10 books like Blood and Soil

By Ben Kiernan,

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

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Violence in War and Peace

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

Book cover of Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

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.

Violence in War and Peace

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…


When Victims Become Killers

By Mahmood Mamdani,

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

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.

When Victims Become Killers

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…


Rape

By Joanna Bourke,

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

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.

Rape

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…


Partner to the Poor

By Paul Farmer,

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

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.

Partner to the Poor

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…


Carrying Cambodia

By Hans Kemp, Conor Wall,

Book cover of Carrying Cambodia

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.

Carrying Cambodia

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…


A Problem from Hell

By Samantha Power,

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

Strong material for a college course that connected me to the why I served our country in Kosovo. Samantha Power helped me understand the U.S. history with our conflicts, both good and bad. This was a critical read to write nuanced characters from war zones. Each chapter is a different conflict. Amazingly, I was able to meet Samantha Power, former Ambassador to the UN and as a former journalist herself reporting from conflict areas, she’s the real deal. She walks the talk. 

A Problem from Hell

By Samantha Power,

Why should I read it?

2 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…


Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

By Hanna Jansen,

Book cover of Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

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.

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

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.

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.


Left to Tell

By Immaculée Ilibagiza,

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

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.

Left to Tell

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…


Genocide

By Adam Jones,

Book cover of Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction

There are not very many books that are specifically concerned with dehumanization, but there are very many books that are relevant to it. I begin my list with two of these. Because genocidal violence is almost always fueled by the dehumanizing impulse, Adam Jones’ Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction is my first choice. It is an astonishingly thorough and accessible introduction to genocide studies, covering both factual and theoretical issues, and covers well-known genocides, as well as lesser-known ones. This book is an ideal entry point into the vast and harrowing literature on genocide, and I, for one, have learned a lot from reading it.

Genocide

By Adam Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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.…


Space Unicorn Blues

By TJ Berry,

Book cover of Space Unicorn Blues

I don’t even know where to start with this one. Our lead sapphic is married to a tree lady (dryad), captain Jenny, who once kept half-unicorn man Gary prisoner aboard her ship so she could harvest his horn for fuel. Gary’s out for revenge but the mystical Sisters of the Supersymmetrical Axiom have had a vision that involves Gary and Jenny working together. Also, Jenny’s wife has been kidnapped, which is never great. 

Space Unicorn Blues is another sapphic space book that doesn’t rely on romance for the plot, but does allow lesbians to simply exist. This book is a delight more for its absolute refusal of tropes than anything else, and constant weird fairy tale references thrown in throughout.

Space Unicorn Blues

By TJ Berry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Humanity joining the intergalactic community has been a disaster for Bala, the magical creatures of the galaxy: they've been exploited, enslaved and ground down for parts. Now the Century Summit is approaching, when humans will be judged by godlike aliens.

When Jenny Perata, disabled Maori shuttle captain, is contracted to take a shipment to the summit, she must enlist half-unicorn Gary Cobalt, whose horn powers faster-than-light travel. But he's just been released from prison, for murdering the wife of Jenny's co-pilot, Cowboy Jim... When the Reason regime suddenly enact laws making Bala property, Jenny's ship becomes the last hope for…


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