Remember when you were in elementary school and you learned that Christopher Columbus discovered America and was a great explorer and an awesome, holiday-worthy human being? And then you got to high school and learned (maybe) that things were way, way, way more complicated than that? Well, it turns out that a lot of the history that we learned in school was often told by the majority, not the minority, and that it was often summarized, simplified and whitewashed. In some cases, certain voices simply weren’t heard, and in other cases, they were misinterpreted, misunderstood or drowned out by the crowd.
Now it’s time to get woke. Here’s a list of 15 history books that go far beyond Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue and deep into the complex, colorful and diverse stories behind the making of our nation, for better or for worse.