The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics)
by Giorgio Vasari, Julia Conway Bondanella, Peter Bondanella
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Recommendations on The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics)

Recommendations from domain experts (curated by Highlyreco)

Paul Graham's Review:

What should I read to learn more about history?

The way to do it is piecemeal. You could just sit down and try reading Roberts's History of the World cover to cover, but you'd probably lose interest. I think it's a better plan to read books about specific topics, even if you don't understand everything the first time through.

Here are the most exciting ones I can think of:

Clark, Civilisation
White, Medieval Technology and Social Change
McEvedy, Penguin Atlases of Ancient and Medieval History
Laslett, The World We Have Lost
Bernal, The Extension of Man
Franklin, Autobiography
Girouard, Life in the English Country House
Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne
Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople
Cipolla, Guns, Sails and Empires
Hadas, A History of Rome
Oman, The Art of War in the Middle Ages
Vasari, Lives of the Artists
Bovill, The Golden Trade of the Moors
Caesar, Gallic Wars
Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution

Ref: http://www.paulgraham.com/startupfaq.html