10 books like Dogs of War

By Frederick Forsyth,

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

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The War for Africa

By Eeben Barlow,

Book cover of The War for Africa: Conflict, Crime, Corruption and Foreign Interests

A difficult book to find, but worth it. Barlow was the founder of Executive Outcomes or “EO,” the (in)famous mercenary corporation based out of South Africa in the 1990s. Now decommissioned, no other private military company has since rivaled EO’s power. When I worked in Africa, I would look to the EO alumnae network for talent. That and former French Foreign Legionnaires. In this memoir, Barlow reflects on his time as a private military commander, his missions, what he’s learned. It’s not prose but it is honest, and the best window into today’s market for force.


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The War for Africa

By Eeben Barlow,

Why should I read it?

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


The Wonga Coup

By Adam Roberts,

Book cover of The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs, and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa

An uncompromising look at a real-life mercenary operation gone bad by a veteran journalist in Africa. In 2004, a group of salty British, South African, and Zimbabwean mercenaries sought to takeover — wait for it — Equatorial Guinea. Simon Mann, a former EO mercenary from the British upper classes, leads the mercenary coup, backed financially by Sir Mark Thatcher, son of famed Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Unknown to them, South African intelligence had penetrated their organization and set a trap. It goes badly for the mercenaries. I knew one of them.

The Wonga Coup

By Adam Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Equatorial Guinea is a tiny country roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Humid, jungle covered, and rife with unpleasant diseases, natives call it Devil Island. Its president in 2004, Obiang Nguema, had been accused of cannibalism, belief in witchcraft, mass murder, billiondollar corruption, and general rule by terror. With so little to recommend it, why in March 2004 was Equatorial Guinea the target of a group of salty British, South African and Zimbabwean mercenaries, travelling on an American-registered ex-National Guard plane specially adapted for military purposes, that was originally flown to Africa by American pilots? The real motive…


The Perfect Weapon

By David E. Sanger,

Book cover of The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age

There are cyber mercenaries too. Called “hackback” companies, they are illegal, offshore hackers who hack the hackers. While they cannot retrieve hacked material, they can cause a world of hurt for anyone who tries to hack you, and that’s why they matter: deterrence. CEOs and others around the world sometimes turn to hackback firms to make them hard targets. Also, countries like the United Arab Emirates hire former NSA hackers. New York Times reporter details some of this industry in his book about cyberwar. Like many in cyberspace, his claims are often sensationalized, but his reportage cannot be beat.

The Perfect Weapon

By David E. Sanger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Russia's tampering with the US election to the WannaCry hack that temporarily crippled the NHS, cyber has become the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.

Cheap to acquire, easily deniable, and used for a variety of malicious purposes - from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt - cyberweapons are re-writing the rules of warfare. In less than a decade, they have displaced terrorism and nuclear missiles as the biggest immediate threat to international security and to democracy.

Here, New York Times correspondent David E. Sanger takes us from the White House Situation Room to the dens…


The Italian Wars 1494-1559

By Christine Shaw, Michael Mallett,

Book cover of The Italian Wars 1494-1559: War, State and Society in Early Modern Europe

What would a world awash in mercenaries look like? Like medieval northern Italy, which was the Afghanistan of its day. Back then, mercenaries were how you fought wars, and anyone who could swipe a check could wage war no matter how absurd or petty. Aristocrats, city-states, and popes routinely hired mercenaries. When I wrote The New Rules of War, I spent three months digging through the archives in Florence, Bologna, and other city-states to understand how the dynamics of private warfare worked. For those who want a feel of the times, try this rare book by famed historian Mallett. It was his last book, finished by Shaw after he died.

The Italian Wars 1494-1559

By Christine Shaw, Michael Mallett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Italian Wars 1494-1559 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Italian Wars 1494-1559 outlines the major impact that these wars had, not just on the history of Italy, but on the history of Europe as a whole. It provides the first detailed account of the entire course of the wars, covering all the campaigns and placing the military conflicts in their political, diplomatic, social and economic contexts.

Throughout the book, new developments in military tactics, the composition of armies, the balance between infantry and cavalry, and the use of firearms are described and analysed. How Italians of all sectors of society reacted to the wars and the inevitable political…


Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

By John Thornton,

Book cover of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

An invaluable scholarly source for understanding the Atlantic slave system at its source.  Among the book’s virtues are details of the cultures and politics in the area of European penetration and African slavery itself and the African participation in the European trade. This book should be recognized with the extensive literature on the Atlantic slave trade for its acknowledgment of the great range of African languages and cultures that ended up in Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America.

Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

By John Thornton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book explores Africa's involvement in the Atlantic world from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth century. It focuses especially on the causes and consequences of the slave trade, in Africa, in Europe, and in the New World. African institutions, political events, and economic structures shaped Africa's voluntary involvement in the Atlantic arena before 1680. Africa's economic and military strength gave African elites the capacity to determine how trade with Europe developed. Thornton examines the dynamics of colonization which made slaves so necessary to European colonizers, and he explains why African slaves were placed in roles of central significance. Estate…


Heart of Darkness

By Joseph Conrad,

Book cover of Heart of Darkness

Seeing Africa and the dangers of Western assumption played out on that raw terrain was Conrad’s genius. The “otherness” of that land, reflected in actions and reactions by Marlow stand as examples of seeing reality dissolve in favor of desperate perspective needed to survive. The depth of truth here, the experience he brings to the reader of a land people think (mistakenly) has changed are unique and prescient.

Heart of Darkness

By Joseph Conrad,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Heart of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although Polish by birth, Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) is regarded as one of the greatest writers in English, and Heart of Darkness, first published in 1902, is considered by many his "most famous, finest, and most enigmatic story." — Encyclopaedia Britannica. The tale concerns the journey of the narrator (Marlow) up the Congo River on behalf of a Belgian trading company. Far upriver, he encounters the mysterious Kurtz, an ivory trader who exercises an almost godlike sway over the inhabitants of the region. Both repelled and fascinated by the man, Marlow is brought face to face with the corruption and despair…


In the Company of Men

By Véronique Tadjo,

Book cover of In the Company of Men

As a public health worker, I was moved by this beautiful novel, an homage to the courageous people who prevented Ebola from becoming a worldwide pandemic. Set in an unnamed country, most likely Guinea, it uses lyrical language and multiple points of view of those affected and infected by the virus—patients, health care providers, gravediggers, the bats who transmitted the virus to humans, and even an old baobab tree that observes the humans with detached wisdom. Using language both poetic and empathetic, Tadjo reminds us in this cautionary tale that Mother Nature is very much in charge.

In the Company of Men

By Véronique Tadjo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Company of Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two boys venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer's potions nor the medical team's treatments could cure. Compounding the family's grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys' father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival.


Anansi the Spider

By Gerald McDermott,

Book cover of Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti

Anansi the Spider is one of the classic African stories that inspired me to go into storytelling as a career. Reading this book, and watching its animated counterpart as a child, totally enthralled me. The combination of the bright, bold colours and graphical aesthetic, with the mystique of the folklore felt just like magic to me. The fable told here comes off as profound yet funny and quirky. This book is a must for anyone interested in fables and African folklore in particular.

Anansi the Spider

By Gerald McDermott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anansi, one of the great folk heroes of the world, is saved from a terrible fate by his six sons in this traditional tale from West Africa.


Zoo City

By Lauren Beukes,

Book cover of Zoo City

Zoo City is set in a fictional reality Johannesburg. I like how observant she is when it comes to describing Johannesburg, the city where I live. A very clever book and not what you’d expect of a book on Africa. Lauren Beukes inspired me to consider writing about Johannesburg myself.

Zoo City

By Lauren Beukes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new edition of Lauren Beukes's Arthur C Clarke Award-winning novel set in a world where murderers and other criminals acquire magical animals that are mystically bonded to them.

Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit, and a talent for finding lost things. When a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, Zinzi's forced to take on her least favorite kind of job -- missing persons.

Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the…


Transformations in Slavery

By Paul E. Lovejoy,

Book cover of Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa

In this classic history, Paul Lovejoy examines how indigenous African slavery developed from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries within an international context, leading to the Atlantic trade conducted by Europeans and Americans. He describes the processes of enslavement and the marketing of slaves and assesses slavery's role in African and world history.

Transformations in Slavery

By Paul E. Lovejoy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This history of African slavery from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries examines how indigenous African slavery developed within an international context. Paul E. Lovejoy discusses the medieval Islamic slave trade and the Atlantic trade as well as the enslavement process and the marketing of slaves. He considers the impact of European abolition and assesses slavery's role in African history. The book corrects the accepted interpretation that African slavery was mild and resulted in the slaves' assimilation. Instead, slaves were used extensively in production, although the exploitation methods and the relationships to world markets differed from those in the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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