100 books like Goodbye to All That

By Robert Graves,

Here are 100 books that Goodbye to All That fans have personally recommended if you like Goodbye to All That. 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 And No Birds Sang

Clark McCauley Author Of Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know

From my list on to understand the experience of men in combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

Research Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. Since the 9/11 attacks I have tried to understand how normal individuals, people like you and me, can move to terrorism in particular and political violence more generally. I retired from teaching in 2015 to have more time to write. I’ve written about genocide (Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder), about self-sacrifice (The Marvel of Martyrdom: The Power of Self Sacrifice in a Selfish World), and about terrorism (Friction: How Conflict Radicalizes Them and Us). 

Clark's book list on to understand the experience of men in combat

Clark McCauley Why did Clark love this book?

Mowat’s title is taken from John Keats’ poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci: “O what can ail thee, Knight in arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the Lake, And no birds sing!” 

Best known for his books People of the Deer and Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat here turns his naturalist’s eye to the experience of war. His brief memoir describes joining, training, and fighting as part of Canadian forces in WWII. He led a rifle platoon in the invasion of Sicily and up the spine of Italy against fierce German resistance. From humorous to horrible, from youthful fervor to enormous weariness, Mowat takes us with him. He was relieved of combat duty after crying over the unconscious body of a friend brought in with an enemy bullet in his head. I love this book for its vivid observations of men before, during, and after…

By Farley Mowat,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked And No Birds Sang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turned away from the Royal Canadian Air Force for his apparent youth and frailty, Farley Mowat joined the infantry in 1940. The young second lieutenant soon earned the trust of the soldiers under his command, and was known to bend army rules to secure a stout drink, or find warm -- if nonregulation -- clothing. But when Mowat and his regiment engaged with elite German forces in the mountains of Sicily, the optimism of their early days as soldiers was replaced by despair. With a naturalist's eyes and ears, Mowat takes in the full dark depths of war; his moving…


Book cover of The Iliad

Nick Stevenson Author Of Nethergeist

From my list on compelling world building in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been intrigued by fantastical world-building that is complex, detailed, forensically credible, and immeasurably encyclopedic in scope. It should propel you to a world that feels almost as real as the world you leave behind but with intricate magic systems and razor-shape lore. Ironically, some of my choices took a while to love, but once they “sunk in,” everything changed. Whenever life gets too much, it has been cathartic, essential even, to transport to another universe and find solace in prose dedicated to survival, soul, and renewal.

Nick's book list on compelling world building in fantasy

Nick Stevenson Why did Nick love this book?

This may be considered an odd choice on the surface, given the true events of the Trojan War. This was also another I initially struggled with. Nevertheless, despite the factual elements, it’s viewed as one of the earliest epic fantasies in Western literature, along with The Odyssey, which came after.

Centered on just a few days of the ten-year siege of Troy, the lives of humans and their gods are intricately linked. It is one of the earliest examples of pathos with much sympathy actually lying with the enemies, the Trojans, a people based in Asia Minor, and their allies from all over the region. Outside the gods, it also references monsters such as Bellerophon, the Gorgon, and centaurs, with the gods often used as a plot device to refract the emotions and flaws of the characters.

The world-building is vivid and rich in dactylic hexameter, a rhythmic style.…

By Homer, Robert Fagles (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Iliad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the greatest epics in Western literature, THE ILIAD recounts the story of the Trojan wars. This timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves to its tragic conclusion. In his introduction, Bernard Knox observes that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it co-exists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.


Book cover of Regeneration

Julie Anderson Author Of The Midnight Man

From my list on evocative stories set in a hospital.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical crime fiction, and my latest novel is set in a hospital, a real place, now closed. The South London Hospital for Women and Children (1912–1985) was set up by pioneering suffragists and women surgeons Maud Chadburn and Eleanor Davies-Colley (the first woman admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons) and I recreate the now almost-forgotten hospital in my book. Events take place in 1946 when wartime trauma still impacts upon a society exhausted by conflict, and my book choices also reflect this.

Julie's book list on evocative stories set in a hospital

Julie Anderson Why did Julie love this book?

I loved this book for its humanity and compassion, as well as its consideration of the impact of war on the individual combatants and those who choose to try and heal them.

Another wartime novel, this time World War One, it is set in Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh, a real place, with many real, historical characters. Its central relationship is between the poet Siegried Sassoon and his psychiatrist, W. H. R Rivers, a British neurologist who experimented with treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Sassoon’s publicly stated reservations about war echo those of Rivers, who struggles with healing patients only to send them back to the front.

It raises questions about masculinity and manliness, honour and truth, and does so without seeming doctrinaire or didactic. It shows a society, as well as individuals, traumatized by war. I will read it and the subsequent novels in the trilogy again.

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Calls to mind such early moderns as Hemingway and Fitzgerald...Some of the most powerful antiwar literature in modern English fiction."-The Boston Globe

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy-a Booker Prize nominee and one of Entertainment Weekly's 100 All-Time Greatest Novels.

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back…


Book cover of The Great War and Modern Memory

Elliot Y. Neaman Author Of A Dubious Past: Ernst Junger and the Politics of Literature after Nazism

From my list on war and collective memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of modern European history at the University of San Francisco. I have written or co-edited three major books and many articles and reviews, as well as serving as a correspondent for a German newspaper. My areas of expertise are intellectual, political, military, and cultural history. I also work on the history of espionage and served as a consultant to the CIA on my last book about student radicals in Germany.

Elliot's book list on war and collective memory

Elliot Y. Neaman Why did Elliot love this book?

I am a huge fan of everything Paul Fussell (1924-2012) published. He was a colorful character in real life and earned his chops as a literary critic of modern war when he landed in France with the 103rd Infantry division in 1944, was wounded fighting in Alsace, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

I couldn't put down his book. I find most important the universal way he describes the gap between the way common soldiers experience battlefields, in contrast to how the war is portrayed to the general public by observers at home, propagandists, and the like who interpret the war from a safe distance. I was always impressed by the sharp manner of his writing. He traces the pulverization of pre-1914 Victorian values as they collided with the sheer force and brutality of modern steel and gas technology.

I loved surveying the direct and profane language…

By Paul Fussell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Great War and Modern Memory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and named by the Modern Library one of the twentieth century's 100 Best Non-Fiction Books, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was universally acclaimed on publication in 1970. Today, Fussell's landmark study remains as original and gripping as ever: a literate, literary, and unapologetic account of the Great War, the war that changed a generation, ushered in the
modern era, and revolutionized how we see the world.

This brilliant work illuminates the trauma and tragedy of modern warfare in fresh, revelatory ways. Exploring the…


Book cover of Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918

Richard S. Fogarty Author Of Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918

From my list on France and the first World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of modern Europe and France and have focused my research and writing on the First World War for almost 30 years now. The war remains the “original catastrophe” of the catastrophic 20th century and continues to shape our world in decisive ways here in the 21st century.  I don’t think there are many topics that are of clearer and more urgent interest, and what fascinates me most is how every day, individual people experienced these colossal events, events that seemed only very personal and intimate to most of them at the time.  It is with this in mind that I’ve chosen the books on my list.

Richard's book list on France and the first World War

Richard S. Fogarty Why did Richard love this book?

A day-to-day chronicle of a remarkably observant Frenchman who served from the beginning to the end of the war, this fascinating book is full of minute observations, perceptive insights, and the real, gritty texture of military life, service at the front, visits home, and confrontations with civilian life and politics. Barthas recounts all of this with an engaging immediacy and passion that makes the reader sad to part company with him at the war’s end.

By Louis Barthas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The harrowing first-person account of a French foot soldier who survived four years in the trenches of the First World War

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, a thirty-five-year-old barrelmaker from a small wine-growing town, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Corporal Barthas spent the next four years in near-ceaseless combat, wherever the French army fought its fiercest battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme, the Argonne. Barthas' riveting wartime narrative, first published in France in 1978, presents the vivid, immediate experiences of a frontline soldier.

This excellent new translation…


Book cover of Sagittarius Rising

Marc Wortman Author Of Millionaires' Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power

From my list on World War One from unique perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

My books and articles of narrative history written for general audiences explore how American society has gone to war and the fraught yet essential relationship between military and civilian life. I use the techniques developed in my work as a journalist to bring to life individuals and tell true, deeply researched stories with vivid characters and the page-turning propulsion of a thriller.

Marc's book list on World War One from unique perspectives

Marc Wortman Why did Marc love this book?

Pilots in World War One were a breed apart. They had embarked on the creation of an entirely new dimension of warfare and, in many aspects, leaped off the earth like gods while the Tommies, poilus and doughboys battled in the trenches and mud below. But these warriors were doing so in the most harrowing conditions, in flimsy wood and canvas biplanes, risking hypoxia and hypothermia, anti-aircraft fire, and deadly dogfights, and, on the Allies’ side, being shot down without parachutes. Little wonder that fighter pilots lived on average for less than three weeks at the front. Cecil Lewis describes the exultation and the brutality of this war in sharply etched, often lyrical prose. The extraordinary thing is how he loved the air war: “To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of…

By Cecil Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'This is a book everyone should read. It is the autobiography of an ace, and no common ace either. The boy had all the noble tastes and qualities, love of beauty, soaring imagination, a brilliant endowment of good looks ...this prince of pilots ...had a charmed life in every sense of the word' - George Bernard ShawSent to France with the Royal Flying Corps at just seventeen, and later a member of the famous 56 Squadron, Cecil Lewis was an illustrious and passionate fighter pilot of the First World War, described by Bernard Shaw in 1935 as 'a thinker, a…


Book cover of The Red Badge of Courage

Rebecca Mascull Author Of The Wild Air

From my list on how people get swept up in the winds of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author of historical fiction and many of my books have included war. I find I just cannot stay away from it as a subject. Obviously any war is full of natural drama which makes for wonderful narratives, but it’s more than that; it’s something to do with how war tests people to their limits, a veritable crucible. I’m fascinated by the way loyalties are split and how conflict is never simple. To paraphrase my character Helena from The Seamstress of Warsaw, war is peopled by a few heroes, a few bastards, and everyone else in the middle just trying to get through it in one piece…

Rebecca's book list on how people get swept up in the winds of war

Rebecca Mascull Why did Rebecca love this book?

A stone-cold classic in war writing, I studied this short novel at university and loved it. Crane never actually went to war and yet his depiction of men fighting in the American Civil War felt so real, that it gave me the confidence to write historical fiction, knowing I’d never experienced these things but my research and imagination could be brought to bear and hopefully transport the reader in the same way Crane did. It also began a lifelong obsession for me with the American Civil War. When I first started writing historical novels I knew I wanted to write about other combat arenas than the two C20th world wars, choosing the Boer War and The Seven Years’ War respectively. 

By Stephen Crane,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Red Badge of Courage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Here is Stephen Crane's masterpiece, The Red Badge of Courage, together with four of his most famous short stories. Outstanding in their portrayal of violent emotion and quiet tension, these texts led the way for great American writers such as Ernest Hemingway.


Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

Mel Laytner Author Of What They Didn't Burn: Uncovering My Father's Holocaust Secrets

From my list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a foreign correspondent seven time zones from home when my father died of a sudden heart attack. My grief mixed with guilt for never having sat down with him to unravel his vague vignettes about life and loss in the Holocaust. I wondered, how did he survive when so many perished? How much depended on resilience, smarts, or dumb luck? As reporters do, I started digging. I uncovered a Nazi paper trial that tracked his life from home, through ghettos, slave labor, concentration camps, death marches, and more. The tattered documents revealed a man very different from the quiet, quintessential Type-B Dad I knew…or thought I knew. 

Mel's book list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II

Mel Laytner Why did Mel love this book?

I first read Slaughterhouse-Five as a callow college student, concluding with the certainty of youth that this was a brilliant but weird amalgam of dark humor and sci-fi wrapped inside an autobiographical anti-war screed. However, my real ‘duh’ moment came after rereading the book decades later.

The opening line, “Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time” – tells you everything you need to know: It’s about PTSD, written from the inside looking out. Like Billy Pilgrim, I could see myself time-jumping and being abducted by aliens to escape the trauma of war. Interestingly, the term “PTSD,” the acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, had not entered our lexicon when Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse Five in the 1960s. Poignant and personal, it's still a brilliant amalgam of dark humor and sci-fi. 

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had…


Book cover of Catch-22

Adam Kuper Author Of The Museum of Other People: From Colonial Acquisitions to Cosmopolitan Exhibitions

From my list on books that helped me to grow up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in white South Africa, a racist, philistine, authoritarian, and puritanical society. The first four books I have chosen appeared in the 1950s, and I read them in my teens. Catch-22 was published in the ‘60s, but all five heroes–or anti-heroes–of these novels were of the same generation, about ten years my senior, so they were perfectly placed to be role models. They were rebels and mavericks, and except for Yossarian, they were all would-be writers. I recognised a kinship with them and took them as my guides into adulthood. And so I left for Paris and became a writer and an anthropologist. No regrets.

Adam's book list on books that helped me to grow up

Adam Kuper Why did Adam love this book?

This book is set during World War II. Captain John Yossarian, bombardier, has a hard time maintaining his sanity, let alone keeping alive. His crazed commander demands that the crew fly ever more dangerous missions. Yossarian realises a terrible truth: “The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.” When men request leave because they are going crazy, the camp doctor explains the catch-22. "Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."

Yossarian’s predicament was more extreme, his adults more dangerous, but like my other big brothers, he insisted on doing things his way.

By Joseph Heller,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Catch-22 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the…


Book cover of The Face of Battle

Clark McCauley Author Of Radicalization to Terrorism: What Everyone Needs to Know

From my list on to understand the experience of men in combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

Research Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. Since the 9/11 attacks I have tried to understand how normal individuals, people like you and me, can move to terrorism in particular and political violence more generally. I retired from teaching in 2015 to have more time to write. I’ve written about genocide (Why Not Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder), about self-sacrifice (The Marvel of Martyrdom: The Power of Self Sacrifice in a Selfish World), and about terrorism (Friction: How Conflict Radicalizes Them and Us). 

Clark's book list on to understand the experience of men in combat

Clark McCauley Why did Clark love this book?

Keegan popularized a new kind of military history, history focused on the experience of those “at the sharp end” of battle. Generals may as individuals have the most influence on the course of battle, but Keegan argues that, taken together, the men doing the fighting have more influence than the generals. He describes the experiences of men in three famous battles, and shows how tactics evolved but the demands of facing death remained all too familiar. I love this book for using history to find the psychology of men in combat.

By John Keegan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


John Keegan's groundbreaking portrayal of the common soldier in the heat of battle -- a masterpiece that explores the physical and mental aspects of warfare

The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the "point of maximum danger." Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his scrupulous reassessment of three battles representative of three different time periods, he manages to convey what the…


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