100 books like Fuel on the Fire

By Greg Muttitt,

Here are 100 books that Fuel on the Fire fans have personally recommended if you like Fuel on the Fire. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cities of Salt

Kim Barnes Author Of In the Kingdom of Men

From my list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the 1950s, my mother and father left the red dirt of Oklahoma for the forests of Idaho to escape their families’ poverty. Instead of sharecropping, my father became a logger, but my aunt and her husband, a drilling rig roughneck, moved to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to work for Aramco and live in the American compound of Abqaiq. I remember the gifts they brought me: camel hide purses, Aladdin slippers. The Saudis, too, were experiencing rapid modernization and expanding wealth. I became fascinated by the conflict inherent in the sudden enmeshing of cultures and meteoric shift in power and privilege.

Kim's book list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization

Kim Barnes Why did Kim love this book?

Translated into English by Peter Theroux, this gorgeously written and emotionally stunning novel is told from the perspective of the Bedouin inhabitants during a time when Americans were arriving by the shipload to develop the oilfields they had discovered. The story is both epic and intimate (and, at points, wittily ironic) and opened my eyes to the vast destruction not only of the land and its people but the very core of their culture. Banned in several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, this is the first volume of a trilogy (and I recommend them all). 

By Abdelrahman Munif,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first English translation of a major Arab writer's novel that reveals the lifestyle and beliefs of a Bedouin tribe in the 1930s. Set in an unnamed Persian Gulf kingdom, the story tells of the cultural confrontation between American oilmen and a poor oasis community.


Book cover of Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil in the Niger Delta

Simon Pirani Author Of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption

From my list on the oil industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how power and money work, and hopeful that we can change the world for the better by subverting both. In the 1990s, when I started travelling to, and writing about, Russia, I became aware of how completely oil and gas completely dominated Russia’s economy, its power structures, and its people’s lives. I learned about how oil, gas, power, and money relate to each other, and for 14 years (2007-2021) wrote about those interconnections as a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

Simon's book list on the oil industry

Simon Pirani Why did Simon love this book?

In 2003 I went to Nigeria to write a report on oil companies’ “corporate social responsibility” in the Niger Delta. There was, and is, no such responsibility. The companies finance corrupt officials, wreck communities, and allow oil spills to poison millions of people’s drinking water. Under the Abacha dictatorship in the 1990s, they colluded with violent suppression of protest against their activities, culminating in the judicial murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the “Ogoni Nine”. This book showed me how Shell’s naked exploitation of people and their land worked, the systems of power that supported it, and how these evolved over time. One of the authors, Oronto Douglas, has passed away, but both participated in communities’ self-defence in the face of these systems. Their book is passionate, engaged, and razor-sharp analytically.

By Ike Okonta, Oronto Douglas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On 22 February 1895, a naval force laid siege to Brass, the chief city of the Ijo people of Nembe in Nigeria's Niger Delta. After severe fighting, the city was razed. More than two thousand people perished in the attack. A hundred years later, the world was shocked by the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa--writer, political activist, and leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. Again the people of Nembe were locked in a grim life--and--death struggle to safeguard their livelihood from two forces: a series of corrupt and repressive Nigerian governments and the giant multinational Royal…


Book cover of Oil, Water, and Climate: An Introduction

Simon Pirani Author Of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption

From my list on the oil industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how power and money work, and hopeful that we can change the world for the better by subverting both. In the 1990s, when I started travelling to, and writing about, Russia, I became aware of how completely oil and gas completely dominated Russia’s economy, its power structures, and its people’s lives. I learned about how oil, gas, power, and money relate to each other, and for 14 years (2007-2021) wrote about those interconnections as a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

Simon's book list on the oil industry

Simon Pirani Why did Simon love this book?

As a non-scientist, I love reading books written by scientists in language that the rest of us can understand. This is one of the best – and it addresses many of the most urgent questions scientists will keep worrying about through the 21st century, about the interaction between oil production and use, the atmosphere, the oceans, and freshwater systems. Catherine Gautier writes in a clear, accessible style. She is well aware that we can not fence off the study of physical phenomena such as climate change and contamination of water sources from the study of society, economics, and politics.  

By Catherine Gautier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today's oil and gas are at record prices, whilst global energy demand is increasing from population and economic development pressures. Climate change, resulting in large part from the burning of fossil fuels, is exacerbating the impacts of the excelerated exploitation of our natural resources. Therefore, anxieties over energy, water, and climate security are at an all-time high. Global action is needed now in order to address this set of urgent challenges and to avoid putting the future of our civilization at risk. This book examines the powerful interconnections that link energy, water, climate and population, exploring viable options in addressing…


Book cover of Private Empire: Exxonmobil and American Power

Simon Pirani Author Of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption

From my list on the oil industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how power and money work, and hopeful that we can change the world for the better by subverting both. In the 1990s, when I started travelling to, and writing about, Russia, I became aware of how completely oil and gas completely dominated Russia’s economy, its power structures, and its people’s lives. I learned about how oil, gas, power, and money relate to each other, and for 14 years (2007-2021) wrote about those interconnections as a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

Simon's book list on the oil industry

Simon Pirani Why did Simon love this book?

The team that is ExxonMobil and the US government is like a two-headed dragon, raging across the world, grabbing resources, bullying governments, trampling on people’s livelihoods, and dragging us all closer to disastrous climate change. But there’s something grimly satisfying about reading this account of their evil deeds. It makes you realise that we have found them out. Steve Coll has followed every lead, checked every detail, and pinned down his subjects, in US journalism’s finest traditions. 

By Steve Coll,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"ExxonMobil has met its match in Coll, an elegant writer and dogged reporter . . . extraordinary . . . monumental." -The Washington Post

"Fascinating . . . Private Empire is a book meticulously prepared as if for trial . . . a compelling and elucidatory work." -Bloomberg

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S, an extraordinary expose of Big Oil. Includes a profile of current Secretary of State and former chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson

In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil-the largest and most powerful private corporation in the…


Book cover of The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace

Khalil F. Osman Author Of Sectarianism in Iraq: The Making of State and Nation Since 1920

From my list on sectarianism in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a diverse work experience, having taught political science, and worked as a journalist and UN official. My interest in sectarianism in the Arab world grew from my work as a journalist covering Middle Eastern and Iraqi affairs and as a UN official in Iraq. Working in Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion, I witnessed firsthand how the sectarian violence that gripped Iraq highlighted the failure of social integration in nurturing a national identity. Scholarly work on sectarianism in the region was focused on Lebanon. In addressing this scholarly gap, I combined my academic training in political science, extensive knowledge of Islamic history, and decades-long fieldwork and life experiences in the region.

Khalil's book list on sectarianism in the Middle East

Khalil F. Osman Why did Khalil love this book?

Ali Allawi has served as minister in several cabinets in post-2003 Iraq. His book provides fascinating insider details on the chaotic world of politics that pushed post-Saddam Iraq into an inferno of sectarianism, insurgency, terrorism, and incessant political crises. Allawi’s definitive history of the invasion of Iraq and its immediate aftermath is rich in detail, insightful in its observations, and candid and dispassionate in its analysis. The book leaves the reader with a sense of foreboding about the ability of Iraqi leaders to extricate the country from the vicious cycle of crises it has lurched into since 2003. Above all, this is a narrative of the agonies of a fragmented nation, devoid of a unifying collective identity, mired in political stalemate, burdened by the past, and unsure about its future.

By Ali A. Allawi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A comprehensive account of the occupation of Iraq and the crises that have followed in its wake, told for the first time by an Iraqi insider

Involved for over thirty years in the politics of Iraq, Ali A. Allawi was a long-time opposition leader against the Baathist regime. In the post-Saddam years he has held important government positions and participated in crucial national decisions and events. In this book, the former Minister of Defense and Finance draws on his unique personal experience, extensive relationships with members of the main political groups and parties in Iraq, and deep understanding of the…


Book cover of The Rope

Emma Sky Author Of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

From my list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served in Iraq as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004; and as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010. I retain a deep love of the country and am a regular visitor. I teach about the Middle East and Global Affairs at Yale University. 

Emma's book list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis

Emma Sky Why did Emma love this book?

Kanan is an Iraqi exile who was very supportive of the US invasion of Iraq. In The Rope, he provides a fictional account of what happened in the country, placing responsibility for the rise of sectarianism and the descent into civil war at the feet of Iraqi Shia leaders. It’s a brave and honest book. 

By Kanan Makiya,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the best-selling author of Republic of Fear, here is a gritty and unflinching novel about Iraqi failure in the wake of the 2003 American invasion, as seen through the eyes of a Shi‘ite militiaman whose participation in the execution of Saddam Hussein changes his life in ways he could never have anticipated.
 
When the nameless narrator stumbles upon a corpse on April 10, 2003, the day of the fall of Saddam Hussein, he finds himself swept up in the tumultuous politics of the American occupation and is taken on a journey that concludes with the discovery of what happened…


Book cover of The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq

John A. Nagl Author Of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

From my list on the exorbitant cost of America’s War in Iraq.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired Army officer who served in a tank unit in Operation Desert Storm. After that war, I became convinced that the future of warfare looked more like America’s experience in Vietnam than like the war in which I had just fought. I taught at West Point and then served in another tank unit early in the war in Iraq before being sent to the Pentagon where I helped Generals David Petraeus and Jim Mattis write the Army and Marine Corps doctrine for counterinsurgency campaigns. I am now studying and teaching about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a professor at the U.S. Army War College.  

John's book list on the exorbitant cost of America’s War in Iraq

John A. Nagl Why did John love this book?

Packer examines why the United States invaded Iraq without a just cause and without a plan for what to do once it succeeded in toppling Saddam Hussein. He explains the critical first few months of the war that set the course for everything that followed in a searing examination of America’s extraordinary hubris in the “War on Terror.” What sets Packer’s work apart is his ability to explain events in the White House and Pentagon and tie them to their bitter denouement on the streets of Baghdad. He tells the story of a big war of choice gone badly wrong before the first shots were fired. 

By George Packer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named One of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post Book World, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, Los Angeles Times Book Review, USA Today, Time, and New York magazine.

Winner of the Overseas Press Club’s Cornelius Ryan Award for Best Nonfiction Book on International Affairs

Winner of the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq recounts how the United States set about changing…


Book cover of Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Ice Man, Captain America, and the New Face of American War

Jerry Stahl Author Of Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

From my list on turning insane personal history into entertainment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jerry Stahl is an American novelist and screenwriter. His latest release, Nein, Nein, Nein! One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychis Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust relieves Stahl’s group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany. He has written a number of novels including Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked, I, Fatty, Pain Killers, Bad Sex on Speed, and Happy Mutant Baby Pills: A NovelStahl got this start publishing short fiction, winning a Pushcart Prize in 1976 for a story in the Transatlantic Review. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight was adapted into a film starring Ben Stiller as well as the screenplay for Bad Boys II, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Jerry's book list on turning insane personal history into entertainment

Jerry Stahl Why did Jerry love this book?

Technically the reportage of a Rolling Stone writer embedded with Marines 2002, Evan Wright’s first-person account of young men at war is, in some ways, as much a story of the author’s experience of W’s nation building as it the story of the soldiers themselves. Wright earned the respect of the men he rolled with by riding on point, or in the lead vehicle, where he was sure to take enemy fire. It’s his description of what drove him to face such danger that makes the writer at once relatable and brave: “Partly it was about not losing face. I reverted to like, a twelve-year-old on the playground. I wouldn’t back down. And there were times when I knew we’d be shot at, and I’d fantasize about getting taken out of being embedded. But then I’d make it through and not be injured, and I’d be flooded with this deep…

By Evan Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on Evan Wright's National Magazine Award-winning story in Rolling Stone, this is the raw, firsthand account of the 2003 Iraq invasion that inspired the HBO (R) original mini-series.

Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears-soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the "First Suicide Battalion"…


Book cover of Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad

Darin Pepple Author Of Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire in the Second Iraq War

From my list on the Iraq War without fake Hollywood nonsense.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being an Iraq War veteran and former Army officer, I cringe at the prevailing Hollywood cliché that stereotypes everyone that served in Iraq as Special Forces with crazy PTSD or being some broken human being. It’s apparent that popular movies and books on this war were produced without any veteran input, usually done by authors completely unfamiliar with the military and this region. I wrote my book Dodgebomb to insert reality into the narrative—that most servicemembers were regular men and women who expertly fought jihadists, rebuilt this country, and tried to instill democratic self-determination while reconciling impossible political and strategic goals that muddled completing the job.

Darin's book list on the Iraq War without fake Hollywood nonsense

Darin Pepple Why did Darin love this book?

This compelling history of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division’s armored spearhead into Baghdad details the coup de main that broke the Saddam’s regime’s grip on Iraq. Rich with exploits of individual soldiers, tank operations, and combat this nonfiction work relates the initial success in the war when victory seemed obtainable in months not years. I thoroughly enjoy this history because it illustrates the early war’s events accurately without politicized narrative and details just how daring and complicated this decisive attack was. If more people read this history, then our society could remember and have a fairer discourse on the Iraq War.

By David Zucchino,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter provides a brilliant account of the harrowing drive into Baghdad by an American armor brigade.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
Based on reporting that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Thunder Run chronicles one of the boldest gambles in modern military history: the surprise assault on Baghdad by the Spartan Brigade, the Second Brigade of the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized). Three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of five million people—and in three days of bloody combat ended the Iraqi war.…


Book cover of Echo in Ramadi: The Firsthand Story of US Marines in Iraq's Deadliest City

Johnnie M. Clark Author Of Guns Up!: A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War

From my list on war and the Marines.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a combat Marine, I believe these books honor the brave men who served and died for America. I joined the Marine Corps at 17 years of age after graduating from St. Petersburg High School. I served as a machine gunner with the famed 5th Marine Regiment during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. I was wounded 3 times by mortar round, grenade, and gunshot. I've written nine books around these subjects as well as an off-Broadway stage play titled The Battle For Nong Son. Many of my books are recommended reading for all newly commissioned officers at The Basic School. I am the recipient of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association Brigadier General Robert L. Denig Memorial Distinguished Service Award for writing, as well as the Silver Star, 3 Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Civil Action Combat Medal, and the Marine Combat Ribbon among other decorations.

Johnnie's book list on war and the Marines

Johnnie M. Clark Why did Johnnie love this book?

Major Scott Huesing is a Marine after my own heart. He was once a Lance Corporal and understands the Corps from top to bottom. He was the combat leader for Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines during their bloody battles in the deadliest city of the Iraq War. Reading this book taught an old Marine what the new Corps is like.

By Scott A. Huesing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2019 Gold Medal Award, Best Military History Memoir, Military Writers Society of America

Ranked in the "Top 10 Military Books of 2018" by Military Times. 

"In war, destruction is everywhere. It eats everything around you. Sometimes it eats at you." —Major Scott Huesing, Echo Company Commander

From the winter of 2006 through the spring of 2007, two-hundred-fifty Marines from Echo Company, Second Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment fought daily in the dangerous, dense city streets of Ramadi, Iraq during the Multi-National Forces Surge ordered by President George W. Bush. The Marines' mission: to kill or capture anti-Iraqi forces.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Iraq War, Iraq, and the oil and gas industry?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Iraq War, Iraq, and the oil and gas industry.

The Iraq War Explore 61 books about the Iraq War
Iraq Explore 89 books about Iraq
The Oil And Gas Industry Explore 19 books about the oil and gas industry