100 books like In Command of History

By David Reynolds,

Here are 100 books that In Command of History fans have personally recommended if you like In Command of History. 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 An Army at Dawn

Steven Casey Author Of The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan

From my list on understand WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Steven Casey is Professor in International History at the LSE. A specialist in US foreign policy, he is the author of ten books, including Cautious Crusade, which explored American attitudes toward Nazi Germany during World War II; Selling the Korean War, which won both the Truman Book Award and the Neustadt Prize for best book in American Politics; and When Soldiers Fall which also won the Neustadt Prize. In 2017, he published War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany, which won the American Journalism Historians Association 2018 book of the year, the panel judging it “a landmark work.” 

Steven's book list on understand WW2

Steven Casey Why did Steven love this book?

Atkinson’s Pulitzer Prize winning opener to his World War II trilogy reads like a novel. It also succeeds in the almost impossible task of bringing military history alive, weaving expertly drawn biographies of individuals at all levels of the US military into a grand narrative of the campaign to liberate North Africa in 1942-43.

By Rick Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Army at Dawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the British and American armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in…


Book cover of Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945

Richard Overy Author Of Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War 1931-1945

From my list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional historian who has been writing books for more than forty years. Most of the books have been about war and dictatorship in the first half of the twentieth century. My last book, The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945, developed my long interest in air war history, which goes back to my first major book written in 1980 on air warfare in World War II.

Richard's book list on key moments in World War II and the soldiers who fought in them

Richard Overy Why did Richard love this book?

This is simply one of the finest books to be written on the final critical two years of the Pacific War, with extensive detail on the Japanese side of the conflict and plenty of new insights into the better-known American story. It is a big book, but this was a large conflict both in terms of space, time, and the resources deployed. It was also chiefly a story of amphibious naval warfare, an original and significant development in modern warfare that too often gets understated. By the end of the conflict, the American armed forces had created the shape that they were to employ for the next half-century in projecting power overseas.

By Waldo Heinrichs, Marc Gallicchio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day-shortened to "V.E. Day"-brought with it the demise of Nazi Germany. But for the Allies, the war was only half-won. Exhausted but exuberant American soldiers, ready to return home, were sent to join the fighting in the Pacific, which by the spring and summer of 1945 had turned into a grueling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. Germany had surrendered unconditionally. The Japanese
would clearly make the conditions of victory extraordinarily high.

Following V-E Day, American citizens understandably clamored for their young men to be shipped…


Book cover of Brave Men

Clément Horvath Author Of Till Victory: The Second World War By Those Who Were There

From my list on World War II letters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. Almost 20 years of collecting WWII letters led to the publication of my first book Till Victory which was an award-winning bestseller in France, before it was released in English worldwide in 2021. I also host a podcast (Till Victory: a podcast about WWII and Peace), where I interview British and American veterans, and have made documentaries such as Red Beret & Dark Chocolate or The Missing Highlander. It's all about trying to understand what the young men who fought and died to liberate my country went through when they were my age.

Clément's book list on World War II letters

Clément Horvath Why did Clément love this book?

Alright, this is not technically a book about WWII letters, but it’s very close, and my favorite historical accounts’ book ever. Just like with wartime correspondence, Ernie Pyle wrote from the battlefield about the daily routine of the regular GI while experiencing it himself. Just like in a personal military letter, you get to know a tired civilian in uniform rather than a multi-medal bearing superhero with a thirst for action. With his exceptional writing, Pyle painted touching and realistic portraits, not of the Generals we've already read all about, but of the simple soldier who simply did his job and won the war with his sweat and blood.

By Ernie Pyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Europe was in the throes of World War II, and when America joined the fighting, Ernie Pyle went along. Long before television beamed daily images of combat into our living rooms, Pyle's on-the-spot reporting gave the American public a firsthand view of what war was like for the boys on the front. Pyle followed the soldiers into the trenches, battlefields, field hospitals, and beleaguered cities of Europe. What he witnessed he described with a clarity, sympathy, and grit that gave the public back home an immediate sense of the foot soldier's experience. There were really two wars, John Steinbeck wrote…


Book cover of Scoop

Steven Casey Author Of The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan

From my list on understand WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Steven Casey is Professor in International History at the LSE. A specialist in US foreign policy, he is the author of ten books, including Cautious Crusade, which explored American attitudes toward Nazi Germany during World War II; Selling the Korean War, which won both the Truman Book Award and the Neustadt Prize for best book in American Politics; and When Soldiers Fall which also won the Neustadt Prize. In 2017, he published War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany, which won the American Journalism Historians Association 2018 book of the year, the panel judging it “a landmark work.” 

Steven's book list on understand WW2

Steven Casey Why did Steven love this book?

A savage counterpoint to Pyle’s brave frontline reporting. The English novelist made two trips to the Ethiopia to cover the war launched by Mussolini in 1935. While in Africa, Waugh complained bitterly about a rival reporter who “never set foot in Abyssinia . . . he sits in his hotel describing an entirely imaginary campaign.” And in this satire, he gave savage voice to this incendiary allegation, describing a group of reporters who spent the bulk of their time far from the front, writing stories based on either misleading briefings by local propaganda chiefs or ingenious inventions that fit the prejudices of their editors and proprietors back home. A hilarious romp.

By Evelyn Waugh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Evelyn Waugh's brilliantly irreverent satire of Fleet Street, now in a beautiful hardback edition with a new Introduction by Alexander Waugh

Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of The Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. But for,…


Book cover of Churchill: The Power of Words

Luke Fowler Author Of Democratic Policy Implementation in an Ambiguous World

From my list on how ideas are turned into actions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the obsession that we as a society have with making policy, but not whether policy works, and how policy is treated as a magic bullet to the social problems that we all care about. But my experience is that it’s not ideas that solve problems; it’s action that solves problems. This fascination has led me to become a professor of public policy and administration, where I have read extensively about this issue for over a decade and written two books and over four dozen articles. My work focuses on how ideas are translated into actions and how those actions impact our communities.

Luke's book list on how ideas are turned into actions

Luke Fowler Why did Luke love this book?

I like that this book makes Winston Churchill’s powerful oratory style and poetic words easily accessible. Churchill was a master at speaking in a way that ignited the passion of others and focused them on common goals.

To be able to see and study those words really provides insights into how to shape the way others think about the world. It also opens the door to many historical issues that often get buried in some of the grander narratives about Churchill’s time.

By Winston Churchill, Martin Gilbert (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winston Churchill knew the power of words. In speeches, books, and articles, he expressed his feelings and laid out his vision for the future. His wartime writings and speeches have fascinated generation after generation with their powerful narrative style and thoughtful reflection.Martin Gilbert, Churchill's official biographer, has chosen passages that express the essence of Churchill's thoughts and describe,in his own inimitable words,the main adventures of his life and the main crises of his career. From first to last, they give insight into his life, how it evolved, and how he made his mark on the British and world stage.


Book cover of The Grand Alliance

Andrew Nagorski Author Of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War

From my list on the view from London in 1941.

Why am I passionate about this?

Award-winning journalist and historian Andrew Nagorski was born in Scotland to Polish parents, moved to the United States as an infant, and has rarely stopped moving since. During a long career at Newsweek, he served as the magazine's bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. In 1982, he gained international notoriety when the Kremlin, angered by his enterprising reporting, expelled him from the Soviet Union. Nagorski is the author of seven books, including The Nazi Hunters and Hitlerland.

Andrew's book list on the view from London in 1941

Andrew Nagorski Why did Andrew love this book?

Leave it to Churchill to sum up the events of 1941 that determined the ultimate outcome of the war. In his words, the theme of this volume of his epic account of the war is “How the British fought on with Hardship their Garment until Soviet Russia and the United States were drawn into the Great Conflict.” Much of this consists of letters, reports, speeches, and other original documents from that period, woven together by its skillful narrator. Little wonder that Churchill was later awarded the Noble Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

By Winston S. Churchill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Grand Alliance recounts the momentous events of 1941 surrounding America's entry into the War and Hitler's march on Russia - the continuing onslaught on British civilians during the Blitz, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the alliance between…


Book cover of Winston's War

Anthony Tucker-Jones Author Of Churchill, Master and Commander: Winston Churchill at War 1895-1945

From my list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anthony Tucker-Jones, a former intelligence officer, is an author, commentator, and writer who specializes in military history, with well over 60 books to his name. His work has also been published in an array of magazines and online. He regularly appears on television and radio commenting on current and historical military matters.

Anthony's book list on Winston Churchill and which book to start with

Anthony Tucker-Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

Churchill is perhaps best remembered for his bulldog premiership during the Second World War. Max Hasting’s excellent study graphically portrays the enormous political and strategic stresses and strains endured by Churchill. Coalition warfare was one of vigorously competing interests and Hastings shows how Churchill achieved a quite remarkable juggling act.

By Max Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winston's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I would choose this account over and above the rest. It is a fabulous book: full of perceptive insight that conveys all the tragedy, triumph, humour and intense drama of Churchill's time as wartime leader; and it is incredibly moving as a result' James Holland, Literary Review

In this vivid biography, #1 bestselling historian Max Hastings tells the story of how Churchill led a nation through its darkest hour.

A moving, dramatic narrative of crisis and fortitude, Hastings offers one of the finest biographies of one of Britain's finest men.

When Churchill took power as Prime Minister in 1940, it…


Book cover of Eastern Approaches

Joanna Lillis Author Of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan

From my list on to summon up the spirit of Central Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a reporter and author with a passion for seeking out stories less told, and there are plenty of those in Central Asia, where I made my home more than two decades ago: first in Uzbekistan and, since 2005, in Kazakhstan. I have found telling overlooked tales from an overlooked region that is overshadowed by its mighty neighbours – the Russian bear to the north and the Chinese dragon to the east – to be both rewarding and valuable. I hope these book selections will bring more stories about the people who populate Central Asia to the attention of readers with inquisitive minds.

Joanna's book list on to summon up the spirit of Central Asia

Joanna Lillis Why did Joanna love this book?

In the 1990s when I worked at the British Embassy in Moscow organising social functions I met a kind, elderly, white-haired man who came to visit the ambassador. Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a distinguished former diplomat, war veteran, politician, and writer, but still he found time to chat with a lowly staff member about Soviet history – and when he got home, he sent me his book. Eastern Approaches is a captivating memoir of Maclean’s diplomatic service in the USSR during Stalin’s Terror, when he sneaked undercover into Central Asia and experienced many escapades, including run-ins with the Soviet secret police. His tales of derring-do evoke a bygone age – but his expressive portrayals of the people and landscapes of Central Asia are recognisable to anyone travelling in this alluring region today. 

By Fitzroy Maclean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

70th Anniversary Edition with a New Foreword by Sunday Times Bestselling Author Simon Sebag Montefiore

'A classic' Observer | 'A legend' Washington Post | 'The best book you will read this year' Colonel Tim Collins

Posted to Moscow as a young diplomat before the Second World War, Fitzroy Maclean travelled widely, with or without permission, in some of the wildest and remotest parts of the Soviet Union, then virtually closed to foreigners. In 1942 he fought as a founder member of the SAS in North Africa. There Maclean specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and…


Book cover of The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War

Peter Grose Author Of A Good Place to Hide: How One French Community Saved Thousands of Lives in World War II

From my list on World War 2 from several different perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve now written three histories of World War 2. A Very Rude Awakening tells the story of the Japanese midget submarine raid into Sydney Harbour on the night of 31 May 1942. An Awkward Truth deals with the Japanese air raid on the town of Darwin in northern Australia on 19 February 1942. (The raid was carried out by the same force that hit Pearl Harbor ten weeks earlier.) These two books have both been filmed. My third book, A Good Place To Hide, is my pairing for this page. Last but not least, if you want a signed copy of my books, then do my friend Gary Jackson and me a favour by going here and clicking on the link "Buy Books and DVDs."

Peter's book list on World War 2 from several different perspectives

Peter Grose Why did Peter love this book?

There’s an expression among investigative journalists: follow the money. That’s exactly what the historian Andrew Roberts has done in this highly original and brilliant history of World War 2, full of economic insights.

How about this, for instance? “Hitler’s anti-Semitism  .. did nothing to aid Germany’s chances of winning the war, and possibly a great deal to retard them. The Holocaust was a mistake, tying up railway stocks … but above all denuding Germany of millions of potentially productive workers and potential soldiers.”

In other words, if railway trucks heading east through Germany had been full of soldiers heading for the eastern front instead of hapless Jews heading for Auschwitz and death, then Hitler’s invasion of Russia might have stood a better chance of success.

So if following the money strikes you as an essential way of getting to the truth, even when the subject is the economics of war,…

By Andrew Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On 2 August 1944, in the wake of the complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre in Belorussia, Winston Churchill mocked Adolf Hitler in the House of Commons by the rank he had reached in the First World War. 'Russian success has been somewhat aided by the strategy of Herr Hitler, of Corporal Hitler,' Churchill jibed. 'Even military idiots find it difficult not to see some faults in his actions.'

Andrew Roberts's previous book Masters and Commanders studied the creation of Allied grand strategy; The Storm of War now analyses how Axis strategy evolved. Examining the Second World War…


Book cover of The Second World War: A Complete History

Gemma Liviero Author Of The Road Beyond Ruin

From my list on WW2 occupation, resistance, and the aftermath.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gemma is the bestselling author of historical fiction novels, translated into several languages. Set against the backdrop of war in Europe, her fifth book in this genre will be released later this year. She has combined the war experiences of family members in WWI and WWII, information collected during her research and travels, and her academic studies in writing and history, to create the authentic scenes and characters for her books.

Gemma's book list on WW2 occupation, resistance, and the aftermath

Gemma Liviero Why did Gemma love this book?

This 900-page history is a vivid account of WWII across all fronts. Though the research is meticulous and covers the length of the war, the explanations are clear and fascinating and the chronology makes it feel like a guided tour through time. Along the way, Gilbert interposes a human face and a very personal account, revealing upheaval and atrocities, but ensuring that there is a permanent record of those civilians, particularly Jews, who died without just cause. And the examples and conditions endured are at times difficult to read and heartbreaking. The book covers all aspects, from battle lines to partisan attacks, to numbers killed, to firsthand accounts, to Hitler’s inners circle, and more. This is an outstanding read and this book is just one of Gilbert’s many significant contributions as a historian.

By Martin Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published by Weidenfeld in 1989 and now available in paperback, a history of the Second World War, which looks at its political, diplomatic, military and civilian aspects.


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