100 books like Moscow 1812

By Adam Zamoyski,

Here are 100 books that Moscow 1812 fans have personally recommended if you like Moscow 1812. 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 The Habsburgs: To Rule the World

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Author Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1795: Light and Flame

From my list on Central and Eastern European history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Central and Eastern Europe all of my adult life. Many cruises along the Danube and around the Baltic Sea have allowed me to see the stunning best of the region. Since the early 1990s, I’ve taught the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Russian Empire to a generation of students. Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History at University College London since 2013, my next challenge is to promote the history of Poland to allcomers via the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, the wonderful city which is my home.

Richard's book list on Central and Eastern European history

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Why did Richard love this book?

Martyn Rady has an extraordinary ability to tell stories that make sense. His jaw-dropping anecdotes about the men and women of the world’s most inbred royal dynasty help us to understand how and why the Habsburgs managed to keep reinventing themselves and their global pretensions for seven hundred years. By the time you’ve finished laughing and wincing at their antics, you’ll also understand why the Habsburgs’ Central European heartland became far more than the sum of its diverse parts.

By Martyn C. Rady,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The definitive history of a powerful family dynasty who dominated Europe for centuries -- from their rise to power to their eventual downfall.
In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world it built -- and then lost -- over nearly a millennium. From modest origins, the Habsburgs gained control of the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century. Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe, stretching from Hungary to Spain, and parts of the New World and the Far East. The Habsburgs…


Book cover of The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700: An Interpretation

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Author Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1795: Light and Flame

From my list on Central and Eastern European history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Central and Eastern Europe all of my adult life. Many cruises along the Danube and around the Baltic Sea have allowed me to see the stunning best of the region. Since the early 1990s, I’ve taught the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Russian Empire to a generation of students. Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History at University College London since 2013, my next challenge is to promote the history of Poland to allcomers via the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, the wonderful city which is my home.

Richard's book list on Central and Eastern European history

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Why did Richard love this book?

Robert Evans’s masterpiece is the reader’s equivalent of scaling Himalayan peaksand marveling at the views. The author’s linguistic and intellectual range is breathtaking. Those who read this classic of learned prose carefully will be taken on an unforgettable journey right over and below the horizon of the Central European mind between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. One of the greatest works of early modern intellectual history ever written.

By Robert John Weston Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book examines and accounts for the emergence of a powerful Habsburg state in central Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. Charting the transformation of the Habsburg lands from a casual juxtaposition of territories into a major and reasonably stable commonwealth, Evans examines the social and economic changes brought about by the Counter-Reformation, the interaction between regions and central government, and the intellectual evolution from the Renaissance
to the Baroque.


Book cover of The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Author Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1795: Light and Flame

From my list on Central and Eastern European history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Central and Eastern Europe all of my adult life. Many cruises along the Danube and around the Baltic Sea have allowed me to see the stunning best of the region. Since the early 1990s, I’ve taught the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Russian Empire to a generation of students. Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History at University College London since 2013, my next challenge is to promote the history of Poland to allcomers via the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, the wonderful city which is my home.

Richard's book list on Central and Eastern European history

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Why did Richard love this book?

This modern classic is still a must-read for my students nearly twenty years after its first publication. Nothing else comes close to its sweep over time and space as it explains how the legacies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth continue to shape the relations between its successor nations and their founding narratives. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the protests in Belarus have made this well-written book even more essential to understanding the region.

By Timothy Snyder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of On Tyranny comes a revealing history of the four modern national ideas that arose from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

"[A] fresh and stimulating look at the path to nationhood."-Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

"Erudite and engrossing."-Charles King, Times Literary Supplement

Modern nationalism in northeastern Europe has often led to violence and then reconciliation between nations with bloody pasts. In this fascinating book, Timothy Snyder traces the emergence of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian nationhood over four centuries, discusses various atrocities (including the first account of the massive Ukrainian-Polish ethnic cleansings of the 1940s), and examines Poland's recent…


Book cover of The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union 1385-1569: Volume I

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Author Of The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1795: Light and Flame

From my list on Central and Eastern European history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Central and Eastern Europe all of my adult life. Many cruises along the Danube and around the Baltic Sea have allowed me to see the stunning best of the region. Since the early 1990s, I’ve taught the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Russian Empire to a generation of students. Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History at University College London since 2013, my next challenge is to promote the history of Poland to allcomers via the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, the wonderful city which is my home.

Richard's book list on Central and Eastern European history

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski Why did Richard love this book?

The first volume of Robert Frost’s trilogy is a superbly researched account and explanation of how two very different realmsthe Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuaniacame together to forge a shared Commonwealth that covered most of east-central Europe. While it supports republican ideas of liberty serving the common good, it steers an impartial course between rival nationalist narratives and offers important lessons for the making and maintenance of unions between states and communities.

By Robert I. Frost,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union 1385-1569 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The history of eastern European is dominated by the story of the rise of the Russian empire, yet Russia only emerged as a major power after 1700. For 300 years the greatest power in Eastern Europe was the union between the kingdom of Poland and the grand duchy of Lithuania, one of the longest-lasting political unions in European history. Yet because it ended in the late-eighteenth century in what are misleadingly termed the Partitions of Poland, it barely features in
standard accounts of European history.

The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union 1385-1569 tells the story of the formation of a…


Book cover of 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow

Munro Price Author Of Napoleon: The End of Glory

From my list on the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian who has been researching and writing on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars for thirty-five years now. Since the age of ten I have been fascinated by these years, partly through childhood holidays in France, but also because of their sheer drama. British history in the same period has nothing to compare with the storming of the Bastille or Napoleon’s meteoric career. Specializing in this turbulent era has made me particularly interested in how regimes fall, and whether under different circumstances they could have survived.

Munro's book list on the French Revolution and Napoleon

Munro Price Why did Munro love this book?

When I first read this book I found it unputdownable. It is a riveting account, based on a huge number of original sources and testimonies, of the watershed defeat of Napoleon’s career: his invasion of Russia, capture of Moscow, and the disastrous winter retreat that destroyed his army of half a million men. Its evocation of the accompanying horrors is often harrowing, but underlines one sobering and always relevant fact: the amount of human suffering the folly of one man can bring about.

By Adam Zamoyski,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history.

In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia - history's first example of total war - had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat.

Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing first-hand accounts of soldiers and civilians on…


Book cover of Napoleon on Napoleon: An Autobiography of the Emperor

Gareth Williams Author Of Needing Napoleon

From my list on getting inside Napoleon Bonaparte’s head.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught about Napoleon for thirty years, having studied history at Cambridge. I’ve been fascinated by the Corsican outsider, who, thanks to the French Revolution, rose to dominate Europe, since I saw a china bust of him in his green Chasseurs uniform on my maternal grandparents’ sideboard. I always loved historical fiction and having retired into a locked-down world, I put my time on the Isle of Skye to good use and set about researching and writing the novel I had always said I would write. Re-reading old favourites and encountering new interpretations was a joy and certainly made compiling this list an enjoyable challenge!

Gareth's book list on getting inside Napoleon Bonaparte’s head

Gareth Williams Why did Gareth love this book?

Where better to start trying to understand Napoleon than with his own words? If only it was that simple! In total, four of his companions took down Napoleon’s words but he died without editing them. Exiled on St Helena, Bonaparte was determined to counter what he saw as the gross distortions circulating in the English-speaking world. I delight in his confident vision, even after his ultimate defeat. This book gives us insights into his view on the nature of history, his assessment of generals through the ages, including a substantial section on himself, the key events in his career, and a set of final observations in which he attempts to rewrite history to his tastes. Not then a balanced piece of work but no less fascinating for all that. It taught me the importance of putting myself in a character’s shoes before I start writing.

By Somerset de Chair (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During his exile on St. Helena, Napoleon dictated memoirs, notes, letters and battle commentaries to the generals who shared his captivity. He then edited the material himself. The result is an account of Napoleon's life in his own words, from his childhood in Corsica to his defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Private concerns, such as feuds with his brothers and divorce from Josephine, are mixed with such matters of state as the rebellion of Toussaint-Louverture and the retreat from Moscow. In this edition, de Chair has incorporated much new material from three further volumes of notes and miscellanies dictated by…


Book cover of War and Peace

Shobana Mahadevan Author Of A Marriage Knot: A Tangled Love Story

From my list on classical books that teach you about psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading classical books at a very young age. Granted, I did not understand a lot of things then. Rereading the same books again after years made me realize that more than what the author was trying to convey, my maturity made a world of difference when reading a book. It was the same text but with entirely different contexts and perspectives. I love old books. Books that take me back a century or more. It gives me an insight into how people lived, thought, and felt back then. It helps me connect with people across centuries.

Shobana's book list on classical books that teach you about psychology

Shobana Mahadevan Why did Shobana love this book?

Do I need a reason to love this book? There are too many characters, too many subplots, too many deaths, and the ruins of beloved characters. And yet, the entire picture it presents is beautiful. That is how life is– unpredictable and chaotic.

I learned a lot about war, the mentality of people who go to fight, and the mentality of the people left behind. Above all, it was such a good feeling to finish the big book–probably one of the biggest books I had read and loved! 

By Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked War and Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

War and Peacebroadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both…


Book cover of War and Peace

Fathali Moghaddam Author Of The Psychology of Revolution

From my list on why revolutions fail.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a deep passion for the psychology of revolution because my family has experienced revolution in our country of birth, and I have expertise on this topic because, as a psychologist, I have extensively studied revolutions for decades. This is a topic seldom studied by modern psychologists, perhaps because most research psychologists live in Western countries and have not experienced revolutions. Western psychologists have no experience with revolutions. The last book published with the title of my book, The Psychology of Revolution, came out in 1894! I am very enthusiastic about putting together this diverse reading list, which is made up of research books, novels, and a poetry collection.

Fathali's book list on why revolutions fail

Fathali Moghaddam Why did Fathali love this book?

I am deeply passionate about Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace because I find that when I re-read it, I can always learn profound new lessons about human behavior. The setting of War and Peace is Russia in the period before, during, and after the Napoleonic Wars–roughly the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Both directly and indirectly, Tolstoy is dealing with the question of what happens after great revolutions.

France has experienced its great revolution and is now ruled by Emperor Napoleon. The talk is of spreading ‘revolutionary justice’ to the rest of Europe (and the world). In practice, Napoleon is making his own family members monarchs–the revolutionaries are the new aristocracy. Russia also experienced a kind of revolution because the French army's invasion of Mother Russia turned the Russian world upside down.

After invading Russia and capturing Moscow, the French military found themselves…

By Leo Tolstoy, Aylmer Maude (translator), Louise Maude , Henry Gifford (editor)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked War and Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'If life could write, it would write like Tolstoy.' Isaac Babel

Tolstoy's epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. The fortunes of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, of Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, are intimately connected with the national history that is played out in parallel with their lives. Balls and soirees alternate with councils of war and the machinations of statesmen and generals, scenes of violent battles with everyday human passions in
a work whose extraordinary imaginative power has never been surpassed. The prodigious…


Book cover of Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814

Roger Knight Author Of Convoys: The British Struggle Against Napoleonic Europe and America

From my list on history to change your ideas on the Napoleonic Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For fifty years I've studied the British sailing navy, fascinated by its workings, the slow communications, the vagaries of the winds and tides. In parallel with my work in archives, I've sailed in most of the European waters described in Convoys. I worked at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, for 27 years, leaving as Deputy Director in 2000. Since then, I've taught postgraduates and written about Nelson and the British government (Britain against Napoleon), and became convinced that Britain came very close to being defeated by Napoleonic France. If Napoleon had not thrown it all away by his invasion of Russia in 1812, I might be writing this in French, with a very different script! 

Roger's book list on history to change your ideas on the Napoleonic Wars

Roger Knight Why did Roger love this book?

The most important strategic fact in this war was the defeat of Napoleon’s great army which invaded Russia in 1812, and its destruction by winter weather during the retreat from Moscow later that year. It was a blow from which Napoleon never recovered.

This fascinating book is written from Russian sources, bringing the extraordinary story of the decision to abandon and burn Moscow, and how the Russian army was used and commanded. No one who looks at the war as a whole can ignore this book. The fact that Hitler repeated the same mistake of invading Russia in 1941 makes it even more powerful.

By Dominic Lieven,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Russia Against Napoleon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A compulsive page-turner ... a triumph of brilliant storytelling ... an instant classic that is an awesome, remarkable and exuberant achievement' Simon Sebag Montefiore

Winner of the Wolfson History Prize and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize

In the summer of 1812 Napoleon, the master of Europe, marched into Russia with the largest army ever assembled, confident that he would sweep everything before him. Yet less than two years later his empire lay in ruins, and Russia had triumphed. This is the first history to explore in depth Russia's crucial role in the Napoleonic Wars, re-creating the epic battle between…


Book cover of Rebellion

Wolfric Styler Author Of Troubled Zen

From my list on action series with characters in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been in various militaries for over 17 years and am proud of my service. Troubled Zen is my first foray into the publishing world and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I enjoy the ex-military hero-style action/ thriller novels because I find that I can understand their mindset and relate well with their characters. I found most were male, ex-special forces so I chose a female Explosive Ordnance Disposal member as I believe that there are plenty of aspects to investigate that can show how a woman can be equally tough, stubborn, ingenious, brave, and determined.

Wolfric's book list on action series with characters in the military

Wolfric Styler Why did Wolfric love this book?

This series about a Bow Street Runner piqued my interest as, like Reacher and Sharpe, he is a bit of a rogue but tries to do what is right while also breaking the rules at times. What appeals to me about his character is that he was unjustly discharged but did his best to secure another profession that tries to help people. The description and action scenes are very believable however Hawkwood isn’t as indestructible as Reacher. His vulnerability and pragmatism are features that I have molded into the main character in my novel too.

By James McGee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rebellion is brewing in Napoleonic Paris, in the new action-packed novel from the author of the bestselling Ratcatcher

October 1812: Britain and France are still at war. France is engaged on two battle fronts - Spain and Russia - and her civilians are growing weary of the fight. Rebellion is brewing. Since Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself as First Consul, there have been several attempts to either kill or overthrow him. All have failed, so far...

Meanwhile in London, Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood has been seconded to the foreign arm of the Secret Service. There, he meets the urbane Henry…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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