10 books like Our Man in New York

By Henry Hemming,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Our Man in New York. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Spy Who Loved

By Clare Mulley,

Book cover of The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville

You might think that a daughter of a count and a runner-up for Miss Poland might not have what it takes to be a spy. You’d be wrong. Krystyna Skarbek was Britain’s first and longest-serving female special agent during World War II.  

When her native Poland was overrun, Krystyna and her husband sailed for London. She wasted no time in offering her services to the British against the Nazis, and the Secret Intelligence Service was happy to recruit this “flaming Polish patriot, expert skier, and great adventuress" who proved her intelligence, daring, and resourcefulness again and again.  Inspiring Winston Churchill to claim that she was his favourite agent.

The Spy Who Loved

By Clare Mulley,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Spy Who Loved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1952, a woman was murdered by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in South Kensington. Her name was Christine Granville. That she died young was perhaps unsurprising, but that she had survived the Second World War was remarkable. The daughter of a feckless Polish aristocrat and his wealthy Jewish wife, she would become one of Britain's most daring and highly decorated special agents. Having fled to Britain on the outbreak of war, she was recruited by the intelligence services long before the establishment of the SOE, and took on mission after mission. She skied into occupied Poland, served…


Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Book cover of Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

If you want to read about one of the most amazing operations of World War II, then this is the book for you. It is the story of the Allied double agents (five in particular) who successfully tricked Hitler into thinking the invasion of France would occur in a different location than planned. In my opinion, this book is enjoyable to read because of the five agents and their backgrounds, personalities, and how they went about tricking the Germans. One of the agents was used by Ian Fleming as a model for the James Bond character. Another agent was the only person in the war to have been awarded both the German Iron Cross and the British MBE. I have several favorite World War II genre authors and Ben Macintyre is one of them.   

Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.

The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty…


Inge's War

By Svenja O'Donnell,

Book cover of Inge's War: A German Woman's Story of Family, Secrets, and Survival Under Hitler

We hear a lot about the wars of soldiers and spies, but much less about the lives of ordinary people. In this book, O’Donnell pieces together the story of her grandmother’s life as a young woman in Germany before and during the war. Unlike the tales of daring action, this is a story that is unexceptional, but all the more powerful for it. A reminder that for many people in Europe, the war was something that happened to them, rather than something they did.

Inge's War

By Svenja O'Donnell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An extraordinary saga." -David Grann, New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon

The mesmerizing account of a granddaughter's search for a World War II family history hidden for sixty years

Growing up in Paris as the daughter of a German mother and an Irish father, Svenja O'Donnell knew little of her family's German past. All she knew was that her great-grandparents, grandmother, and mother had fled their home city of Koenigsberg near the end of World War II, never to return. But everything changed when O'Donnell traveled to the city-now known as Kaliningrad, and a part…


The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Book cover of The Glamour Boys: The Secret Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler

The untold true story of how a group of gay MPs lobbied the British government to stop its policy of appeasing Hitler in the run up to WWII. It’s a book about patriotic heroes who are criminals in their own land because of their sexuality. It moved me deeply and inspired my own fictional thriller set in Berlin in 1933.

The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A STORY OF UNSUNG BRAVERY AT A DEFINING MOMENT IN BRITAIN'S HISTORY

'Superb' Stephen Fry
'Thrillingly told' Dan Jones
'Fascinating' Neil MacGregor
'Astonishing' Peter Frankopan

We like to think we know the story of how Britain went to war with Germany in 1939, but there is one chapter that has never been told. In the early 1930s, a group of young, queer British MPs visited Berlin on a series of trips that would change the course of the Second World War.

Having witnessed the Nazis' brutality first-hand, these men were some of the first to warn Britain about Hitler, repeatedly…


Franklin and Winston

By Jon Meacham,

Book cover of Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, cast together by the rising tide of fascism, became allies to fight their common enemy.

Their politics, however, in some ways stood in sharp contrast. FDR was a liberal Democrat who believed in using the levers of government to help those thrown out of work by the Great Depression. Churchill was a Conservative who had fought many a battle against Britain’s liberals.

Yet the two men broke the rules of rigid adherence to any party. 

As Jon Meacham puts it in his masterful Franklin and Winston, “Churchill changed parties from Conservative to Liberal and back again, and the vicissitudes of his views did not surprise those closest to him.” As for FDR, who built an alliance with prominent Republicans during the war, one associate pointed to the “flexibility of the Roosevelt mind.”

Franklin and Winston

By Jon Meacham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The most complete portrait ever drawn of the complex emotional connection between two of history’s towering leaders

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were the greatest leaders of “the Greatest Generation.” In Franklin and Winston, Jon Meacham explores the fascinating relationship between the two men who piloted the free world to victory in World War II. It was a crucial friendship, and a unique one—a president and a prime minister spending enormous amounts of time together (113 days during the war) and exchanging nearly two thousand messages. Amid cocktails, cigarettes, and cigars, they met, often secretly, in…


Those Angry Days

By Lynne Olson,

Book cover of Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941

Although not technically about the Pearl Harbor attack, Those Angry Days is an excellent companion to understand the mood in America in those months before the attack.  While Grew was focused on avoiding an almost inevitable conflict between Japan and the United States, Olson shows that Americans in general and President Roosevelt in particular were far more focused on whether and how to engage in the ongoing conflict in Europe.

Those Angry Days

By Lynne Olson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND KIRKUS REVIEWS

From the acclaimed author of Citizens of London comes the definitive account of the debate over American intervention in World War II—a bitter, sometimes violent clash of personalities and ideas that divided the nation and ultimately determined the fate of the free world.

At the center of this controversy stood the two most famous men in America: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who championed the interventionist cause, and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who as unofficial leader and spokesman…


Stilwell and the American Experience in China

By Barbara W. Tuchman,

Book cover of Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945

General “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, the American liaison to Chiang Kai-Shek’s China during World War II, was the opposite of a politician. Blunt, profane, disrespectful, and sarcastic—he called Chiang the “peanut”—Stilwell was incapable of being politic, which makes Tuchman’s book the ultimate political biography. Like many great biographers, including three of the five authors on this list, Tuchman came to history from journalism or publishing, not from academia, something she felt was an asset in helping her write in a style that produced both a Pulitzer and best sellers.

Stilwell and the American Experience in China

By Barbara W. Tuchman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stilwell and the American Experience in China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell, the general who was the American commander in the China-Burma-India theatre of World War II, had a deep love of China. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman, combines a fascinating narrative of America's relationship with China from the fall of the Manchu Dynasty through to the rise of Mao Tse-Tung with an intimate biography of Vinegar Joe. Stilwell loved China deeply, spoke its languages and understood its people as few Westerners have. Tuchman traces his life from his first visit during the 1911 Revolution through the Second World War to his confrontation with…


Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945

By R.C. Raack,

Book cover of Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945: The Origins of the Cold War

Like Sebag Montefiore and Mawdsley, Raack was the first diplomatic historian to re-evaluate Stalin’s foreign policy in light of documents which became available after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. He exploded numerous myths about the supposed Soviet interest in “collective security” in the 1930s, showing that this was mere projection on the part of French and British and Czechoslovak statesmen who saw what they wanted to see in Stalin’s foreign policy, which was just as territorially “revisionist” as that of Italy, Germany, and Japan, just as expansionist – but better camouflaged.

Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945

By R.C. Raack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Exploiting new findings from former East Bloc archives and from long-ignored Western sources, this book presents a wholly new picture of the coming of World War II, Allied wartime diplomacy, and the origins of the Cold War. The author reveals that the story - widely believed by historians and Western wartime leaders alike - that Stalin's purposes in European diplomacy from 1938 on were mainly defensive is a fantasy. Indeed, this is one of the longest enduring products of Stalin's propaganda, of long-term political control of archival materials, and of the gullibility of Western observers.

The author argues that Stalin…


Lords of the Desert

By James Barr,

Book cover of Lords of the Desert: The Battle Between the United States and Great Britain for Supremacy in the Modern Middle East

This book sums up so much of what went on in the Middle East from the Second World War onwards. As such, James Barr lifts the curtain on British plotting and intrigue in a most readable and thrilling way. It details how America got involved in the middle decades of the twentieth century and much of the rivalry that existed during this period between the secret services. Essential reading to understand some of the present-day political ramifications of the region.

Lords of the Desert

By James Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A path-breaking history of how the United States superseded Great Britain as the preeminent power in the Middle East, with urgent lessons for the present day

We usually assume that Arab nationalism brought about the end of the British Empire in the Middle East -- that Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arab leaders led popular uprisings against colonial rule that forced the overstretched British from the region.

In Lords of the Desert, historian James Barr draws on newly declassified archives to argue instead that the US was the driving force behind the British exit. Though the two nations were allies,…


The Fringes of Power

By John Colville,

Book cover of The Fringes of Power: 10 Downing Street Diaries, 1939-1955

John “Jock” Colville, a 24-year-old Foreign Office staffer, was assigned to work at 10 Downing Street, Britain’s equivalent of the White House, at the outbreak of World War II. When Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, Colville, who kept a detailed secret diary, chronicled the new leader’s every move as he rallied his countrymen to keep fighting Hitler’s Germany. His entries for this critical period offer a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of Churchill, his inner circle—and his strenuous efforts to forge a close partnership with President Roosevelt, who had vowed to keep his country out of the war.

The Fringes of Power

By John Colville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The diaries of Winston Churchill's private secretary from 1941 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955 provides a unique view of World War II, of Churchill's wartime activities and those of his personal staff


5 book lists we think you will like!

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