10 books like Goodbye to All That

By Robert Graves,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Goodbye to All That. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported.

When you buy books through our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please help us make book discovery magical and join our membership program.

And No Birds Sang

By Farley Mowat,

Book cover of And No Birds Sang

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

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Clark's favorite books.

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…

And No Birds Sang

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…


Regeneration

By Pat Barker,

Book cover of Regeneration

Deborah Carr Author Of The Poppy Sisters

From the list on World War One that live rent free in my head.

Who am I?

I discovered my passion for the First World War when researching my great-grandfather’s service history in the cavalry. I also write historical fiction with several of my books being set during the First World War and have spent thousands of hours over the past twenty years researching different aspects of this period, both from the point of view of the V.A.D.s, wounded soldiers, medical staff treating them, as well as grieving families. The stories I’ve come across never fail to haunt me and I can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of wanting to discover more about the people who survived these experiences, or stop needing to write books about them.

Deborah's book list on World War One that live rent free in my head

Discover why each book is one of Deborah's favorite books.

Why did Deborah love this book?

Set at the Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland in 1917 this book is about an army psychiatrist, William Rivers trying his best to find ways to help his traumatised patients.

Included as patients are real people such as WW1 poets, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, and fictional characters like Billy Prior. Deeply distressed by what he’s witnessed, Billy’s only way of communicating is to write things down. As William Rivers works with his patients he becomes increasingly tormented that the success of his treatments will result in the men being sent back to the Front.

I can only imagine how painful it must have been for doctors to care for patients while aware that their hard work will result in them being sent back to where they were originally damaged. 

Regeneration

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

9 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

Stephen Kelly Author Of The Language of the Dead

From the list on why World War I changed everything forever.

Who am I?

I’m a former newspaper guy who always wanted to write novels and finally took a serious crack at fiction a few years before I retired from journalism. I’m also a World War II buff, a fact that stems from my having grown up around veterans of the war — fathers, uncles, grandfathers — who told me their stories. As a novelist writing about World War II, I realized I couldn’t fully understand that war until I understood the one that preceded it, hence my focus on books related to the earlier conflict.

Stephen's book list on why World War I changed everything forever

Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books.

Why did Stephen love this book?

This brilliant and original book is one of my favorites of any genre. It’s the perfect bookend to The Guns of August in that it illustrates the war’s effects on Europe’s people and culture, though the landscape it examines is literary and psychological rather than historical and political.

The war produced great literature because of the way it bridged the “old” complacent Europe with a “new” one that was pitiless and mechanized, Fussell posits. The effect of this sudden evolution constituted a psychological war-within-a-war for those who fought it. 

Writers such as Sassoon and Owen were able to let go of the past and face the war’s terrible “present” without flinching — to, as Lewis put it, blast their “way through all the poetic bric-a-brac” that defined that former age. 

The result was a depiction of the war’s truth that transcends its mere facts and forever changed the way we…

The Great War and Modern Memory

By Paul Fussell,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


Poilu

By Louis Barthas,

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 the list on France and the first World War.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books.

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.

Poilu

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…


Sagittarius Rising

By Cecil Lewis,

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 the list on World War One from unique perspectives.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Marc's favorite books.

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…

Sagittarius Rising

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…


The Red Badge of Courage

By Stephen Crane,

Book cover of The Red Badge of Courage

Rebecca Mascull Author Of The Wild Air

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Rebecca's favorite books.

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. 

The Red Badge of Courage

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.

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.


Slaughterhouse-Five

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

Gigi Little Author Of City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales

From the list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places.

Who am I?

I’ve been a sci-fi and fantasy fan ever since my childhood when I thought looking for spaceships and dragons in the night sky was just a normal kid nightly activity and not, you know, fiction. When seeking stories for my anthology City of Weird, I reached back into my childhood obsession with all things out of or beyond this world, but I found that I wanted tales that took my favorite themes and slanted them. Went to unexpected places, not only in time and space, but also in theme and approach. Like these five books, which I hope you will enjoy.

Gigi's book list on sci-fi & fantasy that take you to unexpected places

Discover why each book is one of Gigi's favorite books.

Why did Gigi love this book?

Slaughterhouse-Five was the first book I read that showed me that science fiction and fantasy can truly go to unexpected places. I was head-over-heals charmed by Vonnegut’s voice and his unassuming protagonist bouncing around through time and space and nutty adventures—but what an amazing thing: the way Vonnegut worked his sci-fi premise into a masterpiece of satire that, at the bottom of it all, was about the very real firebombing of Dresden in World War II, something he had witnessed first-hand. One of my favorite books of all time.

Slaughterhouse-Five

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

18 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…


The Face of Battle

By John Keegan,

Book cover of The Face of Battle

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

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Clark's favorite books.

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.

The Face of Battle

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…


All Quiet on the Western Front

By Erich Maria Remarque, Arthur Wesley Wheen (translator),

Book cover of All Quiet on the Western Front

Michael Tappenden Author Of Pegasus to Paradise

From the list on war that show the awful impact on the individual.

Who am I?

On D-Day 1944, three gliders carrying elite British soldiers landed to capture and hold the vital Pegasus bridge. In the first glider to land was my father, Ted Tappenden. Ted was one of several close relatives who served with distinction in WW2 including a naval officer and two fighter pilots. It was then no surprise when instead of following my grammar school direction to University, I volunteered instead to serve with the Parachute Regiment (my degree came later). My close connection with the military allowed me an insight into both the physical and mental strain and the awful consequences that might afflict those who serve and their nearest and dearest.

Michael's book list on war that show the awful impact on the individual

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Volunteering to join the British Army as I did and consequently serving with The Parachute Regiment, it would have been very easy as a young man to be wrapped up in the reputation, tradition, glory, and ceremony of that unit and to forget what duties you might be called upon to perform. Similar in fact to the character of Paul Baumer, the young idealistic German soldier, full of patriotism and eager to fight the foe in the trenches of WW1. The reality is horrifyingly different, as superbly described by the author from his own harrowing experiences on the Western Front. Paul quickly realises that the nationalism he has been sold is quite false. He is constantly surrounded by hunger, sickness, fear, and death, and that he and his young comrades are already either ‘old or dead.’ To make matters worse his return home on leave is emotionally destructive as nobody…

All Quiet on the Western Front

By Erich Maria Remarque, Arthur Wesley Wheen (translator),

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked All Quiet on the Western Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story is told by a young 'unknown soldier' in the trenches of Flanders during the First World War. Through his eyes we see all the realities of war; under fire, on patrol, waiting in the trenches, at home on leave, and in hospitals and dressing stations. Although there are vividly described incidents which remain in mind, there is no sense of adventure here, only the feeling of youth betrayed and a deceptively simple indictment of war - of any war - told for a whole generation of victims.


A Rumor of War

By Philip Caputo,

Book cover of A Rumor of War: The Classic Vietnam Memoir

Wendell Affield Author Of Muddy Jungle Rivers: A river assault boat cox'n's memory journey of his war in Vietnam

From the list on the Vietnam war that explore waste and loss.

Who am I?

As I write this, I massage aching bits of shrapnel still embedded beneath silvered scars. I’ve read many Vietnam War stories—praising the war, glorifying combat, condemning the war. My stories are 1st person limited POV, voice of a twenty-year-old sailor. My title is a spin-off of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. By the time I wrote my memoir, I realized that our national goals in Vietnam had been Muddy from the beginning. I too, traveled Jungle Rivers. During my time on the riverboat, I witnessed Rivers of blood—rivers of life, trickle across our deck. And yes, Jungle is a fitting metaphor for our life at that time.

Wendell's book list on the Vietnam war that explore waste and loss

Discover why each book is one of Wendell's favorite books.

Why did Wendell love this book?

This is the first Vietnam War book I read. For almost ten years I remained silent about my military service—many coworkers did not know I had served, let alone two tours and wounded in action. Caputo’s voice and sense of loss and waste and rage touched so close to my feelings. His gift of words made me live again the countless hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror—for me, ambushes, mines, incoming artillery, and mortar rounds. Twenty years in the future, when I began writing my stories, I read Caputo’s book again because I hoped to emulate his sense of angst.

A Rumor of War

By Philip Caputo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Rumor of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 40th anniversary edition of the classic Vietnam memoir―featured in the PBS documentary series The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick―with a new foreword by Kevin Powers

In March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home―physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone.

A Rumor of War is far more than one soldier’s story. Upon its publication in 1977, it shattered America’s indifference to the fate of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 1, poets, and soldiers?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 1, poets, and soldiers.

World War 1 Explore 713 books about World War 1
Poets Explore 51 books about poets
Soldiers Explore 83 books about soldiers