100 books like Conquerors

By Roger Crowley,

Here are 100 books that Conquerors fans have personally recommended if you like Conquerors. 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 The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945

Michael Schuman Author Of Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World

From my list on Asian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Schuman is the author of three history books on Asia, most recently Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World, released in 2020. He has spent the past quarter-century as a journalist in the region. Formerly a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, he is currently a contributor to The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.

Michael's book list on Asian history

Michael Schuman Why did Michael love this book?

The masterful Toland weaves a narrative of jaw-dropping detail, drama and complexity that tells the grand and harrowing story of the Pacific War between the United States and Japan from the perspective of the Japanese. The tale takes the reader from Tokyo cabinet meetings to the deck of warships to the frontline of critical battles, to share the experiences of everyone from national leaders to top generals to ordinary soldiers. It’s one of those books that’s so good it leaves you wondering how it was even written.

By John Toland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“[The Rising Sun] is quite possibly the most readable, yet informative account of the Pacific war.”—Chicago Sun-Times

This Pulitzer Prize–winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, “a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened—muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox.”

In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading…


Book cover of The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857

Michael Schuman Author Of Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World

From my list on Asian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Schuman is the author of three history books on Asia, most recently Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World, released in 2020. He has spent the past quarter-century as a journalist in the region. Formerly a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, he is currently a contributor to The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.

Michael's book list on Asian history

Michael Schuman Why did Michael love this book?

Mixing deep archival scholarship with brilliant storytelling, Dalrymple transports the reader into the final days of the Mughal Empire and its last emperor. The story centers on Delhi during the mutiny against British rule in 1857, the last great attempt by the Indians to throw off their European overlords until Gandhi. What begins with hope ultimately ends in tragedy, for the Mughal poet-ruler who fails to grasp his chance to change history, and the brilliant civilization his empire had fostered.

By William Dalrymple,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At 4pm on a dark, wet winter's evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin was buried in eerie silence: no lamentations, no panegyrics, for as the British Commissioner in charge of the funeral insisted, 'No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Moghuls rests.' This Mughal was Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most talented, tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty who found himself leader of a violent uprising he knew from the start would lead to irreparable carnage. Zafar's frantic efforts to unite his forces proved tragically futile. The Siege of Delhi was…


Book cover of The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From my list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Amelia Dalton Why did Amelia love this book?

This classic brings the secret world of spies and the struggle between countries for control of this vital corridor in the High Atlas within our reach. 

Disguised as holy men or traders, they risked their all for information: many lost their lives in the process. Illustrating the strategic importance and difficulties of such a mountainous and complicated area, Hopkirk’s book is not only vivid and dramatic, it is still relevant to this turbulent area today. 

By Peter Hopkirk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE GREATGAME: THE EPIC STORY BEHIND TODAY'S HEADLINES

Peter Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the great imperial struggle for supremacy in Central Asoa has been hailed as essential reading with that era's legacy playing itself out today.

The Great Game between Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia was fought across desolate terrain from the Caucasus to China, over the lonely passes of the Parmirs and Karakorams, in the blazing Kerman and Helmund deserts, and through the caravan towns of the old Silk Road-both powers scrambling to control access to the riches of India and the East. When play first began, the frontiers…


Book cover of Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History

Eleanor Ford Author Of The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Stories Along the Ancient Spice Routes

From my list on to spice up your shelves.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my writing, food is a means to explore culture and understand the world. I’ve been described as a ‘culinary detective’. I collect and create eclectic, evocative recipes from around the globe so I can travel from my kitchen when I'm back home in London. The Nutmeg Trail follows my multi-award-winning books, Fire Islands and Samarkand.

Eleanor's book list on to spice up your shelves

Eleanor Ford Why did Eleanor love this book?

Delving into the bloodiest and most tragic period of spice’s past, Milton’s novel reveals the extraordinary link between nutmeg and colonisation. It was the seed from which the British Empire grew. If fiction is your preferred way to explore history – and what a history spice has! – then this is the book for you.

By Giles Milton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nathaniel's Nutmeg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas.

The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored.

Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular…


Book cover of Empire of Cotton: A Global History

Eran Pichersky Author Of Plants and Human Conflict

From my list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After serving in the military for several years, I pursued a scientific career as a plant biologist. It was during my military service in a unit that spent most of our time in the wilderness that I discovered plants, and particularly their smells. One cannot help it–if you step or crawl on a plant, you will smell it. As a military history buff, I also learned that many wars were fought over plants, and so I decided to write a book that combines the two–explaining what these plants do, why they are so important to people, and, therefore, how plants basically drive human behavior, often to violence. 

Eran's book list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history

Eran Pichersky Why did Eran love this book?

This is another book that makes a plant more interesting than people. For the plant biologist that I am, this is perhaps not so difficult to achieve, but still.

Like bananas, cotton is another plant that started its existence in one corner of the world–actually multiple corners for cotton–and ended up having huge effects on humans everywhere else.

By Sven Beckert,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Empire of Cotton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE • A Pulitzer Prize finalist that's as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.

“Masterly … An astonishing achievement.” —The New York Times

The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today.

In a remarkably brief…


Book cover of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Eran Pichersky Author Of Plants and Human Conflict

From my list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After serving in the military for several years, I pursued a scientific career as a plant biologist. It was during my military service in a unit that spent most of our time in the wilderness that I discovered plants, and particularly their smells. One cannot help it–if you step or crawl on a plant, you will smell it. As a military history buff, I also learned that many wars were fought over plants, and so I decided to write a book that combines the two–explaining what these plants do, why they are so important to people, and, therefore, how plants basically drive human behavior, often to violence. 

Eran's book list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history

Eran Pichersky Why did Eran love this book?

I’ve always thought that the history of humans should be no different from the history of any other living organisms–what in biology is called “natural history."

Humans are a species of animals, and all physical, chemical, and biological rules apply to them. So I was delighted to finally see a history book that follows the history of humans by applying exactly this scientific approach and thus explaining, in deterministic scientific terms, our own history. 

By Jared Diamond,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Guns, Germs, and Steel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, a classic of our time, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond dismantles racist theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for its broadest patterns.

The story begins 13,000 years ago, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Around that time, the developmental paths of human societies on different continents began to diverge greatly. Early domestication of wild plants and animals in the Fertile Crescent, China,…


Book cover of Sultan in Oman

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From my list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Amelia Dalton Why did Amelia love this book?

In this entertaining book Jan Morris crosses the Oman desert travelling as one of the Sultan’s entourage. 

I know Oman well, having visited long before the country was ‘open’ to tourism. I have slept on just a blanked on the sand with the huge bowl of Arabian stars sliding across a black sky above me so the delightful prose brings this all to life again. The early days of the oil business, whilst unfashionable these days are historic, the descriptions are vivid and highly amusing.

Desert life, campfires, camels, and Bedouin are all colourfully brought to life, with descriptions of the superb mud forts and sands so frequent in the mountains and sands of Oman.

By Jan Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1955 the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, southeast of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Sea, was a truly medieval Islamic State, shuttered against all progress under the aegis of its traditionalist and autocratic ruler. But it was also nearly the end of an imperial line, for in those days the British Government was still powerful in Arabia. Rumors of subversion and the intrigues of foreign powers mingled with the unsettling smell of oil to propel the sultan on a royal progress across the desert hinterland. It was an historic journey--the first crossing of the Omani desert by motorcar. Jan…


Book cover of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World

Eran Pichersky Author Of Plants and Human Conflict

From my list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After serving in the military for several years, I pursued a scientific career as a plant biologist. It was during my military service in a unit that spent most of our time in the wilderness that I discovered plants, and particularly their smells. One cannot help it–if you step or crawl on a plant, you will smell it. As a military history buff, I also learned that many wars were fought over plants, and so I decided to write a book that combines the two–explaining what these plants do, why they are so important to people, and, therefore, how plants basically drive human behavior, often to violence. 

Eran's book list on how plants have had a dramatic influence on human history

Eran Pichersky Why did Eran love this book?

In my youth I actually worked in banana groves, cutting old stems to make room for new ones. But I never gave much thought to how one plant could cause so much war and political mayhem.

This book makes it easy to follow the convoluted political history of the banana plant. I now know what the term Banana Republic means–and that I live in one.

By Dan Koeppel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the vein of Mark Kurlansky's bestselling Salt and Cod, a gripping chronicle of the myth, mystery, and uncertain fate of the world's most popular fruit

In this fascinating and surprising exploration of the banana's history, cultural significance, and endangered future, award-winning journalist Dan Koeppel gives readers plenty of food for thought. Fast-paced and highly entertaining, Banana takes us from jungle to supermarket, from corporate boardrooms to kitchen tables around the world. We begin in the Garden of Eden-examining scholars' belief that Eve's "apple" was actually a banana- and travel to early-twentieth-century Central America, where aptly named "banana republics" rose…


Book cover of The Road to Le Tholonet: A French Garden Journey

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From my list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Amelia Dalton Why did Amelia love this book?

I have loved travelling with Monty Don on this gentle, thoughtful, and evocative book is a joy. 

In addition to his huge knowledge of plants, he is an informed historian, and writes beautifully. The book is full of surprises as he takes one meandering through the byways of France sharing his passion for plants, places, and interest in people which all come shining through.

By Monty Don,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road to Le Tholonet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is not a book about French Gardens. It is the story of a man travelling round France visiting a few selected French gardens on the way.

Owners, intrigues, affairs, marriages, feuds, thwarted ambitions and desires, the largely unnamed ordinary gardeners, wars, plots and natural disasters run through every garden older than a generation or two and fill every corner of the grander historical ones. Families marry. Gardeners are poached. Political allegiances forged and shattered. The human trail crosses from garden to garden.

They sit in their surrounding landscape, not as isolated islands but attached umbilically to it, sharing the…


Book cover of Silver Shoals: The Five Fish That Made Britain

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From my list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Amelia Dalton Why did Amelia love this book?

This is one of the most eye-opening and fascinating books I have read.

Having spent much of my life amongst the islands and coastal communities of the British Isles I was intrigued learn more about the fish and I did learn so much. We all know the fishing industry has shaped these islands, but the author delves deeper into what has created and influenced the many varied communities of coastal Britain, as well as illustrating the development of our many styles of fishing vessels.

It is a colourful and enlightening account.

By Charles Rangeley-Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On these rain-swept islands in the North Atlantic man and fish go back a long way. Fish are woven through the fabric of the country's history: we depend on them - for food, for livelihood and for fun - and now their fate depends on us in a relationship which has become more complex, passionate and precarious in the sophisticated 21st Century.

In Silver Shoals Charles Rangeley-Wilson travels north, south, east and west through the British Isles tracing the histories, living and past, of our most iconic fish - cod, carp, eels, salmon and herring - and of the fishermen…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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