts and Literature in Ancient Mesopotamia

Science, Technology, and Warfare of Ancient Mesopotamia

 Gods and Goddesses

And for young readers, a colorful new mythology series, visually designed in the tradition of the old Classic Comics:

The Epics of Greek Mythology

The Gods and Goddesses of Greek Mythology

The Heroes and Mortals of Greek Mythology

The Monsters and Creatures of Greek Mythology

Mythology- Monsters


Ancient Greek Art and Architecture


Ancient Roman Art and Architecture


Greek MythologyGreek Myths

This and the other three mythology books below strongly emphasize the ways in which myths affected the everyday lives, customs, and thinking of the ancient peoples mentioned in the titles.


Roman Mythology


Babylonian Mythology


Persian Mythology

Persian Myths

Exploring the Ancient World: Ancient Greece


Exploring the Ancient World: Mesopotamia

New in 2014-2015

The Parthenon of Ancient Greece

My newest study of the Parthenon and how it was built–commissioned by Reference Point Press, in San Diego–is more up to date than the one I penned more than a decade ago for Lucent Books, although both books are well mounted and feature mostly different pictures.

Also look for my newer versions of Life in Ancient Egypt and Roman Roads and Aqueducts, both for Reference Point Press as well.

In addition, the following 3 of my mythology books were released in 2015 by Mitchell Lane Publishers in Delaware. These colorful little volumes are aimed at 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Zeus Cover
Odysseus Cover - CopyJason Cover

Also directed at younger readers and published in 2015 are these 4 books about ancient life from Raintree Publishers in England.

Life in Egypt CoverLife in Greeece Cover


Life in Rome CoverIslamic Golden Age Cover

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Books About the Medieval World


Lords, Ladies, Peasants, and Knights: Class in the Middle AgesMedieval People

This book goes into detail about the everyday lives, occupations, and achievements of several major medieval character types, including nobles, soldiers, serfs, monks, both upper and lower-class women, merchants and traders, scholars, artists, and explorers. In many ways, it is a modern, somewhat less detailed version of Eileen Power’s classic book Medieval People.


The Spanish Conquistadors


The History of Weapons and Warfare: The Middle Ages


Tycho Brahe: Pioneer of Astronomy

Tycho B.

This biography of the great Danish astronomer, published by Compass Point Books/Capstone Press, was selected as the National Science Teachers’ Association’s outstanding science trade book for 2008. The well-known book-reviewing journal Booklist gave it the following critique:

Seasoned author Nardo brings his lively, informative approach to this standout biography of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, or Tycho, as he was most commonly known. From a defining moment, in which Tycho first glimpsed a supernova, Nardo tracks back to the pioneering scientist’s advantaged childhood and then forward through his astonishing career. Nardo gracefully inserts clear definitions of technical terms, such as parallax, into the biography, and corresponding time lines connect world events with Tycho’s breakthrough discoveries and personal milestones. Throughout, Nardo communicates the essence of scientific inquiry: that basic, sincere observation of natural occurrences inspires curiosity, passionate questioning, and further research.

Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire

Francisco Coronado

The Vikings

The complete and often riveting story of the renowned medieval sea raiders who terrorized
large parts of continental Europe and the British Isles for some three centuries. Like my other historical works, this one is replete with primary source quotes–surviving contemporary accounts that make the narrative come to life.



The Medieval Castle

The Inquisition


Aztec Civilization

This volume mainly covers Aztec history.  I have covered Aztec myths and religious beliefs and practices thoroughly in a book that will be released in a book that will appear in the near future.

The Globe Theater

globe theater

Great Elizabethan Playwrights

In addition to a general overview of Elizabethan theater, this volume contains concise but informative biographies of John Lyly, Thomas Kyd, George Peele, Robert Greene, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson.


The Islamic Empire


Readings on the Canterbury Tales


Freedom Fighter: William Wallace  and Scotland’s Battle for Independence


The Black Death

Medieval Europe

The Birth of Islam

British Mythology

British Myths


New in 2014-2015

Medieval Knights and Chivalry

Med. Knights and Chiv.

                                        Medieval Warfare

2013 medieval warfare

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Books About the Modern World


Volumes On Early American History and Culture:


Early Native North Americans

History of Weapons and Warfare: The Native Americans

                                              Weapons, Native Americans

The Salem Witch Trials

Braving the New World: 1619-1784: From the Arrival of the Enslaved Africans to the End of the American Revolution


 Colonies-Daily Life

And a 4-volume series on Colonial America:

The Establishment of the Thirteen Colonies

Government and Social Class in Colonial America

Daily Life in Colonial America


Religious Beliefs in Colonial America

Sample review from Catholic Library World:

A comprehensive, academic resource written in a clear, concise narrative, Religious Beliefs in Colonial America provides young researchers with an excellent overview of the faiths of the people who founded our country. The book begins by differentiating between religious freedom and religious tolerance, explaining how the groups who originally came to America came here for religious freedom, but were not necessarily tolerant of beliefs other than their own. It then continues to cover Native American beliefs, the diversity of faiths, the influence of individuals including the clergy and church organizations, fringe beliefs and superstitions, the relationship between religion and science and the influence of Deism and other faiths in the American Revolution. . . . The book is very well organized, including historical drawings, portraits, photographs of monuments and historic buildings, quotations from primary sources, and sidebars covering high interest topics. . . . The book is an excellent research resource. Students struggling with narrowing down their topics will find it especially helpful as the authors do an excellent job of identifying subtopics and providing thorough background information. Teachers will find this resource an excellent extension to the typical textbook study of Colonial America, connecting the current mix and conflicts of faiths in our country to the original settlers.

Volumes On American Government:

The Declaration of Independence

Dec. of indep.

Creation of the U.S. Constitution

Sample review from an Amazon reader:

I’m a student teacher for a 12th grade government course and I came across this book. I love it–it’s perfect and I want to find more in the series. It’s very easy to use. The vast majority of the book is primary sources with a short introduction to each piece which helps to set the scene. The choice of documents is great because there are, just as the book title says, opposing viewpoints. One primary source for and another against a particular topic such as “The country under the Articles of Confederation is in Crisis” and “The country under the Articles of Confederation is not in crisis.” I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to stir debate and thought in a class.

The Bill of Rights

The U.S. Presidency

New in 2014-2015

The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

presidency of lincoln

Assassination and Its Aftermath: How a Photograph Reassured a Shocked Nation


Volumes on America’s Wars and Military Institutions:


The Battle of Saratoga

 B. of Saratoga



 The American Revolution

The Mexican-American War

Sample review from a high school history teacher:

Historian Don Nardo has written numerous excellent books for young people, mostly about ancient times. I have had the good fortune to use some of them in teaching my high school history classes. I was not aware until now, however, that he is equally versed in American history. Most people today do not remember the Mexican War. That is probably due in part to the fact that it was a shameful affair, in which the United States quite literally launched an essentially unprovoked military aggression against a neighboring country, mainly out of greed for land and deep-seated racial and ethnic bias. Though Nardo does not take sides, since he is writing for students and must remain impartial, he allows the facts to speak for themselves. And those facts nearly leap from the pages. Numerous passages from books, newspapers, and official documents of the times provide copious documentation worthy of scholarly history books (although Nardo is always careful to keep the writing clear and easy to understand). It is difficult, after reading this superlative treatment of the war, and especially the events leading up to it, to think about Texas in the same way I used to. The way this country acquired it was and will always remain a stain on American honor. Nardo must be congratulated for a job exceedingly well done.


The Civil War

Civil War

This is a general history of the causes and events of the American Civil War. I have written several other volumes that deal with various specific aspects of that conflict. Directly below, for example, find a study of the weapons employed in the war. I also did a book for younger kids about the lead-up to the conflict, one for that same age group about the war’s major battles, a study of the social and historical impact of Mathew Brady’s photos titled Civil War Witness, and a biography of Brady. (The eye-catching cover of Civil War Witness can be seen further down on this page.)

The History of Weapons and Warfare: The Civil War

History First Hand: Pearl Harbor

World War II in the Pacific


The Alamo



Today’s U.S. Army

Today’s U.S. Navy

A 7-volume series of books for Morgan Reynolds Publishing, in North Carolina, about U.S. Special Forces, aimed at younger readers. (The reading level is grade school, but junior high and high school students will find them useful, too.) These highly informative and visually stunning books are beautifully mounted and illustrated by Morgan Reynolds Publishing (in North Carolina). Among the Special Forces groups described are the Army’s Rangers and Green Berets; the Navy’s SEALS and Special Boat Units; the Air Force’s Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) and Combat Controllers; and the Marines’ Force Recon. Training, weapons, ships, helicopters, warplanes, camouflage, parachuting, and many other aspects of the services performed by these true American heroes are all presented in considerable detail. I am indebted to two former Special Forces fighters who provided me with valuable information and suggestions, helping to make these books as complete and accurate as possible.

Special Operations: Training

Special Operations: Weapons

Special Operations: Amphibious Warfare

Amphibious War

Special Operations: Reconnaissance

Special Operations: Paratroopers


Special Operations: Snipers

Special Operations: Search and Rescue


Later, the folks of Morgan Reynolds informed me that these military books for young people were selling quite well and that they wanted me to do more of them. So I did the following books for them in a subset called “In the Air”:

In the Air: Drones

Drones cover

In the Air: Helicopters
In the Air: Bombers

In the Air: Missiles

In 2014, I finished a third subset of military books for Morgan Reynolds, this one called “In the Water,” which essentially translates as “under” the water. It looks at submarines, various naval special forces groups, amphibious weapons like mines and torpedoes, and their history, and the tactics and strategies employed by admirals and other naval leaders. I will post more about those books as they are released.


Volumes on the Depression Era:

The Great Depression

Franklin D. Roosevelt

American History by Decade: The 1930s







Migrant Mother

This critically acclaimed volume about the famous photo taken during the Depression and its fascinating legacy was nominated for numerous best-book-of-the-year awards and won the Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile Nonfiction for 2011.

Sample review from Booklist: Migrant Mother-2

With the clean, sophisticated design of a coffee-table art volume, the attractive titles in the Captured History series use the story behind iconic images to introduce young readers to specific time periods. In this entry, Dorothea Lange’s indelible 1936 image of Florence Thompson, a migrant worker at a pea-picking camp, is the focus, and veteran nonfiction writer Nardo begins with a “you are there” account of the day that Lange took her famous photo. Subsequent chapters branch out into a brief introduction to life around the country during the Great Depression, illustrated with more of Lange’s familiar photos, including perhaps her most well known, “White Angel Breadline.” Throughout, quotes from Lange and Thompson deepen the biographical information about both women and also point to the ethical complexities of photojournalism: “Thompson later claimed that Lange’s photographs simplified her circumstances and reduced her to stereotype.” Additional commentary, strong photograph source notes, an illustrated time line, a glossary, and suggested resources round out this illuminating, attractive title that will draw a wide age range of readers.

Sample review from

Many Americans remember Dorothea Lange’s iconic photograph of a Depression-era migrant mother gazing off into the distance, surrounded by her children. Nardo’s text soulfully places this photograph at the center of an intriguing book that explores Lange’s motivations for taking the photograph, the decades-later discovery of the subject’s identify and her story, the influence of Lange’s work on author John Steinbeck, the inspiration for his THE GRAPES OF WRATH, the historic context of the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and more. This fascinating interdisciplinary title, its historic photographs, and its compelling text gives a powerful new lens through which to see this period of American history. The book’s layout features extensive white space punctuated by Lange’s and other Depression-era photos, along with bold black and red header text, giving the book the feel of a high-end art book. Highly recommended.

New in 2014-2015

The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt

presidency of Roosevelt

Volumes on American Culture:


Mathew Brady: The Camera is the Eye of History


The Scopes Trial

Scopes Trial

The Women’s Movement

American History by Decade: The 1940s


Clara Barton: Face Danger, but Never Fear It


Profiles of the Presidents: Barack Obama







Maya Angelou: Poet, Performer, Activist


John Wayne

 Pop Culture Legends: John Wayne


The Importance of Walt Disney


Bernie Madoff

The incredible and at times shocking story of the Wall Street trader who bilked thousands of people out of their hard-earned money, causing one of the biggest scandals in modern history.

Bernie M.



American Mythology

American Myths

New in 2014-2015

The Golden Spike: How a Photograph Celebrated the Transcontinental Railroad

Golden Spike

In the same series as Migrant Mother, for Compass Point Books (part of Capstone), this fascinating volume explores the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad by following the career and exploits of the photographer who took this iconic image of the two railroad lines coming together in Utah. Like all of my books, it is available on Amazon. Just click on the title or picture above.

Also look for an excellent book in that Compass Point series, Civil War Witness: Mathew Brady’s Photos Reveal the Horrors of War, with some valuable input from Bob Zeller, the country’s leading authority on Civil War photography.

And for Reference Point  Press, I did a heavily researched and detailed study of The Relocation of the North American Indian, which features much valuable and often moving information about the terrible way the U.S. government drove most of the eastern Native Americans from their lands and homes and mercilessly drove them overland into frequently miserable and dangerous situations in the West.


Volumes About World History, Events, and Leaders:


Heroes and Villains: Adolf Hitler



Sample review from Children’s Literature:

The “Heroes and Villains” series tackles the sticky territory between what fascinates people about other people, both good and bad. However, the subject of this book leaves no     room  for wondering: Adolf Hitler emerges, notwithstanding his troubled, abused childhood, as the arch villain of all time. Nardo has done an outstanding job of writing a highly readable account of a true monster with all his warts in this account of the rise to power of Germany’s Third Reich and its infamous führer. Generously peppered with black-and-white photographs and frequent sidebars, this incredible story unfolds in great detail, continuously reverting to the horrible fact that Hitler revealed his unbelievable plans in advance, and hardly anyone gave them credence. In fact, World War II and its 30 million victims was clearly outlined in his Mein Kampf, which stated unequivocally his insane desire to wipe out every last Jew and other “undesirables” to create his master race and obtain more living space for Aryans. His expertise in swaying a crowd to enlist in his obscene plans is documented repeatedly. This is a chilling book, well researched and explained, sure to leave a lasting impression upon its readers.


The Rise of Nazi Germany

Hitler in Paris

Hitler Paris

Women Leaders of Nations


World Religions: Buddhism


Enchantment of the World: France



The Age of Colonialism

Age Colonialism

A comprehensive 4-volume series on the Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution in Britain

Ind. Rev. Britain

The Industrial Revolution in the United States

The Industrial Revolution: Social and Economic Effects

The Industrial Revolution’s Workers and Their Lives



The Rwandan GenocideRwandan Genocide-2

Aimed at young adults, this volume presents the horrifying details of the 1994 massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, constituting one of the worst mass murders in history.





Slavery Through the Ages

This thoughtful, fact-filled book investigates one of the world’s oldest and darkest institutions, beginning with how it was practiced in the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia. The narrative then moves to Greece and Rome, the latter of which had the largest slavery institution in human history. Next, I explain how, following Rome’s fall, some Muslim societies constructed their own slavery systems, which were soon copied by the Portuguese and other Europeans. Then, with the colonization of the Americas by Portugal, Spain, England, and other Europeans, the need for cheap labor led to the exploitation of black Africans by those nations. I detail the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as well as explain how England first, and then the United states led the way in stopping it. Slavery as an issue leading to an American Civil War comes next. Yet even after black Americans were freed, the scourge of slavery was not erased. Even today, tens of millions of people languish in sex slavery and other kinds of servitude. This book is excellent for school reports on slavery as well as for casual young or adult readers who want a thorough general overview of the subject that can be read in a few hours.

Enchantment of the World: India





New In 2014-2015

North African Cultures in Perspective

North African Cultures

Understanding Afghanistan Today



Volumes About Modern Scientific and Medical Discoveries



The Scientific Revolution

Tells the exciting story of the emergence of modern science, including the contributions of Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Newton, and many other giants of science.


The History of Television

History of Television


Polar Explorations

This volume is the only book written for young adults that covers all the major expeditions to both the North and South poles!



Destined for Space

Destined Space

This very attractively mounted book, written for Capstone Press, is a history of human interest in space and space flight, aimed at younger readers. It was done in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution and NASA, which reviewed the content and supplied the photos.

The book won the Eugene M. Emme Award for 2012, in the children’s literature category. Eugene Emme was, until his death, the official historian for NASA. And the awards in his name are given each year by the American Astronautical Society for outstanding volumes that advance understanding of astronautics.

The Trial Of Galileo


Extinction of the Dinosaurs


Eating Disorders




The Solar System



The Big Bang

Big Bang

The Ice Ages

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Search for ET Life



Sample review by an Amazon reader:

To my knowledge, this book is the best of its kind for young people. While a number of excellent books for adult readers explore the subject of life beyond our earth, including those by Carl Sagan, Seth Shostak, Ben Bova, and others, Nardo’s is important because it gives younger readers a solid, accurate, entertaining introduction to the subject. In fact, he regularly quotes from the works of the authors mentioned above, in that way preparing young readers to tackle their more advanced books later on. Mr. Nardo covers all the major bases of the topic, including how life started on earth, early theories about extraterrestrial life, the rise of modern astronomy, the advent of human space travel, mathematical probabilities of alien life, etremophiles on earth as models for possible alien life forms, physical environments on other worlds, the problem of overcoming the great distances to other worlds, the possibility of using wormholes for such travel, and much, much more. Highly recommended not only for young readers but also adults who have no prior knowledge of the subject and want a beginner’s primer before moving on to the more advanced books.

Climate Crisis: The Science of Global Warming

Extreme Threats: Asteroids and Comets

Ast. and Comets

Space Travel

Force and Motion

Extreme Threats: Volcanoes


Sample review from Children’s Literature:

If you want to read an amazing book that explains volcanoes in a manner everyone can understand, you should read this book. After completing Extreme Threats: Volcanoes, the reader will have an understanding and respect for volcanoes that they probably never had before. Various volcanoes and their aftermath are terrorizing to read about. Photographs are almost unbelievable since they are unique and beautiful while depicting the horror victims must have experienced. When Mount St. Helena erupted in 1980, after being dormant for more than a century, it destroyed 230 square miles, twenty seven bridges, and two hundred houses. A volcanic mudslide covered a Columbian town and killed more than 25,000 people in fifteen minutes. Other volcano avalanches have been known to travel at speeds up to 450 miles per hour which no person or animal could outrun. Volcano eruptions can cause global climate changes. One result was the ice age which lasted one thousand years. This caused severe famine among animals and humans. When plants die, animals die because they have no food. Some scientists feel the eruption almost wiped out the human race. Dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago. Volcanic catastrophes almost destroyed all life on earth, killing 96% of all marine life and 70% of all land species. The United States is included in the volcanic danger zone and no one knows when one will happen. Millions of people could be killed. This may happen tomorrow or one hundred thousand years from now. Ways must be found for civilization to survive. Every high school library would do well to have several copies of this invaluable book available to its readers.

New in 2014-2015

Blue Marble

Blue Marble

Cardiovascular Disease and Diet

Volumes About Modern Art and Literature

History of Sculpture

History of Architecture


History of Painting




Readings On Romeo and Juliet


Readings On Julius Caesar

Readings On Othello

Readings Othello

Sample review from an Amazon reader:

Don Nardo’s “Readings on Othello” is the most readable book of essays on this play that I’ve ever come across. The book is geared toward students, but it’s not dumbed-down; instead of a plot summary, you’ll find intriguing essays on different themes and issues in Othello. The essays are all written by Shakespeare teachers/scholars, and they are thought-provoking without being too complex to grasp.I especially liked the chapter in the beginning that deals with Othello’s origins (the source that Shakespeare used for inspiration), offers background information on the locales and peoples in the play, and gives a brief yet thorough overview of Shakespeare’s life.If you are interested in some in-depth study of Othello, or need to write a paper on this play, I highly recommend that you read this book. It will make you see the play from so many different angles, and guide you towards better understanding of what Shakespeare was trying to say.

Readings On A Tale of Two Cities

Gabriel Marquez Garcia: Nobel Prize-Winning Author

Understanding Frankenstein



Understanding Hamlet

Understanding Hamlet

Sample review from School Library Journal:

In this clearly written, easy-to-understand book, Nardo explains the timeless nature of the classic play. He includes a wonderful section about the life and times of William Shakespeare and discusses the influences of earlier stories and plays on the structuring of the plot, the characters, and the theme of revenge. The author also explains how the textual and visual interpretations of the play have changed and evolved from the 1500s to the late 20th century. A copious notes section, a section for further exploration, questions and ideas for themes and essays, and an appendix of literary criticism make this an invaluable teaching aid or library resource.

Sample reviews from Amazon readers:

Wow! This is the best brief study of HAMLET I have ever seen, and I have seen many in almost five decades of reading about the Bard. Students will benefit immensely from the author’s ability to convey a huge quantity of facts about a long, complicated play without boring, confusing, or talking down to them. The plot, characters, themes, and much more are covered with care, attention to detail, and enthusiasm, revealing what must be a life-long love of Shakespeare. Indeed, Nardo, a historian by trade, and quite a good one by the way, seems equally at home in the world of Shakespearean criticism, which turns out to be fortunate for all the rest of us! So, I say “get thee to a library” and take out this marvelous little book!

I have always loved Shakespeare, including Hamlet. And I have seen numerous versions of this great play, as well as attended a college seminar about it. So I naturally figured that I knew it extremely well. Here is a short but simply wonderful book that has reminded me that there are always new things to learn about Hamlet. It’s aimed at young readers, but is so well written and insightful that an old hack like me could not put it down. I wish this author would write a volume like this about every one of Shakespeare’s plays. I’ve never seen the Bard explained better than this.

I can’t say enough good things about this terrific little book that tells so very much about the play that many people consider the greatest ever written. Nardo, a noted historian and literary scholar, provides loads of valuable information about Shakespeare and his times, about the background of HAMLET (including the sources on which Shakespeare based it), the plot, a really fascinating chapter dissecting the characters (including several of the minor ones), and a chapter discussing the main themes, all in a very straightforward, easy to understand style. The bibliography is also first rate, pointing the way to most of the best sources out there about the play. This book is “must read” for students, but believe me, adults will get a lot out of it too, especially those who don’t think they’re very much interested in Shakespeare. This book will open wide the door to enjoyment of Shakespeare for such people. I have noticed that Amazon lists several other Shakespeare volumes by this author. I have not read any of them yet, but I fully intend to.

Eye On Art: Leonardo da Vinci

Eye On Art: Frank Lloyd Wright

F.L. Wright Cover

Eye On Art: Frida Kahlo

Frida K.

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Please note that the books listed above represent only some of the more than 450 non-fiction volumes I have written to date. Anyone who is interested in a full list should check out Amazon, although at any given moment there are usually around 5 to 10 of my books that have been completed but are still in the production phases and therefore not yet officially released.
For information about my screenplays, teleplays, and film making experience, please write to me at the Contact Me page. Some data, along with a few photos, of my film work will be available on a “theatrical” page that I am working on and will post soon. That page will include photos from several of the stage productions I have been in and a number of my theatrical and film makeups.

For information about my recently published first novel, Cloak of Destiny, see the separate page devoted to it on this website.

And thanks so much for your interest in me and/or my books! It is much appreciated.