10 books like Assignment

By Walter Henry Thompson,

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

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The Great Influenza

By John M. Barry,

Book cover of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

This brilliant non-fiction work by John M. Barry is fascinating for its scholarship and engaging prose. We learn about the source of the H1N1 influenza virus in birds through its mutations to a deadly pandemic engulfing the globe and responsible for killing an estimated 50 million people. In addition to writing layman’s course in virology, Mr. Barry focuses on individuals who perished and those who searched unceasingly for a vaccine. This is the most timely of books for readers who have endured the twenty-first century coronavirus pandemic. 

The Great Influenza

By John M. Barry,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Great Influenza as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the height of WWI, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, "The Great Influenza"…


Testament of Youth

By Vera Brittain,

Book cover of Testament of Youth

I first began reading this just as background research, in an attempt to get the character ‘voice’ right for my own WW1 series, but, as with many other books I was pulled in against my expectations. Vera’s decision to become a VAD nurse, and her determination to do the best possible job under unthinkable circumstances, made me want to learn everything about this era and the people who lived it. It threw a cold light onto what had, until then, been a sort of fuzzy half-knowledge, and it’s an example of the best in humanity, wrapped in what could easily be an extravagant fiction; knowing it was an autobiographical account made it so much poignant. It shows how powerful the drive to help others can be, despite the hardships endured. 

Testament of Youth

By Vera Brittain,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Testament of Youth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An autobiographical account of a young nurse's involvement in World War I.


Hero

By Michael Korda,

Book cover of Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

This wasn't available to me when I was writing Dreamers of the Day, but it deepened my compassion and respect for Lawrence, despite and because of his complexity. IMO, this is the best and most complete biography with much detail not available to prior biographers, particularly about Lawrence's later work as a marine engineer and technical writer.

Hero

By Michael Korda,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'This magnificent, monumental portrait at a stroke makes all others redundant, and re-establishes Lawrence as one of the most extraordinary figures of the 20th century' Sunday Times

Michael Korda' s Hero is an epic biography of the mysterious Englishman whose daring exploits made him an object of intense fascination, known the world over as Lawrence of Arabia.


An Oxford Scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters' governess, T.E. Lawrence was sent to Cairo as an intelligence officer in 1916, vanished into the desert in 1917, and re-emerged as one…


Death of a Hero

By Richard Aldington,

Book cover of Death of a Hero

Perhaps the finest and least well-known novel to come out of the First World War. Imagist poet Richard Aldington takes his own experiences of the home and Western Fronts and turns both barrels on the sanctimony of Edwardian society and its parade of sycophants, socialites, and fools. Unusually, it is a book by a poet that resists turning war into poetry. Unafraid to use realistically coarse military language, it divided the critics at the time and has divided readers ever since. It is a howl of rage that speaks across the century, a timeless reminder that there is no romance in the needless carnage of war.

Death of a Hero

By Richard Aldington,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death of a Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great World War I antiwar novels - honest, chilling, and brilliantly satirical

Based on the author's experiences on the Western Front, Richard Aldington's first novel, Death of a Hero, finally joins the ranks of Penguin Classics. Our hero is George Winterbourne, who enlists in the British Expeditionary Army during the Great War and gets sent to France. After a rash of casualties leads to his promotion through the ranks, he grows increasingly cynical about the war and disillusioned by the hypocrisies of British society. Aldington's writing about Britain's ignorance of the tribulations of its soldiers is among…


Seven Pillars of Wisdom

By T.E. Shaw,

Book cover of Seven Pillars of Wisdom

This is a brilliant autobiographical account of the astonishing experiences of British Army Colonel T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") as he served as a military advisor to Bedouin forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks, 1916-1918. With the support of Emir Faisal and his tribesmen in Wadi Rum, he helped carry out attacks on the Ottoman forces from Aqaba in the south to Damascus in the north. Many sites inside the Wadi Rum area have been named after Lawrence, including the rock formations near the entrance now known as "The Seven Pillars."

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

By T.E. Shaw,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Seven Pillars of Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an Introduction by Angus Calder.

As Angus Calder states in his introduction to this edition, 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the major statements about the fighting experience of the First World War'. Lawrence's younger brothers, Frank and Will, had been killed on the Western Front in 1915. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, written between 1919 and 1926, tells of the vastly different campaign against the Turks in the Middle East - one which encompasses gross acts of cruelty and revenge and ends in a welter of stink and corpses in the disgusting 'hospital' in Damascus.

Seven Pillars of…


Lawrence in Arabia

By Scott Anderson,

Book cover of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

T.E. Lawrence, best known from David Lean’s monumental film, is the centerpiece, but this book goes well beyond biography. It has the pace and feel of a thriller, but the research and analytical thinking of a serious historic account. Anderson, a novelist and war correspondent, finds the roots of today’s Middle East turmoil in World War I. He finds alliances, intrigue, and deceit that foreshadowed the turbulent future. His story provides valuable insight into the international politics that shaped the Mid-East after World War I, and set the stage for the dissonant future.

Lawrence in Arabia

By Scott Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller

The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, 'a sideshow of a sideshow'. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.

At the centre of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was battling both…


Jerusalem

By Simon Sebag Montefiore,

Book cover of Jerusalem: The Biography

For those curious about whether there is a God (or not), a good place to sit and think about it is Jerusalem, which three major religions consider to it be a very sacred place: Jews, Christians, and Muslims (plus the Armenians, for added value). A place with an extraordinary history of conquest and religious fervour.

Jerusalem

By Simon Sebag Montefiore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new, updated, revised edition of JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY, the wider history of the Middle East through the lens of the Holy City, covering from pre-history to 2020, from King David to Donald Trump.

The story of Jerusalem is the story of the world.

Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today's clash of civilisations. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the 'centre of the world' and now the key to peace in the Middle East? Drawing…


Three Cheers for Me

By Donald Jack,

Book cover of Three Cheers for Me: Volume One of the Bandy Papers

The first in the Bandy Papers series, and the best. Jack was a Canadian who served in the air force and managed the difficult task of providing a comedy about flying in WW1 with, once again, realistic, and well-researched flying scenes. This book is a comedic tour de force, wringing belly laughs from war without belittling the surrounding terror and angst. It won several Canadian comedy awards, and you can understand why. It made me laugh so hard in places, that it hurt. But I repeat, the flying scenes are first-rate, and the characters are a hoot as they blunder through the war.

Three Cheers for Me

By Donald Jack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Cheers for Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I enjoyed every word . . . terrifically funny." P.G. Wodehouse

With his disturbingly horse-like face and a pious distaste for strong drink and bad language, young Bartholomew Bandy doesn't seem cut out for life in the armed services, as we meet him at the start of the First World War.

Yet he not only survives the dangers and squalor of the infantry trenches, he positively thrives in the Royal Flying Corps, revealing a surprising aptitude for splitarsing Sopwith Camels and shooting down the Hun. He even manages to get the girl.

Through it all he never loses his greatest…


The Guns of August

By Barbara W. Tuchman,

Book cover of The Guns of August

If you want one book to understand how the first month or so of World War 1 played out, there is only one place to turn. Tuchman’s book is beautifully written, with a rich tapestry of characters and events, it covers the major events in Europe in August and early September 1914. It is largely seen through the eyes of ‘great men’the military and political leaders of the daywhich makes it slightly dated by today’s standards, but the skill and humanity of the reader and the sheer scope of the narrative will keep you in their thrall.

The Guns of August

By Barbara W. Tuchman,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Guns of August as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”—Newsweek
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

In this landmark account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step…


Churchill

By Roy Jenkins,

Book cover of Churchill: A Biography

The late politician Lord Jenkins made a name for himself with his political biographies. Churchill: A Life was the culmination of a critically successful career as a writer. Jenkins leaves no stone unturned in assessing Churchill’s thirst for political glory. Andrew Roberts called the book ‘a masterpiece.’

Churchill

By Roy Jenkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the admiralty to the miner's strike, from the Battle of Britain to eventual victory over Nazi Germany, Churchill oversaw some of the most important events the world has ever seen. Winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for his personal writing and cautioning against a powerful Soviet Russia in his later years in office, his larger-than-life and complex personality has continued to fascinate writers and historians.

In this comprehensive biography, Roy Jenkins faithfully presents these events, while also managing to convey the contradictions and quirks in Churchill's character. Weaving together in-depth analysis and brilliant historical research, Jenkins has succeeded in…


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