10 books like All Fall Down

By Gary Sick,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like All Fall Down. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

An Hour Before Daylight

By Jimmy Carter,

Book cover of An Hour Before Daylight: Memories Of A Rural Boyhood

Carter has written a huge number of books, including a historical novel and a volume of poetry, but this one is definitely his best. Like Coolidge's, it’s simple, detail-driven, and always personal, capturing Carter's Georgia childhood and connecting it to bigger issues like the Great Depression and the Jim Crow South. There's a handful of shorter, more intimate books by ex-presidents—not only Carter’s but also Harry Truman’s Mr. Citizen and Dwight Eisenhower’s At Ease—and these books always read better and reveal more than their authors’ official presidential memoirs. I wish more ex-presidents would follow Coolidge in writing that punchy and personal book first, about their White House years. If they tried this approach, they would find that it makes everyone a winner—not just the presidents but also their readers.

An Hour Before Daylight

By Jimmy Carter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked An Hour Before Daylight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this powerful memoir, former President and bestselling author Jimmy Carter writes about the powerful rhythms of countryside and community in a sharecropping economy. He offers an unforgettable portrait of his father, a brilliant farmer and strict segregationist who treated black workers with his own brand of 'separate' respect and fairness; and his strong-willed and well-read mother, a nurse who cared for all in need. He describes the five other people who shaped his early life, only two of them white; his eccentric relatives; and the boyhood friends with whom he worked the farm and hunted with slingshots and boomerangs,…


Always a Reckoning and Other Poems

By Jimmy Carter,

Book cover of Always a Reckoning and Other Poems

During one of my interviews, Carter told me that he had trouble expressing his emotions outside of his poetry. While Carter is not an outstanding poet, he succeeds here in offering glimpses of his inner life and fraught race relations in the American South. And he explores his relationship with his father, wife, son and others.

Always a Reckoning and Other Poems

By Jimmy Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Always a Reckoning and Other Poems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first collection of poetry by former President Jimmy Carter, who shares here his private memories about his childhood, his family and political life, with illustrations by his granddaughter. Always a Reckoning sets a precedent since no other president has published a book of poetry. Gift packaged with ribbon marker. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to charity.


The Great Shark Hunt

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Book cover of The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

After Carter left office, it was hard to remember what made him so exciting when he first became a national figure in 1976. In his patented “gonzo” style, Thompson’s flattering and entertaining articles on Carter in this collection shed light on what made Carter compelling and cool. Thompson's stature among young journalists was so great at the time that his coverage of Carter helped make him president.

The Great Shark Hunt

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Shark Hunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Well . . .yes, and here we go again' Dr Hunter S. Thompson

Indeed we do. Here, in one chunky volume, is the best of gonzo. From Private Thompson in trouble with the air force, to the devastating portrait of the ageing Muhammad Ali. Taking in the Kentucky Derby, Freak Power in the Rockies, Nixon in '68, McGovern in '72, Fear and Loathing at the Watergate, Jimmy Carter and the Great Leap of Faith - and much more. An indispensable compendium of decadence, depravity and horse-sense.

'Hunter Thompson elicits the same kind of admiration one would feel for a streaker…


Thirteen Days in September

By Lawrence Wright,

Book cover of Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace

The Camp David Accords brought enduring peace between Israel and Egypt after 25 years of war. Wright’s taut narrative—later adapted as a play—conveys just how close the summit came to falling apart. Along with normalizing relations with China, obtaining ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties, and advancing a path-breaking human rights policy, Carter’s triumph at Camp David suggests he was a better foreign policy president than many critics acknowledged at the time.

Thirteen Days in September

By Lawrence Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thirteen Days in September as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In September 1978, President Jimmy Carter met with Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to broker a peace agreement between the two Middle Eastern nations. After thirteen tumultuous days a treaty was forged which would go on to last for more than three decades.

With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright takes us through each day of this historic conference, illuminating the issues that have made the region's troubles so intractable and exploring the scriptural narratives that continue to frame the conflict. Featuring vivid portrayals…


The Last Shah

By Ray Takeyh,

Book cover of The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty

Over the years, there has been a lot of mythmaking about the United States and Iran––often influenced more by politics and ideology than an objective reading of history.  Ray Takeyh’s beautifully written volume takes on the U.S.-Iran relationship with all of its complexities and offers a cogent corrective to the received wisdom about events that have shaped the Middle East in the last four decades.

The Last Shah

By Ray Takeyh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Shah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The surprising story of Iran's transformation from America's ally in the Middle East into one of its staunchest adversaries

"An original interpretation that puts Iranian actors where they belong: at center stage."-Michael Doran, Wall Street Journal

"An extraordinary account. . . . Deeply nuanced and eloquent."-Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post

Offering a new view of one of America's most important, infamously strained, and widely misunderstood relationships of the postwar era, this book tells the history of America and Iran from the time the last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was placed on the throne in 1941 to the 1979 revolution that brought…


On Wings of Eagles

By Ken Follett,

Book cover of On Wings of Eagles

I spent several of my teen years living in Iran, so had a personal interest in what happened to Americans during and after the Shah’s removal from power. Although Follett is best known for his epic Kingsbridge Series and thrillers such as Eye of the Needle, this non-fiction piece is as tense and engaging as much of his fiction. It details the efforts of a team assembled by Ross Perot to rescue two of his top EDS executives from Iranian captivity after a series of diplomatic efforts fail. Though this isn’t Follett’s finest prose and does seem to lionize Ross Perot, it is a great example of how factual tales of courage and ingenuity can be as engaging as the best thriller fiction. The descriptions of Tehran and the Iran/Turkish frontier are spot-on.

On Wings of Eagles

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Wings of Eagles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Wings of Eagles is the thrilling novel based on the incredible real-life rescue of two Americans by a Green Beret colonel and a group of corporate executives from revolutionary Iran, from number one bestseller Ken Follett.

A Terrifying Prison
As Iran descends into revolution, two Americans get caught up in the upheaval. They are captured and held in a heavily guarded fortress. Their situation is desperate, with the US government refusing to get them out. But all hope is not lost . . .

A Daring Rescue
This is the fictionalised real-life story of a Green Beret colonel, who…


Iran's Persian Gulf Policy

By Christin Marschall,

Book cover of Iran's Persian Gulf Policy: From Khomeini to Khatami

After the US it is Iran. In fact the US is in the Gulf thanks and due to Iran. Iran poses a, real or perceived, security risk to other littoral states of the Gulf and balancing it constitutes the latter’s sublime foreign policy objective. It is also due to Iran that the Arab Gulf states spend billions of dollars on their armaments and engage in proxy-power struggles in other parts of the Middle East. Why is Iran a pariah in the Gulf? For a solid account read this book.

Iran's Persian Gulf Policy

By Christin Marschall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Iran's Persian Gulf Policy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The study is based on Persian, Arabic, English, French and German newspaper reports, as well as interviews with Iranian and Arab diplomats - adds a novel and interesting aspect to the study

Will appeal to the general reader interested in the Modern Middle East, as well as policy-makers and students of Modern Middle Eastern studies and International Relations

There have been no extended studies on the Persian Gulf Policy of the Islamic Republic covering the first two decades of its existence


The Oil Kings

By Andrew Scott Cooper,

Book cover of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East

A highly readable tome, Cooper’s account of how the oil politics of the 1970s revolutionized U.S. foreign policy and the Persian Gulf is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the political landscape of the Middle East. Cooper traces the personal interactions among the Shah of Iran, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Gerald Ford, and the House of Saud in the midst of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the consequent oil embargo, the formation of OPEC, and the early stirrings of revolution in Iran. Perhaps most helpful, this book dispels many misperceptions about Iran under the Shah while also showing how the United States played an integral role in weakening his regime prior to the 1979 revolution.

The Oil Kings

By Andrew Scott Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oil Kings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Relying on a rich cache of previously classified notes, transcripts, cables, policy briefs, and memoranda, Andrew Cooper explains how oil drove, even corrupted, American foreign policy during a time when Cold War imperatives still applied,”* and tells why in the 1970s the U.S. switched its Middle East allegiance from the Shah of Iran to the Saudi royal family.

While America struggles with a recess ion, oil prices soar, revolution rocks the Middle East, European nations risk defaulting on their loans, and the world teeters on the brink of a possible global financial crisis. This is not a description of the…


The Twilight War

By David Crist,

Book cover of The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

David Crist is the historian of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff—and the son of former CENTCOM Commander, General George B. Crist.  He knows this subject backwards and forwards and brings to light any number of topics that I had only ever seen discussed in the classified world. But he does so with the perspicacity of a military historian and the insight of a superb military analyst. Most people simply do not know about the many close calls and bloody clashes there were between the U.S. and Iran during this era, and Crist’s book fills that important gap. Moreover, this is a fascinating example of a protracted, low-intensity or “hybrid” conflict with a canny and determined foe and so it has no end of lessons to teach. 

The Twilight War

By David Crist,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twilight War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty-year conflict with Iran, revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open war

For three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war. It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told.

This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf. Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency. Battles are fought at…


The International Relations of the Persian Gulf

By F. Gregory Gause III,

Book cover of The International Relations of the Persian Gulf

The US is indisputably the hegemonic power in and the gendarmerie of the Persian/Arabian Gulf. And the Arab states on that Gulf’s southern littoral are perfectly content with that and even concerned that the US might no longer serve in that role. This book provides a comprehensive and in-depth historical account of how that happened, weaving together a complex set of factors, regional and international events and developments, into one coherent narrative. As such it is the first to be picked and consumed by any inquirer into the topic.

The International Relations of the Persian Gulf

By F. Gregory Gause III,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The International Relations of the Persian Gulf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gregory Gause's masterful book is the first to offer a comprehensive account of the international politics in the Persian Gulf across nearly four decades. The story begins in 1971 when Great Britain ended its protectorate relations with the smaller states of the lower Gulf. It traces developments in the region from the oil 'revolution' of 1973-4 through the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war and the Gulf war of 1990-1 to the toppling of Saddam Hussein in the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, bringing the story of Gulf regional politics up to 2008. The book highlights transnational identity issues, regime…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in international relations, Iran, and Jimmy Carter?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about international relations, Iran, and Jimmy Carter.

International Relations Explore 170 books about international relations
Iran Explore 93 books about Iran
Jimmy Carter Explore 12 books about Jimmy Carter