15 Must Read History Books for Civil Services Examination (CSE)


Civil Services exam is considered as the toughest exam counted by the UPSC. It recruits candidates to various reputed post and hence the competition is very high for this exam. Indian History is a major part of both the Civil Services Preliminary and Main Examination. A considerable amount of questions are asked from history in General Studies paper of the UPSC exam. The general studies paper includes questions from History of India, Indian Culture, and Indian National Movement. To score high in this paper, UPSC aspirants need to have an in-depth knowledge of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India and Indian Freedom Struggle.

UPSC Preliminary exam is the first step on the way to reach the dream of becoming an IAS or PCS. Prelims is an objective exam and the marks secured by a candidate in this exam are not included while making the final merit list. Prelims is an essential stage of UPSC Exam that candidates need to clear to appear for the Main Exam.

Many candidates find Indian History very interesting because of the civilizations and cultures that existed here. It is not easy to remember everything from the history of India, neither is it a rocket science. It only demands quality time and dedication. Indian History can be studied under cultural, political, economic, and religious heads. Indian history is classified into three periods that are Ancient, Medieval and Modern India. You can study it according to classification or as per your interest.

Remember that History is an important part of the CSE and could be a game changer. Here, in this article I have compiled 15 best books on Indian History to help boost your Civil Services exam preparation.

  1. The Wonder That was India by A.L. Basham
  2. Ashoka & Decline of the Maurya by Romila Thapar
  3. Medieval India (Macmillan) by Satish Chandra
  4. Medival India by L. Mukherjee
  5. India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra
  6. Peasant Movements in India by D.N. Dhanagare
  7. Social basis of Democracy & Dictatorship by B.J. Moore
  8. Modern India by Sumit Sarkar
  9. Freedom struggle by Bipin Chandra, Varun Dey and Amlesh Tripathy
  10. Modern Indian History by Groover & Grooover
  11. The Advanced History of India by Majumdar, Raychaudhuri & Datta
  12. The Mughal Empire by J.F. Richards
  13. Advanced study in the History of Medival India: Volume I, II, III by J.L. Mehta
  14. The Mainstream of Civilization by Strayer, Gatzke & Harbison
  15. Age of Revolution by E.J. Hobsbawm

The Bottom Line

So now you know the best books to handle the History portion in the UPSC Exam. You need to prepare for this exam in advance, because only thousands of candidates get selected for Civil Services Mains Exam out of the lakhs candidates that appear for Civil Services Preliminary Exam.

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