69 books like Blood and Soil

By Ben Kiernan,

Here are 69 books that Blood and Soil fans have personally recommended if you like Blood and Soil. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

T.M. Lemos Author Of Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts

From my list on the comparative history of violence.

Who am I?

I am a biblical scholar who has become a historian of violence because I could no longer ignore the realities of the present or my own past. I write of violence for my childhood self, who was bullied for a decade and used to run away from school.  I write of it for my grandfather, who was born of exploitation.  I write of it for my African-American wife and daughter, in the hopes that I might contribute to the elimination of hierarchies that threaten their dignity and sometimes their lives.  Doing this work is not just intellectual for me—it is a memorialization and a ritual of healing. 

T.M.'s book list on the comparative history of violence

T.M. Lemos Why did T.M. love this book?

The editors of this volume are two of the most important and influential medical anthropologists in the world and major scholars of violence. In addition to collecting a set of useful texts on violence, the introduction to the volume is a piece of writing that I have returned to many times.

By Nancy Scheper-Hughes (editor), Philippe I. Bourgois (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' to Joseph Conrad's 'fascination of the abomination', humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. Edited by two of anthropology's most passionate voices on this subject, "Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology" is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence. It brings together a sweeping collection of readings, drawn from a remarkable range of sources, that look at various conceptions and modes of violence.The book juxtaposes the routine violence of everyday life against the sudden outcropping of extraordinary violence such…


Book cover of When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda

T.M. Lemos Author Of Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts

From my list on the comparative history of violence.

Who am I?

I am a biblical scholar who has become a historian of violence because I could no longer ignore the realities of the present or my own past. I write of violence for my childhood self, who was bullied for a decade and used to run away from school.  I write of it for my grandfather, who was born of exploitation.  I write of it for my African-American wife and daughter, in the hopes that I might contribute to the elimination of hierarchies that threaten their dignity and sometimes their lives.  Doing this work is not just intellectual for me—it is a memorialization and a ritual of healing. 

T.M.'s book list on the comparative history of violence

T.M. Lemos Why did T.M. love this book?

This influential book on the Rwandan genocide presents a nuanced analysis of how extreme violence can arise in postcolonial contexts. Through this and other writings, Mamdani has made important contributions to the study of violence, imperialism, and postcolonialism.

By Mahmood Mamdani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Victims Become Killers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An incisive look at the causes and consequences of the Rwandan genocide

"When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement was the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including judges, doctors, priests, and friends. Rejecting easy explanations of the Rwandan genocide as a mysterious evil force that was…


Book cover of Rape: A History From 1860 To The Present

T.M. Lemos Author Of Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts

From my list on the comparative history of violence.

Who am I?

I am a biblical scholar who has become a historian of violence because I could no longer ignore the realities of the present or my own past. I write of violence for my childhood self, who was bullied for a decade and used to run away from school.  I write of it for my grandfather, who was born of exploitation.  I write of it for my African-American wife and daughter, in the hopes that I might contribute to the elimination of hierarchies that threaten their dignity and sometimes their lives.  Doing this work is not just intellectual for me—it is a memorialization and a ritual of healing. 

T.M.'s book list on the comparative history of violence

T.M. Lemos Why did T.M. love this book?

This book is one of several by Bourke that are useful for the comparative study of violence, though they are often chilling to read. Bourke has an impressive range as a historian, as well as the tremendous backbone needed to do research on extremely difficult topics.

By Joanna Bourke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joanna Bourke, author of the critically-acclaimed Fear, unflinchingly and controversially moves away from looking at victims to look at the rapists. She examines the nature of rape, drawing together the work of criminologists, sociologists and psychiatrists to analyse what drives the perpetrators of sexual violence.

Rape - A History looks at the perception of rape, both in the mass media and the wider public, and considers the crucial questions of treatment and punishment. Should sexual offenders be castrated? Will Freud's couch or the behaviourists' laboratory work most effectively? Particular groups of offenders such as female abusers, psychopaths and exhibitionists are…


Book cover of Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader

T.M. Lemos Author Of Violence and Personhood in Ancient Israel and Comparative Contexts

From my list on the comparative history of violence.

Who am I?

I am a biblical scholar who has become a historian of violence because I could no longer ignore the realities of the present or my own past. I write of violence for my childhood self, who was bullied for a decade and used to run away from school.  I write of it for my grandfather, who was born of exploitation.  I write of it for my African-American wife and daughter, in the hopes that I might contribute to the elimination of hierarchies that threaten their dignity and sometimes their lives.  Doing this work is not just intellectual for me—it is a memorialization and a ritual of healing. 

T.M.'s book list on the comparative history of violence

T.M. Lemos Why did T.M. love this book?

While Farmer is a physician and anthropologist rather than a historian and these collected essays are not historical in a strict sense, Farmer's account of structural violence is clear, readable, and evocative. An understanding of structural violence is a prerequisite for understanding the phenomenon of violence in any context, present or past.

By Paul Farmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Partner to the Poor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly thirty years, anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer has traveled to some of the most impoverished places on earth to bring comfort and the best possible medical care to the poorest of the poor. Driven by his stated intent to 'make human rights substantial', Farmer has treated patients - and worked to address the root causes of their disease - in Haiti, Boston, Peru, Rwanda, and elsewhere in the developing world. In 1987, with several colleagues, he founded Partners In Health to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. Throughout his career, Farmer has written eloquently…


Book cover of Carrying Cambodia

Tom Vater Author Of The Cambodian Book of the Dead

From my list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

Who am I?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Cambodia in 1995, an ill-fated trip into Koh Kong, then a war-torn backwater town. I returned in 2001 to research a TV documentary about the likely effects of tourism on the Angkor monuments, Cambodia’s tourist magnet. I’ve visited many times since, traveled on trucks, motorbikes, beaten-up Toyotas, and by bicycle, and have written extensively about the southeast Asian kingdom’s post-war recovery, popular culture, tragic politics, and seedy underbelly. Cambodia is a small country, but its turbulent past and uncertain future, along with its wonderful people, touched me like few other places.

Tom's book list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

Books on Cambodia predominantly cover the communist revolution and genocide. Carrying Cambodia is a different proposition, a photo book that depicts the resourcefulness of ordinary Cambodians in the post-war era. The two authors/photographers spent considerable time on the back of motorbikes cruising the highways and by-ways of Cambodia to capture the incredible efforts its people have to make to get from A to B. Images of trucks, bikes, tuk-tuks, and cyclos unbelievably overloaded with people and produce give a candid impression of the daily struggle of citizens living in unjust, broken societies, but also celebrates a resurging Khmer spirit in the face of incredible challenges.

By Hans Kemp, Conor Wall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unbelievable feats of transportation are an everyday occurrence on the streets of Cambodia. Tuk-tuks, cyclos, cars, trucks, motorbikes and bicycles transport loads that defy your wildest imagination. Tuk-tuks crammed to the roof with fruit and veg, beaten-up old taxis transporting pigs bigger than people, beds bigger than pigs and water tanks bigger than beds! Six people on one small motorbike, and 67 people standing on the back of a flatbed lorry.

Photographers Hans Kemp and Conor Wall spent hundreds of long, painful hours on the back of motorbikes documenting this unique street culture, resulting in this amazing book loaded with…


Book cover of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Lyla Bashan Author Of Global: An Extraordinary Guide for Ordinary Heroes

From my list on becoming a global citizen and ordinary hero.

Who am I?

In 6th grade I did a report about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which manifested in a career spanning more than 20 years where I’ve worked for NGOs, the State Department, and the United States Agency for International Development to help make the world a better place. I’ve lived in Guatemala, Tajikistan, Armenia, and Jordan, and travelled throughout Sub-Saharan Africa working on conflict prevention, democracy, governance, and human rights. I’m a firm believer that, no matter your profession, everyone can help make the world a better place – and that’s why I wrote my book and why I read the books on my list – to help make this a reality. 

Lyla's book list on becoming a global citizen and ordinary hero

Lyla Bashan Why did Lyla love this book?

As an ordinary hero, it is important to understand where humanity has succeeded and where we have failed.

This book is definitely about the latter. The book is a good read, but it is also really hard to read because it is about how we have failed to prevent atrocities. It’s so important because understanding where humanity has failed is the only way we will be able to prevent these sorts of atrocities in the future.

It is well written, which makes the difficult topic more accessible. 

By Samantha Power,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Problem from Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Armenian Genocide to the ethnic cleansings of Kosovo and Darfur, modern history is haunted by acts of brutal violence. Yet American leaders who vow never again" repeatedly fail to stop genocide. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, " A Problem from Hell" draws upon exclusive interviews with Washington's top policymakers, thousands of once classified documents, and accounts of reporting from the killing fields to show how decent Americans inside and outside government looked away from mass murder. Combining spellbinding history and seasoned political analysis, " A Problem from Hell" allows readers to…


Book cover of Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

Berlie W. Doherty Author Of The Girl Who Saw Lions

From my list on children’s books about refugees and asylum seekers.

Who am I?

My maternal great-grandparents were Irish immigrants. My paternal grandfather left Liverpool in the late 19th century to go to Australia. I’d love to know their children’s stories! Some of the families I visited as a social worker (mid-1960s) were immigrants, struggling to make sense of a new language and a new culture. I met a child who had come here alone as an illegal immigrant and had been a house slave until the social services settled her with a foster family. I met author Hanna Jansen and her many adopted children from war-torn countries. Fiction gives us many powerful stories about children forced to flee from their homes because of war, tyranny, hunger, poverty, natural disasters.

Berlie's book list on children’s books about refugees and asylum seekers

Berlie W. Doherty Why did Berlie love this book?

This is a beautifully written account of how 8-year-old Jeanne d'Arc Umubyeyi (Dédé) escaped the 1994 massacre of the Tutsi ethnic group at the hands of the Huti tribe. Jeanne was the only member of her family to survive. The horror of what she went through is vividly recounted in Jeanne’s words and those of her adoptive mother Hanna Jansen, who adopted her and brought her to Germany. 

It is a very powerful, true, story. I had heard of the Rwandan massacre, but knew little about it till I read this novel. 

I love the book and have re-read it several times. Young adults will identify strongly with both Jeanne and Hanna.

By Hanna Jansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Before that fateful April day, Jeanne lived the life of a typical Rwandan girl. She bickered with her little sister, went to school, teased her brother. Then, in one horrifying night, everything changed. Political troubles unleashed a torrent of violence upon the Tutsi ethnic group. Jeanne's family, all Tutsis, fled their home and tried desperately to reach safety.

They did not succeed. As the only survivor of her family's massacre, Jeanne witnessed unspeakable acts. This haunting story was told to Jeanne's adoptive mother, and here she makes unforgettably real the events of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


Book cover of Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

Tim Crothers Author Of The Queen of Katwe: One Girl's Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion

From my list on young African heroes.

Who am I?

For most of my life I have been fascinated by Africa, but I could never figure out a good reason to go there. Then one day in 2010 while delivering a book talk in North Carolina, a gentleman approached me afterward saying that he’d read a brief item in a missionary newsletter that morning and he thought it might make “a good story” for me. Six months later, I was on a flight to Uganda and that “good story” was born as a magazine piece before evolving into a book and finally in 2016 into a Disney movie. I have since traveled to Africa many times and it is a magical place, my home away from home.  

Tim's book list on young African heroes

Tim Crothers Why did Tim love this book?

Women in Africa like Phiona and Immaculee are often treated as second-class citizens, which is what makes this book even more encouraging. Ilibagiza lost most of her family during the Rwandan genocide. She survived only after hiding with seven other women for 91 days in a local priest’s bathroom. She eventually found the strength in her heart to forgive those who killed the people closest to her and this compelling story of that spiritual journey defines her as a role model for every woman and man in her still-healing country.

By Immaculée Ilibagiza,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee's family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.

Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of…


Book cover of Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction

Jack Nusan Porter Author Of If Only You Could Bottle It: Memoirs of a Radical Son

From my list on the sociology of genocide and evil.

Who am I?

I'm an immigrant child-survivor of the Holocaust, came to America after living in a DP camp in Linz, Austria in 1947 with my wonderful parents. We lost 25 members of our family to the Nazis so I “know evil”. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, went to Washington High School, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and Northwestern University where I received a Ph.D. in sociology and studied with one of the best sociologists of deviance (Howie Becker). I combined sociology with deviance, evil, the Holocaust, and genocide, but as a progressive Zionist, I added socialist and kibbutz-life. All these things make up my memoir If Only You Could Bottle It: Memoirs of a Radical Son.

Jack's book list on the sociology of genocide and evil

Jack Nusan Porter Why did Jack love this book?

As one of the founders of the field of modern genocide studies, I’m still learning; it is still a relatively new discipline, having been started in the late 1970s;  in fact, the first organization on genocide was founded in only 1994, just 30 years ago, the IAGS, the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

It took a long time to create a textbook; most of the earlier books were anthologies like my own book, and textbooks may not be the most titillating of books to read but the best one is by my Canadian colleague Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction, second edition.

Jones is not only a good writer but also a photographer. There are dozens of good books and good writers dealing with genocide; a reader might want to consider books by Samantha Power, Timothy Snyder, Martin Shaw, Helen Fein, and Israel Charny.

It’s a gruesome topic but handled…

By Adam Jones,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Genocide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction is the most wide-ranging textbook on genocide yet published. The book is designed as a text for upper-undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a primer for non-specialists and general readers interested in learning about one of humanity's enduring blights.

Fully updated to reflect the latest thinking in this rapidly developing field, this unique book:

Provides an introduction to genocide as both a historical phenomenon and an analytical-legal concept, including the concept of genocidal intent, and the dynamism and contingency of genocidal processes. Discusses the role of state-building, imperialism, war, and social revolution in fuelling genocide.…


Book cover of Small Country

Michela Wrong Author Of Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad

From my list on Central Africa (from a journalist based there).

Who am I?

After working as a foreign correspondent in Italy and France I was sent by Reuters news agency to Cote d’Ivoire and what was then Zaire, the latter posting coinciding with the shocking start of the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. It was the kind of assignment you don’t forget, and when I moved to the Financial Times I continued following the larger-than-life dramas unfolding in Africa’s Great Lakes region. I’ve now written five books, the first – In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz - about Mobutu Sese Seko's imprint on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the latest – Do Not Disturb - looking at personalities and events I first started writing about a quarter of a century ago. You keep going back.

Michela's book list on Central Africa (from a journalist based there)

Michela Wrong Why did Michela love this book?

Sometimes fiction, with its knack for getting under the skin, is the best way of grasping the human impact of something as psychologically earth-shaking as mass murder. Set in the early 1990s, this novel’s narrator is the son of a French father and Rwandan mother, living in Bujumbura, just across the border from Rwanda. Inevitably the mass killings spill over into Burundi, exacerbating existing tensions between Hutus and Tutsis there and shattering an already precariously-poised family. I get the impression this book sold well in both French and English, and I’m not surprised. Under its deceptively simple surface, it packs a punch.

By Gaël Faye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An international sensation, Small Country is a beautiful but harrowing tale of coming-of-age in the face of civil war.

'A luminous debut novel...Faye dramatises the terrible nostalgia of having lost not only a childhood but also a whole world to war' Guardian

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expat neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent with his friends sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, swimming in the lake and riding bikes in the streets they have turned into their kingdom.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in genocide, the Khmer Rouge, and the Rwandan genocide?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about genocide, the Khmer Rouge, and the Rwandan genocide.

Genocide Explore 79 books about genocide
The Khmer Rouge Explore 9 books about the Khmer Rouge
The Rwandan Genocide Explore 6 books about the Rwandan genocide